Tag Archives: observant

Mansfield Park: A mature but, for us, challenging novel by Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen’s heroines, Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is surely the least appealing, the most ‘foreign’ to our age. Unlike Emma’s assertiveness and Lizzy’s humour, Fanny’s combination of self-effacement and moral conviction are at odds with modern core … Continue reading

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A nuanced exploration of family dynamics, moral identity and cross-cultural perceptions: Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster

The basic storyline of E.M. Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread revolves around the child of a mixed marriage and the various characters’ feelings, motives and actions regarding it. Yet this storyline is the vehicle for exploring the struggle between … Continue reading

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Our attitudes and experiences of near neighbours haven’t changed all that much in the last 160 years, if Emily Eden’s The Semi-Detached House is any guide

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden is a social satire written in the mid-19th century. When young Lady Chester moves into a semi-detached house in the suburbs she anticipates being forced into awkward intimacy with vulgar neighbours, whose daughters will … Continue reading

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A book that argues the indispensable value of spinsters: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym is about capable spinsters – truly excellent women capable of dealing with any sort of drama – observant, helpful, available and overlooked. Mildred, the protagonist, is just one of these women, pondering her life and … Continue reading

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