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Precious Bane [Kindle Edition]

Mary Webb
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.27
Kindle Price: £3.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

'She has a style of exquisite beauty which yet has both force and restraint, simplicity and subtlety she has fancy and wit, delicious humour and pathos. She sees and knows men aright as no other novelist does. She has, In short, genius' Mr. Edwin Pugh

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Product Description


Mary Webb need fear no comparison with any writer who has attempted to capture the soul of nature in words (JOHN BUCHAN)

[Webb] was a great mystic and a master of both "inscape" and landscape. Any dull afternoon in London is lifted by being transported to the Mary Webb country of the Shropshire hills and the Welsh borderland. (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

*A love story in the tradition of the Brontes and Hardy

*Won the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse in 1925

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 838 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456569791
  • Publisher: Pomona Press (16 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TGIBD4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favourite novels 24 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book full of unforgettable characters. Definitely a book I would take to a desert island. While depicting the hard reality of farming life it is also life affirming. Prue is a wonderful, positive character who sees the best in everything despite her affliction and the cruel, ignorant comments about her.

As my paper copy is wearing thin just downloads this so I can dip into it on the go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book to persevere with 20 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had never heard of this book until Lucy suggested it as a read for the inaugural meeting of the Bicester Booklings, and so I had little idea of what to expect from it.

It's not the easiest book too get into though, I found, being written in the thick dialect of rural Shropshire. It is absolutely beautifully written though, and reminded me in many ways of Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie. Unlike though with that book, Precious Bane takes its time to keep going and I had to really to force myself to keep going. The way that Mary Webb uses the characters surnames a lot in preference to their first names didn't help me keep track of the story.

Persevere I did though and once I got half way it was a rollercoaster of white that I was fully engaged with. During the second half, whilst I had previously likened the story to Cider With Rosie, now I was finding it on a par with Halldór Laxness' Independent as people for unrelenting depressiveness.

Precious Bane does at least have a happy ending and one that brings joy to your heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Fiction Book 14 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read this book before and found it very moving.I could relate to her predicament as a family member had the same problem, but luckily he lived in more enlightened times. About six years ago I struck up a conversation with a stranger at a second hand book stall and she mentioned that her favourite book was Precious Bane, I couldn't believe that we both loved this book.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Webb, Mary. Precious Bane
Prudence Sarn, who tells the story, opens with a paean to the landscape around her home at Sarn. She contrasts it with Plash, the neighbouring estate, the home of the Beguildys which is poor and neglected, the land being unproductive and its inhabitants idle. However, Plash has two advantages, notably Mister Beguildy, a sadistic wizard who is lettered and Jancis his beautiful daughter. Pru is cursed with a hare lip, which puts her out of the marriage market, but she manages to earn enough for lessons from Beguildy, and in due course many great ladies ‘have come to me, time and again, to write their love-letters for them, and a bitter old task it is, to write other women’s love-letters out of your own burning heart.’
Early on, Gideon, Sue’s elder brother and a fanatical son of the soil, engages her in a solemn oath to join him in saving up enough to buy a noble property in Lullingford, the nearest town. At the same time he becomes bewitched by Jancis, the beautiful daughter of the irascible Beguildy who detests him. Gideon’s running battles with his ultra-strict father end when the latter perishes after a bout of apoplexy while punishing his son.
Set back in the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this rural scene is exquisitely evoked by Prue,in simple dialect that reflects her honest puzzlement about human beings and their place in the naural world. The ‘bane’ of the title is reflected not only in Sue’s hare-lip but in the poison that does for her mother and the demonic activities that destroy not only the prospering farm of the Sarns but the love of Gideon and Jancis. The shadow of tragedy hangs over all from the start.
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