I first read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) as a young teenager. Like many girls, I loved the romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, the clever conversation, and the rags to riches aspects of the Bennet’s story. I’ve reread it a number of times since my first encounter, and I’ve also enjoyed the movie

Read Post

In Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (published 1814), Fanny Price was the oldest daughter of a poor family, sent at age 10 to live with her generous and wealthy Bertram cousins. Yet, in the lovely Mansfield Park, Fanny was constantly reminded of her lesser status and spent her days for the most part assisting the lazy

Read Post

According to my Harmon and Holman A Handbook to Literature, “romance” has had a special meaning in terms of literature since the beginning of the novel. As opposed to a “novel,” a term which suggested realistic manners and society, a “romance” was more unlikely to happen in reality. In common usage, [romance] refers to works

Read Post

The Princess Bride (by William Goldman, first published 1973) is a celebration of story-telling. It is a story in a story in a story. William Goldman tells the story of his father telling him a story of an abridged story by S. Morgenstern, which has all sorts of political side-agendas for Morgenstern’s day. There are

Read Post

This first week of May is Persephone Reading Week, which means bloggers around the blogosphere are reading books by the British publisher Persephone. I do not typically search out books based on publisher. Yet, Claire and Verity have such an (I think it’s fair to say) obsession with this publisher that it certainly caught my

Read Post

Duels. Lovers. Mid-night rendezvous. Mistaken identity.  Revenge. There was plenty of adventure in Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. But it was the humor that captured my attention and kept me reading. I mentioned the other day that, thanks to Zola’s emphasis on “a point,” I was frustrated by the first bit of Dumas’ book, simply

Read Post