Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Victorian Year #10

This week I read often in Anthony Trollope's Orley Farm. I also began Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment was the classic spins winner.

From Orley Farm:
  • The body dries up and withers away, and the bones grow old; the brain, too, becomes decrepit, as do the sight, the hearing, and the soul. But the heart that is tender once remains tender to the last.
  • “But, mamma, would you let a man die because it would cost a few pounds to cure him?” “My dear, we all hope that Mr. Graham won’t die — at any rate not at present. If there be any danger you may be sure that your papa will send for the best advice.”
  • But Madeline was by no means satisfied. She could not understand economy in a matter of life and death.
  • “He’s all right; only he’ll be as fretful as a porcupine, shut up there. At least I should be. Are there lots of novels in the house? Mind you send for a batch to-morrow. Novels are the only chance a man has when he’s laid up like that.”
  • She would have thought, had she brought herself absolutely to think upon it, that all speech of love should be very delicate; that love should grow slowly, and then be whispered softly, doubtingly, and with infinite care.“And when a man knows he’s right, he has a deal of inward satisfaction in the feeling.”
  • You can put two and two together as well as I can, Mr. Mason. I find they make four. I don’t know whether your calculation will be the same. My belief is, that these people are determined to save that woman.
  • In speaking of the character and antecedents of Felix Graham I have said that he was moulding a wife for himself. The idea of a wife thus moulded to fit a man’s own grooves, and educated to suit matrimonial purposes according to the exact views of the future husband was by no means original with him.
  • It is open, in the first place, to this objection, — that the moulder does not generally conceive such idea very early in life, and the idea when conceived must necessarily be carried out on a young subject.
  • Such a plan is the result of much deliberate thought, and has generally arisen from long observation, on the part of the thinker, of the unhappiness arising from marriages in which there has been no moulding. Such a frame of mind comes upon a bachelor, perhaps about his thirty-fifth year, and then he goes to work with a girl of fourteen.
  • On the whole I think that the ordinary plan is the better, and even the safer. Dance with a girl three times, and if you like the light of her eye and the tone of voice with which she, breathless, answers your little questions about horseflesh and music — about affairs masculine and feminine, — then take the leap in the dark. There is danger, no doubt; but the moulded wife is, I think, more dangerous.
From Crime and Punishment
  • On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, toward K. bridge.
  • It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of.
  • But I am talking too much. It’s because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it is that I chatter because I do nothing.
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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