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Mansfield Park
Jane Austen
0451526295
June 1996
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Though Jane Austen was writing at a time when Gothic potboilers such as Ann Ward Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho and Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto were all the rage, she never got carried away by romance in her own novels. In Austen's ordered world, the passions that ruled Gothic fiction would be horridly out of place; marriage was, first and foremost, a contract, the bedrock of polite society. Certain rules applied to who was eligible and who was not, how one courted and married and what one expected afterwards. To flout these rules was to tear at the basic fabric of society, and the consequences could be terrible. Each of the six novels she completed in her lifetime are, in effect, comic cautionary tales that end happily for those characters who play by the rules and badly for those who don't. In Mansfield...


Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
0451525884
Feb 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Next to the exhortation at the beginning of Moby-Dick, "Call me Ishmael," the first sentence of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must be among the most quoted in literature. And certainly what Melville did for whaling Austen does for marriage--tracing the intricacies (not to mention the economics) of 19th-century British mating rituals with a sure hand and an unblinking eye. As usual, Austen trains her sights on a country village and a few families--in this case, the Bennets, the Philips, and the Lucases. Into their midst comes Mr. Bingley, a single man of good fortune, and his friend, Mr. Darcy, who is even richer. Mrs. Bennet, who married above her station, sees their arrival as an opportunity to...



Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen
0451526368
December 1983
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Though Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen's earliest novels, it was not published until after her death--well after she'd established her reputation with works such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility. Of all her novels, this one is the most explicitly literary in that it is primarily concerned with books and with readers. In it, Austen skewers the novelistic excesses of her day made popular in such 18th-century Gothic potboilers as Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho. Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers all figure into Northanger Abbey, but with a decidedly satirical twist. Consider Austen's introduction of her heroine: we are told on the very first page that "no one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her...


Persuasion
Jane Austen
0451526384
Aug 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
Anne Elliot, heroine of Austen's last novel, did something we can all relate to: Long ago, she let the love of her life get away. In this case, she had allowed herself to be persuaded by a trusted family friend that the young man she loved wasn't an adequate match, social stationwise, and that Anne could do better. The novel opens some seven years after Anne sent her beau packing, and she's still alone. But then the guy she never stopped loving comes back from the sea. As always, Austen's storytelling is so confident, you can't help but allow yourself to be taken on the enjoyable journey.

From Library Journal
Austen is the hot property of the entertainment world with new feature film versions of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility on the silver screen and Pride and Prejudice hitting...


Lady Susan, The Watsons & Sanditon
Jane Austen
0140431020
March 1975
Paperback
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From AudioFile
A perfect match! An ensemble piece! A delight! This lesser known Austen novel follows the subterfuge of the recently widowed, beautiful, and flirtatious Lady Susan who attempts to secure a good marriage for herself at the same time that she is forcing a dismal match onto her long suffering daughter. Character is revealed, plot unfolds, suspense builds--all through the device of letters exchanged amongst Lady Susan, her family, friends, and enemies. Each letter writer is performed by a different actor, eliminating the potential for confusion and making this a lively and dramatic listening experience. Flute, clarinet, and piano add an elegant touch, enhancing the flavor of time and place. E.S. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the...


The Red Queen
Margaret Drabble
0641681232

Hardcover
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Oxford Companion to English Literature
Margaret Drabble (Editor)
0198662440
November 2000
Textbook Hardcover
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From Booklist
A staple in reference collections since it first appeared in 1932, The Oxford Companion to English Literature (OCEL) only improves with age. The eminent British writer Drabble assumed the editorship of this venerable work with the fifth edition, published in 1985, and she oversaw its two revisions, the first in 1995 and the second in 1998. Of the more than 7,000 entries in this sixth edition, approximately 660 are new. Many other entries have been revised and updated, while a sizable number (among them Cable, George Washington, Infernal Marriage, Mrs. Norris, Risorgimento, and Will's Coffee House) have been dropped. Approximately one-third of the new entries were authored by Drabble, and the others were contributed by a team of more than 140 noted writers and scholars (who...


