Supplementary: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice – a comparison

As I read ‘Sense and Sensibility‘ earlier this month I was struck by the many similarities between the novel and ‘Pride and Prejudice‘. My initial theory was that ‘Sense‘ was an early draft of ‘Pride‘, but that didn’t withstand much research – as Claire @ nerdslikeme.co.uk pointed out in a comment on an earlier post, althoughContinue reading “Supplementary: Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice – a comparison”

Supplementary: On servants and their powers of invisibility

Much has been written about the invisibility of servants in society, an invisibility that is apparent in Austen’s novels. The middle class families that we follow in these texts are supported by a large cast of characters who wash their clothes, clean their houses and cook their food, but whose existence is barely acknowledged andContinue reading “Supplementary: On servants and their powers of invisibility”

Book review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, 1811

Six years after Trafalgar, while the Peninsular War rages on the continent and social discontent stirs at home, Jane Austen turned her attention to the challenges facing a very specific class of young women in Georgian England. A complex will, and the early death of the family’s father, see the widowed Mrs Dashwood, and daughters,Continue reading “Book review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, 1811”

Book review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, 1980

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, picks up immediately where Hitchhiker ends, with our hapless adventurers under attack from the Vogons, despite there being no tea. Having faced imminent death several times before, this causes them less concern that you would expect, and another lastContinue reading “Book review: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams, 1980”

Book review: The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989

The Remains of the Day is a subtle, detailed portrait of a life of self-control, restraint and sacrifice. It is narrated by Mr Stevens, an ageing butler, who in 1956 takes a road trip to the West Country, to visit a former colleague, Mrs Dean, formerly Miss Kenton. In the course of his largely uneventful tripContinue reading “Book review: The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989”

Book review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy in five parts, Douglas Adams, 1979

When the world is demolished to make way for an intergalatic bypass, Arthur Dent, one of only two survivors (and an alien, some dolphins, and two mice) embarks on an extraordinary journey to discover the answer to the great question of life, the universe and everything. Re-reading ‘Hitchhiker’ after far too many years was aContinue reading “Book review: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a trilogy in five parts, Douglas Adams, 1979”

Book review: Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler, 1940

I’ve written previously on this blog about my fan-boy admiration of Chandler’s prose. His flair for dramatic imagery is really unsurpassed in the detective fiction genre. People have tried to copy it, but never achieved the same vividly imaginative description. Plot is in many ways secondary in these novels, which is surprising given that inContinue reading “Book review: Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler, 1940”

Book review: Crome Yellow, by Aldous Huxley, 1921

I honestly don’t enjoy writing critical reviews, I really don’t. Why would I go out of my way to read disappointing, dated, shallow novels that have very little to recommend them? But there’s little point me reviewing a novel dishonestly is there, emphasising the positive and glossing over the weaker points simply to present aContinue reading “Book review: Crome Yellow, by Aldous Huxley, 1921”

Book review: ‘I Like it Here’ by Kingsley Amis, 1958

As a general rule every Kingsley Amis novel features a central protagonist that is more or less Kingsley Amis. Once you come to terms with that fact it makes the inevitable disappointment easier to bear. ‘I Like it Here’ is no exception. Garnet Bowen is an author making a living from selling articles and reviews.Continue reading “Book review: ‘I Like it Here’ by Kingsley Amis, 1958”