Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

‘My Lady Ludlow’ could be classed among Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels, being over 60,000 words long. Still, it's a good deal shorter than the three volumes that were considered a respectable length for a novel by Victorians, and is included among her shorter and more minor works. Besides, the structure is frankly faulty; or anyway, the … Continue reading Review of ‘My Lady Ludlow’ by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Heathcliff – No Romantic Hero: Vengeance and Forgiveness in ‘Wuthering Heights’.

I have recently been reading Marianne Thormählen’s fascinating book ‘The Brontës and Religion’ (Cambridge University Press 1999). I shouldn’t be. Really, I should be doing more research,  but I couldn’t resist it. I came across it through its mention in the notes of the 1994 Wordsworth Classic Edition of ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ as … Continue reading Heathcliff – No Romantic Hero: Vengeance and Forgiveness in ‘Wuthering Heights’.

‘East Lynne’ (1861): the sensationalist best seller by Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood): Review

Spoilers throughout! Many years ago, my mother came by leather bound copies of the mid-Victorian magazine ‘The Argosy’ as part of a job lot in an auction. These ended up on my parents’ endless bookshelves, and I read a couple of the stories. I vaguely remember that my mother said that most of the content … Continue reading ‘East Lynne’ (1861): the sensationalist best seller by Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood): Review

‘Lady Audley’s Secret’: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Mid Victorian Sensationalist Novel

How embarrasing: I typed and published a whole post - a review of this notorious Victorian novel - and only the image came out! I blame the new editing system on WordPress....Well, that and my own muddle headedness... Lady Audley’s Secret’ , the 1862  best selling Victorian sensationalist novel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, is based … Continue reading ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Mid Victorian Sensationalist Novel

Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

I always find it interesting how through reading fiction written by authors at about the time that the story is set, or shortly afterwards, you can get authentic background detail about various aspects of everyday life. This varies as to the social position of the author, of course, and how far he or she is … Continue reading Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

An Acronym for Remembering the Essential Points for Writing a Page Turner

< I made up an acronym while writing, to remind me of some essential points to remember when trying to write a page turner. FLASH. No; not as in a flasher. Actually, I suppose conjuring up an a mental image of one of those old school perverts would be as good a way to entertain … Continue reading An Acronym for Remembering the Essential Points for Writing a Page Turner

Some Thoughts on the Careers of Agnes Grey and Becky Sharp as Early Nineteenth Century Governesses

  In my last post, I wrote about the realistic – and fairly dismal – depiction of a governess’ life in the England of the first part of the nineteenth century to be found in Anne Bronte’s ‘Agnes Grey’ , and contrasted her dismal life with the wild and harrowing adventures that are Jane Eyre’s … Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Careers of Agnes Grey and Becky Sharp as Early Nineteenth Century Governesses

Anne Brontë’s ‘Agnes Grey’: A Melancholy Story with a Happy Ending

I first read Anne Brontë’s ‘Agnes Grey’ a long time ago – in my early twenties – about the time that I first read ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’. I believe a fair number of people consider it her masterpiece in its brevity and tight plotting. I can see it has those features, but I … Continue reading Anne Brontë’s ‘Agnes Grey’: A Melancholy Story with a Happy Ending

More on ‘Wuthering Heights’ : The Notorious Absence of a Wholly Sympathetic Character and a Moral Compass.

I am still reading  that fascinating book by Marianne Thormëhelen, ‘The Brontës and Religion’, and it raises a point that had vaguely occurred to me, but which the author brings into sharp focus. There is no character in ‘Wuthering Heights’ with whom the reader is meant to identify, who is depicted as generally sympathetic – … Continue reading More on ‘Wuthering Heights’ : The Notorious Absence of a Wholly Sympathetic Character and a Moral Compass.

The Anti-Heroine

I have often thought, on and off, what a shame it is how few anti-heroines there are in both traditionally published and self published fiction. Anti -heroes suffer from overpopulation in the fiction world- particularly in romance – but their female equivalents seem thin on the ground. This anyway, is my experience, but maybe I … Continue reading The Anti-Heroine