The Bostonians, a relatively early HJ novel, was published in book form in 1886. (It was originally serialized — as common in the Victorian era — in a magazine over 1885-86.) HJ was born in New York City, but took up residence in England, and had not been to the USA since about 1880. (He did not re-visit the USA until 1905.) With all the detailed descriptions of Boston, New York City, and Cape Cod, I would say that the work is a kind of tour de force, considering how many years HJ had been removed from the locales of the story. One feels very present in the 19th-century streets and landscapes that he writes about.
Tag: classic literature
A review of Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
I’m not sure why it is better for the author to spoil the plot, than for some purported friend of the reader to do the same! But — if I may be permitted to issue a meta-spoiler, or a spoiler about spoilers — there is no need to worry that Trollope is going to go off the deep end in this respect. You will still find suspense a-plenty.
A review of The Little Prince (audio) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This latest audio version, read in a lucid and calm BBC voice by actor John Gaden, is beautifully set out, with exquisite and carefully chosen classical music between each chapter. The music is played by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and…
A Review of E M Forster’s A Room With A View
I found A Room with a View to be, if not in the absolute top rank, nevertheless a very worthwhile piece of literature. Aside from being a sensitive study of a woman who often doesn’t know herself well enough, it is a…
Stendahl’s Charterhouse of Parma: A Review
Charterhouse of Parma (published 1839) is set in Italy, but this is in the early 19th century, before Italy became “Italy”. While a country such as France, with its late-18th-century Revolution, had of course much nationalistic feeling and was a political entity, Italy still retained the medieval character of a host of tiny “principalities” (an area ruled by a Prince) and such. Parma, in northern “Italy”, was one of these mini-countries. When we first meet the Prince of Parma, Stendhal draws a portrait of … well, not what you would expect of royalty.
A review of Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
There are some wonderful classic novels which are well worth reading and re-reading. Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin is one of those, and guest reviewer Tom Frenkel, turns his analytical eye on Pnin. Nabokov is most famous for his novel Lolita, but…