Posted by Jane E. on October 23, 1997 at 10:38:18:
In response to Val, written by Cassia on October 22, 1997 at 18:05:58
I think the fate of the women in P. is interesting (STOP NOW if you haven't read to the end. Although it seems the few of us who are posting have done so more than once.) The Victorian women all end up tragically: Blanche, Christabel, Ellen. They are all intelligent, even gifted women who are defeated by the mores of their time. The modern women have problems, too, but they have the ability to remedy them. Val finds her metier and her prince; Maud learns to open herself to love; Leonora is earth-mother deluxe. I see Beatrice as the bridge generation. She is deflected from her true love, Ash, and relegated to studying Ellen's opaque journal. She truly was born too early, into an academic world that dismissed women.
Bravo to Byatt for allowing the modern women to find their way. After the intense sadness of the Victorian story, particularly Christabel, it is a welcome relief.
Did anyone else cry at the end of this book? That epilogue wiped me out.
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