Manual East Lynne

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Doubtfire, disguising herself as a governess to infiltrate her former household, where Mr. Carlyle has remarried to his former flame Barbara. Levison is finally exposed as a murderer; everyone dies in lengthy and maudlin death scenes that involve plenty of Jesus talk. The end! And Ellen Wood, make no mistake, is working in the Anna Karenina tradition of creating plots that reinforce staid morals. Reader, believe me! Lady - wife - mother! Should you ever be tempted to abandon your home, so will you awake.

Whatever trials may be the lot of your married life, though they may magnify themselves to your crushed spirit as beyond the nature, the endurance of women to bear, resolve to bear them; fall down upon your knees, and pray to be enabled to bear them - pray for patience - pray for strength to resist the demon that would tempt you to escape; bear unto death, rather than forfeit your fair name and your good conscience; for be assured that the alternative, if you do rush on to it, will be found worse than death!

This is not at all true. Sorry to sound all "I just took Women's Studies and learned a new word" there, but this is a real problem with Victorian literature. But if you can get past the stale lectures about never leaving your shitty husband, this book is a blast. It's funny: "You always were lazy, Emma—and given to use those French words. I'd rather stick a printed label on my forehead, for my part, 'I speak French,' and let the world know it in that way," says the acidic Miss Carlyle.

The characters are nicely complicated: neither Isabel nor Barbara, our chief female characters, are entirely good or bad. That's nice. There are two major types of mid-century Victorian books: the Trollopian novel of society, and the sensational novel of murder and confusion. Both types reinforce conventional morals of the time, and both often feature similar plot contrivances.

The sensational ones are, of course, more fun and more silly. If you're jonesing for a fix of Victorian madness and murder, here you go.

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East Lynne is a classic among 19th century sensation fiction but a sadly neglected gem in the history of English literature. Unfortunately, East Lynne gets passed up for these more famous works and the book became a one hit wonder for Ellen East Lynne is a classic among 19th century sensation fiction but a sadly neglected gem in the history of English literature.

Unfortunately, East Lynne gets passed up for these more famous works and the book became a one hit wonder for Ellen Wood. Nevertheless, this mystery story is a must read if you are interested in the genre. Aug 27, Issicratea rated it really liked it Shelves: , reviewed. This is a novel of two halves. Penniless but beautiful Isabel Vane, daughter of a spendthrift nobleman, marries a wealthy country lawyer, Archibald Carlyle, whom she admires and likes but does not love. After a marriage of some years, when the couple have three children, Isabel abandons her family in a moment of madness for an old flame and notorious rake , Francis Levison, with predictably disastrous results.

There are some highly unexpected developments in the second half of the book, and spoilers would truly be spoilers. Suffice to say that Lady Isabel gets a peculiar, and grotesque, second act, something akin to a Dantean contrapasso. Ellen Wood heaps all kinds of opprobrium on Isabel and inflicts all kinds of punishment on her in narrative terms; yet she sticks with her and refuses to condemn her in absolute. This seems to me positively enlightened by Victorian standards.

One subplot of the novel is the displacement of the landed aristocracy, represented as morally and physically degenerate, despite a certain surface glamour, by a new, rising, meritocratic bourgeois class. Where male characters are concerned, this dichotomy plays out most clearly in the contrasted figures of Levison and Carlyle.

Where women are concerned, the starkest contrast is between Isabel and her love rival Barbara Hare, the daughter of a local magistrate and a childhood friend and distant cousin of Carlyle. The contrast has an almost Darwinian character—in a novel published hardly more than a year after On the Origin of Species —with Isabel physically delicate and illness-prone, and Barbara the picture of energetic good health.

View 2 comments. Jul 19, Dagny rated it really liked it Shelves: 19th-century. Henry Wood was a well-known author in the late s. Her works were very popular, sold well and were translated into other languages. This novel, East Lynne , was also produced as a stage play. The story opens with a portrait of William, Earl of Mount Severn, who is now desperately concealing, both from his daughter Lady Isabel and his creditors, the fact that he is bankrupt.

He is now at East Lynne and in contact with a local attorney, Mr. Carlyle, regarding the sale of East Lynne. Carlyle is struck by the beauty of the daughter, Lady Isabel. When her father dies Lady Isabel finds out that she is destitute. Having nowhere else to go she is forced to accept the invitation of her only relative, the new Earl of Mount Severn, to come and live at his home.

The new Earl's wife does not like Isabel and determines to get rid of her one way or another. One of the other featured families are the Hares. They are long-time friends of Mr. Their son was been accused of murder and has now disappeared. The daughter Barbara is secretly beginning to fall in love with Mr. View all 3 comments.