Red Queen
Margaret Drabble
0156032708
October 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In her 16th novel, Drabble exhibits her characteristic ironic detachment in an elegantly constructed meditation on memory, mortality, risk and reward. Dr. Babs Halliwell, a 40-ish academic on sabbatical at Oxford, receives an anonymous gift on the eve of her departure for a conference in Seoul: a copy of the 18th-century Korean Crown Princess Hyegyong's memoir. In the crown princess's tumultuous time, women of the court could exercise power only through men. But the sly, coquettish and charmingly unreliable princess not only outlived her mad husband but also survived her brothers, her sons and innumerable palace plots. Her story and her spirit all but possess Dr. Halliwell, whose tragic personal losses and highly ritualized professional life cleverly and subtly mirror those of the crown princess. Upon her arrival...


The Needle's Eye
Margaret Drabble
0641660898

Paperback
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Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
0451525892
August 1997
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Though not the first novel she wrote, Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen published. Though she initially called it Elinor and Marianne, Austen jettisoned both the title and the epistolary mode in which it was originally written, but kept the essential theme: the necessity of finding a workable middle ground between passion and reason. The story revolves around the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Whereas the former is a sensible, rational creature, her younger sister is wildly romantic--a characteristic that offers Austen plenty of scope for both satire and compassion. Commenting on Edward Ferrars, a potential suitor for Elinor's hand, Marianne admits that while she "loves him tenderly," she finds him disappointing as a possible lover for her sister: Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner...


Ann Veronica
H. G. Wells
0141441097
Jan 2006
Paperback
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Book Description
At twenty-one, the passionate and headstrong Ann Veronica Stanley is determined to rule her own life. When her autocratic father forbids her, via formal letter, from attending a fashionable art-school ball, and even further refuses to allow her advanced study of science, she decides she has no choice but to leave her family home and make a fresh start alone. She escapes the stodgy suburbs to London, enrolling as a student of biology and immersing herself in a world of intellectuals, socialists, and suffragettes. Soon, however, she finds that freedom comes at a price, when she meets the brilliant Capes, a married acad ...


Novels of Margaret Drabble: "This Freudian Family Nexus"
Nicole Suzanne Bokat
0820439800
September 1998
Hardcover
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Book Description
Contemporary British novelist Margaret Drabble has enjoyed popularity and critical acclaim for more than thirty years. While the author's fatalistic vision has been formerly analyzed by critics of her work, what has not been assessed in previous texts is the way in which her theories of psychological determinism affect her heroines' lives and, in many cases, are compatible with much of Freud and his successors' psychoanalytic thinking. The purpose of The Novels of Margaret Drabble: "this Freudian family nexus," then, is to examine the writer's fatalism by investigating the ways in which her vision resembles the psychoanalytic tradition. Dr. Nicole Bokat's psychobiography focuses on Drabble's fascination with troubling familial relationships. It explores the connections between personal history-including the...


The Peppered Moth
Margaret Drabble
0151005214
Apr 2001
Hardcover
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Book Review
In The Peppered Moth, Margaret Drabble chronicles four generations in the life of a family, homing in on the female line and attempting to explain how genes, DNA, and environment can change or challenge an individual. The tale begins with Bessie Bawtry, a gifted young woman from a South Yorkshire mining town who fails to live up to her promise. It ends with her granddaughter, Faro Gaulden, "a bobby dazzler" radiant with opportunities and ideas, who nonetheless can't quite make the most of what she has. All of this would produce a fairly straightforward and enjoyable tale of family life--and inherited characteristics--but for Drabble's tone, which is, frankly, uneasy. It wavers from the clinical voice-over ("We must try to rediscover the long-ago infant in her vanished world") to the mawkish elegy ("O poor young girls in...


The Enchanted Isles
Herman Melville
1843910152
April 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
One of Melville’s earliest writings, The Enchanted Isles is a hauntingly beautiful descriptive work inspired by a tour of the Galapagos Islands. Originally penned as a travelogue, Melville’s writings form a series of evocative sketches of each of the Galapagos Islands. Recounting their myths and legends, he conjures up the spirit of each in astonishing detail. Read together, they create a timeless classic, perfectly capturing the islands’ eternal charm and mystery. Foreword by Margaret Drabble.

From the Publisher
Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far—far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the...

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