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The Buccaneers (BBC Books) Paperback – 26 Jan 1995

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Film & TV Tie-in ed edition (26 Jan. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140241647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140241648
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 144,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Joep Cornelissen has done a masterful job in integrating many ideas and approaches to corporate communication: academic theories, professional cases, management and communication theories, stakeholder theories, and U.S. and European perspectives. As a result, students, scholars, and practitioners all will gain a broad understanding of the discipline by reading this book (James E. Grunig 2011-04-25) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Joep Cornelissen is a Professor in Corporate Communication at VU University Amsterdam and Leeds University Business School and a Visiting Professor at IE Business School in Madrid and the University of Southern Denmark. In his day job, he teaches corporate communication and change management on MA and MBA programmes and actively writes on these topics for leading academic journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, and the Journal of Management Studies. He also frequently speaks at conferences and draws on his management and communication expertise to work with entrepreneurs and managers in private and public sector organizations.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It was the height of the racing season in Saratoga. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
The last of Edith Wharton's novels, The Buccaneers kept me intrigued from beginning to end. The focus of The Buccaneers is the clash of two cultures - young American women of the 1870s marrying into British aristocracy. Edith Wharton's heroines are fresh and modern, and don't seem distanced by their long dresses or old-fashioned customs. Although their lives must revolve around finding husbands, since women of their time generally had no other future than that of a wife and mother, they remain spirited and lively young women and so are fascinating characters even to us 21st century readers. Nan St George, a free-spirited girl whose dreams sit uncomfortably amongst the stiff traditions of her husband's noble lineage, is especially sympathetic as she comes to realise that her marriage has become her prison despite it being a glorious success in the eyes of society.
The description in this novel is powerful, summoning up vivid scenes in only a few well-chosen words, and her evocation of rural landscapes is often exquisite. This is a novel that those who write will delight in, and those who simply enjoy a good read will find a tale to lose themselves in. My only complaint was that Edith Wharton did not finish it before she died! I was so eager to find out what would become of Nan and whether she would eventually find happiness, that the abrupt finish mid-chapter came as a shock and I was sorry to close the book having been denied the pleasure of seeing a wonderful story come to what would undoubtedly have been an exciting and well-crafted conclusion. However, most of the novel is here, and only the ending is left to the reader's imagination.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's an unfortunate fact that any prolific author is going to leave a half-finished book behind them. And when Edith Wharton died in 1937, she left a partly-finished novel, "The Buccaneers," which was later finished by Marion Mainwaring. Unfortunately, Mainwaring couldn't equal Wharton's style, and the resulting book is a bit too rough to be excellent.

The St. George family is wealthy and cultured, but since they are "new money," haughty Virginia and childlike, passionate Nan are excluded from New York society. Nan's governess offers an alternative: the girls and three other snubbed debutantes will spend a season in England, where the newness of their money won't matter. The girls all jump at the opportunity (especially with handsome young aristos running around).

England's aristocracy greets them with both suspicion and delight: Most people love the honest, innocent attitude of the American girls. But when Virginia becomes engaged to a mild-mannered aristocrat, some people see the Americans as "stealing" eligible Englishmen. Meanwhile, Nan has fallen in love with an impoverished aristocrat, but she has some growing up to do first...

Okay, nobody expected Wharton's manuscript to simply sit there, unfinished. It's not very satisfying, for one thing. But "The Buccaneers" doesn't quite work as a Wharton novel. Don't worry, it's a fun read with glimmers of Wharton's wit and societal observation. She just took the story across the pond to England.

The problem is that Marion Mainwaring doesn't write like Wharton. She writes like someone TRYING to write like Wharton, and so her style and characterizations seem very exaggerated at times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 22 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
Unfinished at the time of Edith Wharton's death in 1937, The Buccaneers was later completed by Marian Mainwaring and published in 1993. Set in the late nineteenth century, it is a story in which newly rich American girls go to London for "the season" and to find husbands. Like the novels of Henry James, one of Wharton's friends, it stresses the contrast between the values of new American society and those of long-established society of Europe, setting the bright enthusiasms of the Americans against the ritualized behaviors of upperclass Europeans, the freedoms of the Americans against the social and familial obligations of those abroad.
The daughters of the St. George and Elmsworth families have been snubbed by New York society for the newness of their wealth, and when their friend Conchita Closson marries a member of the British nobility, they follow her to England, intending to participate in "the season" and perhaps find husbands of their own. Though the older girls sometimes compete for the same suitors and are preoccupied with the superficialities of society, the youngest St. George sister, Nan, still retains her carefree spirit, her innocence, and her zest for life.
Wharton completed about three-fifths of the novel before her death, leaving a plot outline for the remainder of the novel. More melodramatic than most of her other novels, The Buccaneers is filled with domestic intrigues, as straightforward but remarkably naïve American heiresses are wooed by faithless suitors who need funds to support their traditional lifestyles. Nan's courtship and marriage become the emotional and dramatic focus of the last part of the novel.
The point at which Mainwaring begins writing is obvious.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 65 reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully written, compelling characters. 6 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Most of us know Edith Wharton either through
reading Ethan Frome in high school, or having
seen The Age of Innocence at the movie