Melodrama: East Lynne

Jun 08, Bettie rated it liked it Recommended to Bettie by: Wanda. Shelves: published , gutenberg-project , victorian , e-book , summer This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Yay - Project Gutenberg comes up trumps again. In an easy-chair of the spacious and handsome library of his town house, sat William, Earl of Mount Severn. When sensation novels burst upon a quiescent England these novels became immediate best sellers, surpassing all previous book sales records.

However, high brow critics writing in academic journals of the day decried the phenomenon and criticized its practitioners and readers in the harshest terms. The added notoriety derived from reading the novels probably servSevern. In Yay - Project Gutenberg comes up trumps again. The added notoriety derived from reading the novels probably served only to contribute to their popularity. Oct 25, Reesha rated it really liked it Shelves: classic-reads , books-in-dubai. I read this book for Victober This book was full of drama. These are themes not openly discussed in other Victorian books I have read.

There is also a murder mystery spread through out the book which get mingled with the infidelity plot. The good thing about this book was that it explored both sides of the story. The reasons for Mrs Le I read this book for Victober The reasons for Mrs Levison running away and also the heartbreak she caused her husband by doing so.

Spotlight on East Lynne & Mrs Henry Wood

You feel sympathy for both parties: may be more so for one than for the other. But you get to know the motive for her actions and that completes the story. Jun 05, Karla rated it liked it Shelves: uber-optimistic , eras-victorian , ebook , 19th-century-lit , dime-novels-and-penny-dreadfuls. I've been wanting to read East Lynne for years and years, ever since I heard about its insane melodramatic plot. The first 2 volumes of this 3-novel wonder were pretty good, but the final volume was a sloggy, soggy drag. The main mystery of Richard Hare's is-he-or-isn't-he-guilty-of-murder charge is protracted to an agonizing degree with everyone restating everything abou I've been wanting to read East Lynne for years and years, ever since I heard about its insane melodramatic plot.

The main mystery of Richard Hare's is-he-or-isn't-he-guilty-of-murder charge is protracted to an agonizing degree with everyone restating everything about the case to everyone else. Filler, anyone? OMG, who the hell cares? Especially when the real murderer has been obvious since Chapter 3 or whatever. But there are all kind of gaslight melodrama tropes and an easy-to-read style that is really set apart from some of the opaque verbiage of the time. Wood writes a straightforward scandalous yarn about adultery with mandatory heavy-handed religious themes of redemption, of course and a horny bounder determined to screw everyone over.

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The plot itself was ace, but the pacing had issues. Still glad I read it, though I won't lie I'm somewhat disappointed.

I welcomed the incarceration in order to finally finish it. Yay for restricted movements and mindless sedentary travel time. A well-crafted book with many pages of entertainment for the times when there was no TV and no soap operas. Sep 21, classic reverie rated it it was amazing Shelves: religious-element-predominance , tragedy , favorites , , bildungsroman , romance , mrs-henry-wood. Being a member of Goodreads, it is nice to receive recommendations from the site from your book shelves, plus other readers helped me find this very sad but wonderful story, that I might not have heard of on my own.

The novel from started out in a magazine and then came to be a three volume book, that Tolstoy even enjoyed.

The Victorian age was so very different from modern day, while life has improved I think social mores were harsh then but had a moral basis that I fear in our society tha Being a member of Goodreads, it is nice to receive recommendations from the site from your book shelves, plus other readers helped me find this very sad but wonderful story, that I might not have heard of on my own.

The Victorian age was so very different from modern day, while life has improved I think social mores were harsh then but had a moral basis that I fear in our society that is lacking today. Barbara won out in liking her better in the end but Isabel had her loving nature to her children which breaks your heart.

Having almost everything in life but not being free from her jealous spirit which won her lot in life. I had a hard time putting this book down. I read a collection of her works , kindle format with no typos which is always so perfect. Generally, a terrible book. But kind of fascinating?

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Catalog Record: East Lynne; a drama in five acts | HathiTrust Digital Library

I mean It just took pages to get there The Lady Isabel decides to run away because a somewhat hot dude was like "hey, your husband's cheating on you I bet," and then because obvs she made the wrong move, she's suddenly the saddest person on the pl Generally, a terrible book. The Lady Isabel decides to run away because a somewhat hot dude was like "hey, your husband's cheating on you I bet," and then because obvs she made the wrong move, she's suddenly the saddest person on the planet, pregnant with the cad's baby, deserted by said cad, and then in a horrible train accident that kills the baby and leaves her disfigured.

Everybody thinks she's dead and then she tortures herself by disguising as a governess to be with her kids.