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Gone To Earth (VMC) Paperback – 31 Dec 1979


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Gone To Earth (VMC) + Precious Bane (VMC) + The House in Dormer Forest
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (31 Dec. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860681432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860681434
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"'Exemplary adaptation... succeeds beyond expectation' The Times on Anna Karenina" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* A work of rare poetic beauty in the tradition of the Brontes and Hardy

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
SMALL feckless clouds were hurried across the vast untroubled sky - shepherdless, futile, imponderable - and were torn to fragments on the fangs of the mountains, so ending their ephemeral adventures with nothing of their fugitive existence left but a few tears. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aletheuon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hazel Woodus, a beautifully constructed character, is young and simple - not at all stupid, but uneducated and unconventional. She loves nature and her independence and has no great need of emotional intimacy or conventional values. She has a pet fox and looks after other wounded animals and wants no more than to be allowed to be herself, living in the remote Shropshire hills with her equally unnconventional father. Unfortunately for her, she is young, ripe and beautiful and two men fall in love with her - a good and honourable local church minister and the dissolute local squire. Driven to desperation by their competing claims and the pressures of convention, she finds a harrowing way of escape.
This was Mary Webb's second book, written in 1917. It is a darkly beautiful story, very intelligently written and quite moving. I was stimulated in both mind and imagination as I read. Mary Webb lived a fairly short and difficult life and did not become well-known until after her death. I think she was not far short of a literary genius, unrelentingly truthful and realistic, askng the difficult questions and leaving us to wrestle with the answers.
Gone to Earth was made into a film in 1950, with Jennifer Jones as Hazel. The 110-minute restored version was later made available by the National Film Archive and has a high reputation.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Artist on 16 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I feel that this book was written, even torn, deep from Mary Webb's soul, and it is with this same part of myself that I was led, by the majesty of her writing, to read it. It left me with feelings and thoughts that are linked to something wonderful and mysterious, a faint strain of music, a taste, a touch of something both tangible and elusive. It is one of the most potent things I have ever read. I absolutely love this book, but don't expect it to be a romance with the usual endings, everything about it is unique, uplifting and disturbing.

It is book about conflict, of nature and spirituality, of the earth and heaven, of woman and man, of goodness and evil, truth and hypocrisy, the wild and the tame. It has a similar theme to David Garnett's "Lady into Fox" but with a much broader and deeper span. Mary Webb is an unrecognised genius and we are the poorer for not experiencing and honouring her works.

These enormous themes are explored through Hazel, an impoverished young girl who is a self-contained free spirit, her world is all of nature, the plants, animals and the love, connection and protection she has for them all. As men and the world enter her life, we see how her purity is threatened and distracted. One man is a clergyman and offers her safety and spiritual love, the other a brute, who kills all she loves but yet entices her sexual instincts. She is such an innocent, without the intellect to understand anything of what she feels. As the story progresses, we see how she becomes increasingly torn. I don't want to give away the ending, although you may guess, but please read it, it is like one long beautiful poem that will, if you allow it, open and deepen your sense and appreciation of nature, life and truth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D B on 13 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Gone to Earth"
A beautifully written book, characters astutely observed and succinctly outlined, with thoughtful comments on the human condition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather White on 7 Jan. 2013
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I first read this book about 50 years ago, it has lost none of it's peculiar charm in the interim. Not up to the standard of 'Precious Bane' but still a very good read.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By marie.buckley@totalise.co.uk on 26 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
I was gripped by the main characters and the author made it easy to indentify with them. The author's strange nature-based outlook on life is extremely obvious in the book, which i enjoyed emensely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The colourful, detailed and lyrical description of the countryside softens the rather bleak intrigue of the novel. I did not find the characters too wooden and although predictable , the plot gathers enough momentum to make the reading enjoyable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Verona on 29 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
I read Gone to Earth many years ago and have recently re-read it. While its an enjoyable read for a 14 year old girl it is also over romanticised and of course very much influenced by Thomas Hardy's tales of intense and passionate rustic folk. Stella Gibbons satirised this genre when she wrote "Cold Comfort Farm" - do read this if you have not already. Some other reviews I have read here are taking the book just a little too seriously - if not pompously. Which is what Stella Gibbons found so funny.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donny on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the ending hadn't been given away in the Introduction. Overall very good story, although the heroine is slightly annoying as she is constantly changing her mind.
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