Supplementary: Was Dorothea and Casaubon’s marriage consummated?

One question that must surely occur to most modern readers is whether Dorothea and her elderly husband consummate their marriage? Of course, in one sense this is a meaningless question – these are fictional characters who do not exist outside what the author reveals of their lives. If George Eliot chose not to tell usContinue reading “Supplementary: Was Dorothea and Casaubon’s marriage consummated?”

Book review: Middlemarch, by George Eliot, 1871-72

Most (or should that be many?) Victorian novels end with a marriage. The bedroom door is closed on the newly-weds, and other than the occasional “we lived happily ever after”, the story closes. (Jane Eyre famously ends with “Reader, I married him” – except of course that it doesn’t, and Jane’s narration gives us aContinue reading “Book review: Middlemarch, by George Eliot, 1871-72”

Book review: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, 1963

I am not sure I can think of a more quintessentially 60’s novel than this. It is madcap, millennial (think Dr Strangelove), anarchic and at times plain weird. The plot, such as it is, involves a first person narrator who is researching a biography of the (fictional) inventor of the nuclear bomb, Felix Hoenikker. InContinue reading “Book review: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, 1963”

Book review: Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie, 1981

I found ‘Midnight’s Children’ a challenge. It is a novel that has been showered with praise and awards, and rightly so. While it is overall a complex narrative, with a very large cast of characters and multiple locations, at the same time the autobiographical structure and the single narrator allow the thread of the storyContinue reading “Book review: Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie, 1981”