theater. While she is best know for these works
they are dim in tone and portray the oppressive
nature of society.
In The Buccaneers, Wharton presents us with a group
of young women who have been rejected by
late 19th Century NY society, and journey to
England in search of husbands. Each of the
characters in fully drawn, and while Wharton
maintains her description of society as oppressive, she
counters this with the idealism and hope
of her brave young women and societal rules that with time are changing.
These women for the most part strive
to attain happiness, and unlike Wharton's
other principal characters, do acheive it.
This is probably the only Wharton novel
to end on a note of happiness and hope.
Combined with the richly drawn backdrop of 19th
century English & American society, it makes
for an enchanting and provocative read.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
American Beauties Seek British Titles/Brits Seek American $$ 28 Jun. 2003
By Jana L. Perskie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Edith Wharton's last novel opens at the height of the racing season in Saratoga, NY, in 1876. Here America's 'nouveau riche' women gather; mothers and daughters who have been shunned by the elite, 'old money' society, scheme to marry their girls into the British aristocracy. Four beautiful young women become fast friends, as they dream and scheme together of potential suitors and titles in far off England. An English woman, unmarried and sophisticated, is hired to instruct the four friends in 'all that is necessary' to be successfully presented into British society. The girls' quest is most certainly not an impossible one. Many eligible, young aristocrats are short of funds necessary to keep up their vast estates. They are more than willing to marry American money, especially when wrapped in a beautiful, charming package, which will allow them to live in the style to which they are accustomed.
The story is told through the eyes, and from the hearts, of these young debutantes - wide-eyed, innocent and full of fun and American energy. Their longed-for entry into English society, and their subsequent marriages, joys and disappointments, as well as their strong, never waning, friendship for each other, is chronicled here with fascinating detail. The world of their childish fantasies is not the world of reality, as romance fades and financial worries, marital infidelities and lost love take the place of past dreams. They each struggle with the conflict between individual and social fulfillment, repressed sexuality, and the manners and mores of Britain's 'old families.' They discover secrets that were kept from them during courtship - intrigues, and hidden, devastating character flaws in their matrimonial choices.
Edith Wharton's descriptions of the wonderful American and British settings - the gorgeous countryside, great homes and extravagant furnishings, lavish clothing and courtship rites are remarkable. Each of the four young women have much in common, although their characters are quite different. Part of the glory of this novel is Wharton's development of her characters and their growth, as the young women mature with time and experience. The lesser characters are vividly drawn and complex. Her portrayal of the conflict between the American old society and the immense wealth of the newly rich robber barons and their socially ambitious wives, is an accurate and compelling glimpse of our past.
I know that Edith Wharton died before completing this extraordinary novel. I could wish, along with thousands of others, I am sure, that she had been allowed to live long enough to complete this masterpiece. However, Marion Mainwaring's conclusion does not diminish my immense enjoyment of the book in the least.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Died with Wharton 20 May 2001
By mulcahey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The first two-thirds of THE BUCCANEERS is brilliant, Wharton's at the top of her form -- hilarious, penetrating, exciting, effortless. Before reading, I didn't know and didn't want to inform myself precisely where the original material ended; I wanted to perpetuate the hope that there could be another great Wharton novel I hadn't read. But the book dies after chapter 29. It's like falling off a cliff. You have to be pretty insensible not to feel it yourself, and it's tremendously disappointing. I couldn't read more than a few pages of the added material, and then quit out of loyalty. Still, the Wharton first draft is a kick to read -- if for no other reason, for instance, than to see what a perfect first chapter looks like.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
"You're a gang of buccaneers, you [Americans] are." 22 Jan. 2006
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Unfinished at the time of Edith Wharton's death in 1937, The Buccaneers was later completed by Marian Mainwaring and published in 1993. Set in the late nineteenth century, it is a story in which newly rich American girls go to London for "the season" and to find husbands. Like the novels of Henry James, one of Wharton's friends, it stresses the contrast between the values of new American society and those of the long-established society of Europe, setting the bright enthusiasms of the Americans against the ritualized behaviors of upperclass Londoners, the freedoms of the Americans against the social and familial obligations of the Europeans.

