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Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

J. A. Sutherland
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jun 1999 Oxford World's Classics
In "Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet?" John Sutherland unravels 34 literary puzzles in a sequel to his bestselling works "Is Heathcliff a Murderer?" and "Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?". As well as exploring new conundrums Professor Sutherland revisits some previous puzzles with the help of readers who offer their own ingenious solutions, and set fresh posers for investigation. Victorian drug habits, railway systems, sanitation and dentistry are only a few of the areas that shed light on the motives and circumstances of some of literature's most famous characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Betsey Trotwood, Count Dracula, Anna Karenina, Alice and many more come under the spotlight in John Sutherland's highly entertaining collection. 'Sutherland puts humanity and the human, logic and curiosity, back into criticism ...His respect for the realism of texts inspires, inspirits and delights.' - Valentine Cunningham.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (3 Jun 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192838849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192838841
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Sutherland puts humanity and the human, logic and curiosity, back into criticism ... His respect for the realism of texts inspires, inspirits and delights." -- Valentine Cunningham

About the Author

John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another look at classic books 1 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of a series. Each one looks a a number of classic, or at least well known novels, and discusses the plot holes, trying to offer a solution. They are all well argued, brief and very entertaining. I am often embarressed not to have noticed the gaps in favourite novels. and ususally agree with the proposed solution.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat battered cover 14 May 2014
By 42again
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was rated as "Very Good"condition ny the seller. The inside was okay: clean, untorn and unmarked, but the cover was somewhat battered.
The articles in the book are great fun - even if one has not read the novel they are referring to.
I do not agree with the analysis that Charlotte *betrays* Elizabeth. ;-)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect item 13 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Perfect item, thououghly matching description. No delays in arriving date. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Satisfied both of article and of service.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent & entertaining 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
John Sutherland faces the reader with litery "puzzles", thus entertaining him with intelligent remarks and witty solutions. If you love literature, don't miss it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great companion to the classics 26 April 2006
By K. Giles - Published on
This is the third volume of Sutherland's puzzles in classic fiction series. Along with the new mysteries, Sutherland also revisits some of the puzzles from "Is Heathcliff a Murderer?" and "Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?" to acknowledges corrections and alternate interpretations.

As usual, Sutherland's work is interesting and entertaining. He examines the works of 19th century greats such as Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, and William Thackery, and sheds light onto both mysteries in the texts and the writing process itself. I don't always agree with his interpretations of the texts, but Sutherland's essays are always well-written, humorous, and engaging. He'll make you want to read the classics all over again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As The Well Runs Dry 23 Feb 2007
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Mom always said, don't fret if you scraping the bottom of the barrel, that's where all the best stuff is! However with John Sutherland's series of puzzles in classic fiction, there's no denying that, with the publication of this volume, he had reached a cul-de-sac pretty much: no turning back. the pickings here are slim, and many of the best ones were contributed by avid fans of the series, who would write in with their own ideas. Even the schoolchildren with their riddles concerning Dickens' Christmas Carol do better with the puzzlers. In the first two books, his supply seemed inexhaustible, and every time you turned the page of one of precious Victorian novels you found something newly strange. Were they elm trees or lime trees in MIDDLEMARCH? That sort of thing. Now the elm-lime controversy is about the most breathtaking he can summon up.

Where to turn to next? Well, he was able to leap back in time to polish off the mysteries of Shakespeare (how does a clock toll the hours in JULIUS CAESAR centuries before clouds). And then he came to the present day and modern fiction in the REBECCA book. All the while managing to keep Olivier's divine profile on the cover (except for the JANE EYRE book which had to suffice with Orson Welles). More power to him, he's a great git, but this just isn't his best. The anomalies of Frances Price in MANSFIELD PARK, of Esther's mother-in-law in BLEAK HOUSE, of Jim's family in HUCKLEBERRY FINN, all have been treated often and elsewhere by others. (In fact, Sutherland is almost invariably creepy when he comes to write about American fiction, I wonder why.)

That said, I do like some of the puzzles, for example, in A TALE OF TWO CITIES, Sydney Carton knocks out his lookalike using chloroform (sparking a chloroform craze in Victorian fiction). The only problem is, the book takes place during the last days of the French Revolution, of course, before chloroform's invention. And usually i skip over Sutherland's Trollope and Thackeray riddles, maintaining a low opinion of both men as writers and thinkers, but here he almost persuades you they're not only habitually careless, but matchless too. There's still a lot of life at barrel's bottom, just like my mother used to claim.
7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, who is it? 9 Jan 2000
By A. Wells - Published on
Wow! I was amazed, especially how Sutherland revised his essays on Wuthering Heights and Mill on the Floss. What marvelous insights? What does Lady Dedlock die of? Why doesn't Laura tell her own story in the Woman in White? Read this marvelous book to find out.
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