Persephone Books, paperback, edition , 99 pages, from my own personal TBR. So Melanie finds herself in one of the parlour rooms on the chaise-longue that she bought, spur of the moment, on an antiques shopping trip when she should have been looking for a cot.
Yet when Melanie wakes from a sleep on it she finds herself not in her home but somewhere quite other, somewhere in the past, and as someone else far weaker than her though also in a consumptive state. And so the confusion and terror begin…. In the first instance this is a tale of horror and terror, and it was meant to be. D James mentions in the preface, Marghanita Laski actually took herself of to a remote house in the middle of nowhere to write this so she could feel vulnerable and frightened and try to pass this on to the reader which I think she does excellently.
What Laski does her, which I think is so brilliant, is that she slowly allows Melanie to learn more and more about Milly. Yet as we read on we realise there is more to Melanie than we might think. She has a steely core, she knows what she wants and is a bit spoilt too. She is told not to have children while she has a mild case of hopefully curable TB, and ignores it. She also plays the men around her, shes independent enough to go shopping alone for what she likes and going against doctors orders, but she plays herself as the frightful fool when she wants her own way, making men think they are the better sex.
Gregory watching them. Not that I would call her clever, rather cunning — his thoughts checked, a little shocked at the word he had chosen, but he continued resolutely — yes, cunning as a cartload of monkeys if she ever needed to be.
It is too easy to label this book showing how much things for women had moved forward and how awful things were in the Victorian period. Actually I think more reviews have done that than Laski because she shows that women like Melanie may be in a much better situation than the likes of Milly but they still have to play the game of making men feel superior in order to get what they want.
Maybe I have gone too deep?
The more and more I have thought about this book the more of an understated masterpiece it seems. I have to admit that I was glad that I ended up putting The Persephone Project on hold for a month as I have to admit I struggled with the fifth title. One of the downsides of reading them in order and with a deadline is that you might not be in the right space for a book and also you feel the need to simply get it read.
Pomerans, pages, from my own personal TBR. As we meet her she is clearly going through a rather traumatic time where she is having major self doubt and bouts of depression. A few weeks ago I finally picked the book up again and strangely found that my attitude, as I read a long, had undergone a slight turnaround. As I read her thoughts I started to find her rather grimly fascinating.
Born in Etty went on to study law, psychology and Russian at the University of Amsterdam. She was no angel and whilst initially was something I struggled with why should we assume all Holocasut victims were perfect people after all? I became intrigued by her. But all my efforts were just tilting against the natural lassitude to which I wisely yielded in the end. And this morning everything seemed fine again. But when I began cycling down Apollolaan, there it was back, all the questioning, the discontent, the feeling that everything was empty of meaning, the sense that life was unfilled, all the pointless brooding.
And right now I am sunk in the mire. And even the certain knowledge that this too will pass brought me no peace this time. The writing here naturally changes, the horrors that Etty sees and the terror she feels come straight off the page.
To have the contrast of her personality from earlier on is part of what makes this such a hard hitting, and indeed cliched as it sounds important book tfor people to read, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult it gets. I must admit when I finished the book, and the last postcard Etty wrote which amazingly she threw from the train from Westerbork to Auschwitz and some farmers posted, I thought that just a collection of the letters would have been a better volume by itself.
My opinion has changed as I think having both the diaries and letters creates a haunting picture with its depth and layers and so hits you harder. I may have found her hard to work with at the start, yet strangely after finishing the book I felt that this is what makes the book so different and so powerful. Tagged as Arnold J. Part of the problem was that I had an absolutely bonkers week, both reading wise for work and then with another project and so my reading time was really limited, the other issue was that I have to say I had real trouble getting into the book.
This is the position which Amy, recently married to Dr Deane Franklin, finds herself on one of her first meetings with many of the townsfolk fresh from her honeymoon to her new home.
Ruth, we learn, did the unthinkable by falling in love with a local married man, Stuart Williams. Worse still, she then left Freeport with him and has been living in sin with him as a pair of outcasts in the mountains of Colorado ever since. This causes a mixture of tantalising mystery yet also finds us, like Amy, confused and a little thrown of guard unable to get our bearings. Soon we discover what Ruth has done and also the mystery as to why on earth Deane Franklin helped her.
Once we are done with flashbacks and find ourselves in the present however the book completely flies and gets better and better. She looks at them through the eyes of how love has affected them; Amy marrying below what society wanted, Deane helping Ruth against all the scandal that he would implicate himself in because of his love for her, Ruth simply in breaking the social moral standards by falling in love with the wrong person. Indeed it is society and its outlook, and how we pick and choose which society we think we are in or behave differently around, that is the overall theme of the book.
