lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Matrimonial Trap: Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Redefine MarriageThe Matrimonial Trap: Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Redefine Marriage by Laura E Thomason

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I think this book is a really interesting look at the way genteel, primarily English, 18th-century women viewed marriage. While Thomason does examine several novels, most of her source material is drawn from personal correspondence. I hadn't realized that letters at this point in history were simultaneously public and private documents. People had every expectation that their letters might be circulated beyond the intended recipients, even published without their permission. In addition, European governments had begun surveillance of correspondence, often opening and examining letters. Very fascinating the way women took advantage of that dual nature of letters to do some really neat stuff with argument and with authorial voice.

Very informative read.





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Hide and SeekHide and Seek by Wilkie Collins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Oh, man. I have been on such a Wilkie Collins high, and I was looking forward to reading this one, but it just didn't do it for me. It was a slog, and reading it felt tedious. One of Collins's gifts is dialogue, and this novel is almost entirely descriptive exposition--lots of what everything looks like and what everyone is thinking and very little of it accomplished through dialogue. I also think that the solution to the mystery of the story isn't telegraphed at all so that it just comes out of nowhere. My edition has some notes at the end which suggest that originally Collins did include more clues but edited them out later; I wish he'd left them in because the conclusion of the story was pretty convoluted even for me, an inveterate lover of sensation novels.



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(no subject)

10/7/17 03:29 (UTC)
executrix: (desprom2)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
Oh dear--I feel that I, as Collins might say, sold you a pup. Well, at least you didn't invest heavily in it!

I am waiting to find a few more items to supplement what is already a VERY EXCITING package for you.

(no subject)

10/7/17 14:03 (UTC)
executrix: (writerscode)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
As Stephen King said, writing usually isn't the equivalent of bucking crates of Pepsi onto a truck. Results are not simply proportionate to increased effort or familiarity with the task! Sometimes someone just has an unworkable idea, or a potentially great idea that the writer just can't handle, or maybe could handle at a different time but they just had to plow ahead with the current installment even though they're not feeling it.

(no subject)

10/7/17 19:17 (UTC)
executrix: (authorcat)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
The proverbial sign "We buy junk and sell Antiques" has an equivalent: potboilers that stay around long enough become Classics To Be Spoken Of in Hushed Tones. I bet a lot of people on Goodreads think they'd be flamed for giving a less-than-rave to someone they think of as So Important.

(no subject)

10/7/17 04:25 (UTC)
shaddyr: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] shaddyr
I hadn't realized that letters at this point in history were simultaneously public and private documents. People had every expectation that their letters might be circulated beyond the intended recipients, even published without their permission.

Wow, that is very interesting indeed.

(no subject)

10/7/17 15:16 (UTC)
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] zulu
That is so cool, I didn't know that either.

(no subject)

10/7/17 18:37 (UTC)
executrix: (deadline)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
And of course published books were often quasi-anonymous ("By a Lady") or pseudonymous, so any shocking statements or implications weren't traceable back to the woman daring to utter such things.

(no subject)

10/7/17 19:26 (UTC)
executrix: (blakeposter)
Posted by [personal profile] executrix
She'd probably Tumblring now from Heaven.

(no subject)

10/7/17 07:22 (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] makamu
I am sorry the Collins was a disappointment, though the non-fiction sounds really fascinating. The last time we spoke (wrote?), you asked me if it was one of my diss texts - it isn't. I am just focusing on The Woman in White for now :)

(no subject)

10/7/17 14:10 (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] makamu
It's one of the points that I find really pleasantly surprising about Collins' books is that he wrote so many disabled characters and yet seems to have eschewed Victorian sentimentalism when it comes to how to represent disabilities...
Edited 10/7/17 18:07 (UTC)

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