The daughters of the St. George and Elmsworth families have been snubbed by New York society for the newness of their wealth, and when their friend Conchita Closson marries a member of the British nobility, they follow her to England, intending to participate in "the season" and perhaps find husbands of their own. Though the older girls sometimes compete for the same suitors and are preoccupied with the superficialities of society, the youngest St. George sister, Nan, still retains her carefree spirit, her innocence, and her zest for life.

Wharton completed about three-fifths of the novel before her death, leaving a plot outline for the remainder of the novel. More melodramatic than most of her other novels, The Buccaneers is filled with domestic intrigues, as straightforward but remarkably naïve American heiresses are wooed by faithless suitors who need funds to support their traditional lifestyles. Nan's courtship and marriage become the emotional and dramatic focus of the last part of the novel.

The point at which Mainwaring begins writing is obvious. Though she follows the plot summary which Wharton left behind, her language is less elegant and less formal, her emphasis on the sexual aspects of the relationships more blatant. Marriage, when viewed by the participants as a social responsibility, rather than as a free, romantic choice, leads to the opportunistic marriages we see here, with one partner gaining at the expense of the other. Women take lovers, withhold sexual favors from their husbands--and talk about everyone else who does what they are doing. Trapped in stultifying relationships, they gain social acceptance at the expense of their freedom and happiness. The ending, filled with ironies, is unique among Wharton's novels, feeling more like a Gothic romance than Wharton's usual social commentary. n Mary Whipple
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Ravishing "Buccaneers" 12 Mar. 2005
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's an unfortunate fact that any prolific author is going to leave a half-finished book behind them. And when Edith Wharton died in 1937, she left a partly-finished novel, "The Buccaneers," which was later finished by Marion Mainwaring. Unfortunately, Mainwaring couldn't equal Wharton's style, and the resulting book is a bit too rough to be excellent.

The St. George family is wealthy and cultured, but since they are "new money," haughty Virginia and childlike, passionate Nan are excluded from New York society. Nan's governess offers an alternative: the girls and three other snubbed debutantes will spend a season in England, where the newness of their money won't matter. The girls all jump at the opportunity (especially with handsome young aristos running around).

England's aristocracy greets them with both suspicion and delight: Most people love the honest, innocent attitude of the American girls. But when Virginia becomes engaged to a mild-mannered aristocrat, some people see the Americans as "stealing" eligible Englishmen. Meanwhile, Nan has fallen in love with an impoverished aristocrat, but she has some growing up to do first...

Okay, nobody expected Wharton's manuscript to simply sit there, unfinished. It's not very satisfying, for one thing. But "The Buccaneers" doesn't quite work as a Wharton novel. Don't worry, it's a fun read with glimmers of Wharton's wit and societal observation. She just took the story across the pond to England.

The problem is that Marion Mainwaring doesn't write like Wharton. She writes like someone TRYING to write like Wharton, and so her style and characterizations seem very exaggerated at times. Fortunately she only wrote about thirty percent of the book (based on Wharton's original synopsis) and so most of the book has Wharton's flavor.

Not that the Wharton sections are quite perfect either -- since the book was unfinished, some parts of it have a "second draft" feel. And her sharp observations feel dulled here. But it accurately captures Wharton's preoccupation with Victorian propriety, manners, and the delicate social structure around old New York. Not to mention a dash of Henry James, with the stories of American innocents abroad.

The concept of new vs. old money was a big deal in the 1870s, especially since it eventually overturned the old social order. Wharton populated her novel with wide-eyed (and sometimes loudmouthed) American girls, and impoverished young dukes and earls who are trying to keep the crumbling old estates going. Wharton also spiced up the cast with flamboyant mistresses, amnesiac noblemen, and a prim governess who happens to be the cousin of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Edith Wharton left a promising book behind her when she died, and fortunately "The Buccaneers" was given passable treatment by Marion Mainwaring. It's too rough to be among Wharton's best, but this flawed novel is still a fun read.
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