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The Madness of a Seduced Woman Paperback – 8 Mar 1985


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Paperback, 8 Mar 1985
£87.34 £0.01
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Books; New edition edition (8 Mar 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330285963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330285964
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.2 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,918,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"During all those years when everyone wanted me to tell them...how I came to fire that shot, I never wanted to talk. Now I think I do..." Agnes Dempster - young, beautiful, and accused of murder." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Kuske on 24 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book and from the very first page I was unable to put it down and have stayed up until the early hours of the morning to finish it.
From the first page, Fromberg Schaeffer draws you into the quiet village of North Chittenden, Vermont and into the life and mind of Agnes Dempster, a young girl living in this quiet village with her mother, father and eccentric grandmother.

A nervous and affected child from the start, Fromberg Schaeffer writes an emotional and entirely believable account of a woman driven mad by the all-consuming love she has for the stonecutter she sees on the journey from the town in which she grew up to the exciting city of Montpelier, to which she 'escapes' her dull life and her family. Agnes writes in her account, looking back over the years, her descent into madness and the awful consequence of her passionate and dangerous love for Frank the stonecutter whom she believes her soul was born for after she sees his silhouette as he leaves a burning building carrying in his arms the small child he has saved from the fire.

I found this book captivating and extremely emotionally involving. You cannot help but love and empathise with Agnes despite the terrible act she commits.

If there was something wrong with the book however, it would be the latter section of the book when the people of Montpelier learn of what has happened and side with Agnes almost immediately despite what she has done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Di on 27 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when i was 17, i am now 50 and have just read it again. All through my years this book stayed in my memory. At 17 you don,t remember the books you read if you read any at all, but somehow this one did. You won,t be disapointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By marshwader on 8 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book and it was so difficult to put down! At first it is difficult to read what appears to be the ramblings of a mad woman, but they were! Once you get passed that and get into the story it is very profound. The story is based on a true story and is written exceptionally well with real 'larger than life' characters. The narrative is absolutely compelling that it still haunts me now. I think one review on the back of the book, says a modern day Tess of the D'urbervilles and I have to agree. I haven't read anything further from this author but will keep my eye out for her work. If this is an example of her work she is not to be missed!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Smith on 2 Feb 2008
Format: Paperback
The front cover captivated me the first time I saw it....and it has haunted me ever since! It tells the story of a young girl tormented and trapped by things that would make her turn of the century contemparies happy - such as beauty and wealth. Only halfway through the book - as being the mother of five children - I can only consume a few pages at a time! But addicted to the outcome of young Agnes and her ill fated doom!
BRILLIANT!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lexicon on 1 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Why? Well because the story is captivating, the writing is sublime(almost poetic in places), the depth of characterisation and feeling is wonderful and the ending is sad but poignant. This book will stay with you long after you have read the final sentence and that can't be a bad thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
My goodness I had forgotten just what a shocking, powerful, deeply felt and beautifully written book this is. I'd just finished reading and reviewing the excellent Mrs Lincoln which reminded me of this book, which I read nearly 20 years ago. Both books examine how a passionate, unusual and intelligent woman at the tail end of the 19th or early 20th century could be stultified, pilloried and incarcerated because they couldn't fit into the prescribed norms for women. The lack of any outlet for passionate engagement in life except marriage and motherhood - and even that, within fairly harsh prescriptions, coupled with a tendency to deep thinking, deep feeling, - created the terrain for huge conflict and probable explosion.

Both books are either about real individuals and their real stories (Mrs Lincoln) or based on a real case, as here.

Shaeffer writes like an angel, and her exploration of 'dysfunction' within a family traces back within 3 generations, and is full of insight. Perhaps it is truer to say that she suggests that the 'dysfunction' is not purely within the family, more within a society which didn't allow women expression of their potential. To be feisty, ornery, opinionated, questioning, full of sexual desire just didn't do.

This is the sort of book it is really hard to read sitting still, for a long period of time. The desire to stay reading the book battles with the palpably dynamic creation of Agnes, (the 'mad' seduced woman) and her rich vitality. The power of Schaffer's writing seems to demand the book is read whilst performing vigorous exercise, so great is her ability to make Agnes alive and pent up with feeling.
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