Book Review of The Semi-Attached Couple
Posted by gkb on June 23, 1998 at 19:10:17:
A brief review of The Semi-Attached Couple by Emily Eden
available online at the Celebration of Women Writers website under What's Local
Fellow Pemberlians, I recommend to your good graces the work named above as being quite worthy of your time and attention. Although Victorian in its ideals and needing a socialist or feminist critique to beat the dust and nonsense out of its carpets, it is, upon the whole, a very creditable attempt to carry the good sense and good humor of Miss Jane Austen past the threshold of maidenly demur and into the public rooms (at least) of early married life.
There are many droll character sketches and occasional laugh-out-loud lines of linguistic fancywork that amply repay the exertion of paying a call upon Ms. Eden's little paradise. The general moral tone is good and yet the villainous nature of gossip is shown at its full nastiness.
If you have ever lusted after the leisured life of an English country gentlewoman, you may find pause in reading the very realistic accounts of the trials that sort of life can pose for the unwary hostess--yet be soothed by the orderly routines of dress and stately household cares.
There is a certain inequality in mood-setting, for the superbly comic description of an English election fever is soon followed by an idealized but suspenseful recounting of quite another type of disease; and it is somewhat jarring when one or two characters display real abilities inconsistent with their ruling traits--rather as if Mr. Collins had turned out to conduct himself with sensitivity
and quiet intelligence among the cottagers, though so inept with those socially his equals--or as if Lady Catherine were to be genuinely helpful to Charlotte in a social crisis. These changeabilities are not managed as smoothly as we have come to expect from our Austenian experience.
Nevertheless, I believe this little tome will afford most Austen enthusiasts with a pleasant, sunny excursion into a land that obviously borders on our own country. If you please to follow me, set up your carriages, ladies and gentlemen, the road leads this way:
(then go to the link named What's Local)
- What a wonderfully written review! (nfm) Marie-Bernadette 14:19:43 6/25/98 (0)
- Well, you've sold it to me ;-) Constanza 14:15:25 6/24/98 (7)
- You too are persuasive... gkb 00:26:50 6/28/98 (4)
- There's a precedent for Murphy's Law !!!!!! Constanza 08:37:27 6/25/98 (1)
- I did, but it took your scholarly mind to classify it (:-D (nfm) gkb 10:44:07 6/25/98 (0)
- The Semi-Detached House Ken 07:32:39 6/24/98 (1)
- reviewed before but.... Kate 13:26:35 6/24/98 (0)
- Delightful! Margie 20:33:58 6/23/98 (0)
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