Thursday, 6 March 2014

Engaging with the Tome.

The style of writing in The French Lieutenant’s Woman is fascinating, being an unusual mixture of linguistic formality, complex clause relationships and verbal idiosyncrasies which sit together in a muscular, masculine sort of way. It isn’t the kind of thing you could speed read; it requires some concentration. You either engage with it or you put the book away. It is, however, highly descriptive and well worth the effort.

What’s also fascinating is the insight it gives into the mores and cultural nuances of middle and upper class Victorian society – and some of them are curiously familiar, which maybe I should find disturbing. And then there’s one little personal connection:

The range in the kitchen of the domineering Mrs Poulteney has a bad habit of smoking when the wind is in the south west, which is odd because the fire in my living room exhibits exactly the same fault.

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