It brought Ruth and Stuart together unwittingly…. They always had several dances together at the parties. She outraged society as completely as a woman could outrage it. She was a thief, really,—stealing from the thing that was protecting her, taking all the privileges of a thing she was a traitor to. She was not only what we call a bad woman, she was a hypocrite. You jeer about society, but society is nothing more than life as we have arranged it.
It is an institution. One living within it must keep the rules of that institution. One who defies it — deceives it — must be shut out from it. So much we are forced to do in self-defence. When Ruth returns she unwittingly also shows secrets in a new marriage and the cracks that grow from that. Glaspell is a great writer, if occasionally one who over writes or pushes a theme in your face a little too much, who really looks at things with a deeply honest and unbiased approach to characters that she really runs through the mill.
Skip to content. You could say it all went a bit awry, however after heading back into Persephone Books a few weeks ago to say a slightly shamefaced hello and buy some books I am back on it and have picked up the challenge again, with the biography of Julian Grenfell by Nicholas Mosley… It seems a particularly apt title, completely coincidentally, considering we have the Tower of London Poppies in Liverpool at the moment indeed I will be event managing them on Saturday so if you happen to be passing do say hello and this is about one of the soldiers who fought, and died, in the war.
It seemed natural to to write it in the same idiom; but if the result seems to any reader too imitative, or even plagiaristic, I can only ask their forgiveness, as the original Provincial Lady would, I am sure, have warmly given hers. Therein, I think, lies my problem: Dashwood never quite develops her own voice. The Provincial Daughter, like her mother, has literary aspirations: we her follow the progress of an article for a magazine, a script for the BBC, and a hoped-for novel.
Friends who are thin and stylish are constantly trying to improve her appearance and her mind does this remind you of someone? Obviously there are some differences. Instead of a cook, maid and French governess, the Provincial Daughter has a German au pair, who is given to hysterical outbursts when upset which is most of the time. The lack of domestic help means that unlike her mother she does her own cooking unless the au pair helps as well as the housework and washing — with varying degrees of success.
Her husband, a doctor, does absolutely nothing around the house and seems to think every domestic disaster is her fault, and her three sons are engagingly naughty, without doing any real harm to themselves or anyone else.
She was like a child endeavouring to pour a great pailful of water into a very little cup. Though she had no known speaking role, she was one of the first few, along with Aphrodite, to vouch for Percy Jackson 's safety and to prevent his death. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In The Titan's Curse , Demeter was described as a dark-haired woman in green robes. Now the contests between mother and daughter, father and son, are attributed to Oedipal drives, and the generations become secret sexual competitors as daughter lusts for father and son for mother.
Parts of it are very funny. She is so laid-back that the other mothers do everything for her, including the washing up! And then I gave them lots of beads and plastic thread so they could make jewellery for their party bags which they also made. Anyway, I digress — not that I can really think of much more to say, other than the fact that this was not nearly as charming as the Provincial Lady. I picked this up in the Oxfam shop again , but I think it looks like a book on needlework, or a notebook, or drawliners, or writing paper.
So you can imagine how delighted I was to find a Proper Book, even if it does have a Cath Kidston floral cover. I know I rave about those lovely Persephone end-papers, but they are on the inside, not the outside. Besides, this a Virago Modern Classic, and should be dark green, with a painting on the front carefully chosen to complement the writing.
Anything else is unacceptable, even if it is a 30th anniversary edition. You want to know what I thought of the book, so here goes. Thought to be based on life of the author, it charts her struggles to balance the household books, and to keep her home running as smoothly as possible while trying to solve various crises and keep everyone happy, from her husband and children to her friends, neighbours, servants and tradesmen.
She deals with colds herself and the children , measles herself and the children , and a cat who is continually producing litters. It may not sound very exciting, but she records everyday events with self-deprecating warmth and humour — and a wonderfully ironic turn of phrase. She peppers her entries with memos and queries which veer from the practical to the philosophical.
The tone is set from the very beginning:. November 7th. Just as I am in the middle of them, Lady Boxe calls. I say, untruthfully, how nice to see her, and beg her to sit down while I just finish the bulbs.
Lady B. Do I know, she asks, how very late it is for indoor bulbs? September, really, or even October, is the time. Do I know that the only really reliable firm for hyacinths is Somebody of Haarlem? At the end of the fifth century B. Marble monuments belonging to various members of a family were placed along the edge of the terrace rather than over the graves themselves. Department of Greek and Roman Art. Hornblower, Simon, and Antony Spawforth, eds. The Oxford Classical Dictionary.
New York: Oxford University Press, Howatson, M. The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Pedley, John Griffiths. Greek Art and Archaeology. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Pomeroy, Sarah B. Robertson, Martin. A History of Greek Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.