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The House of Ulloa (Penguin Classics)

The House of Ulloa (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Emilia Bazan , Paul O'Prey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description


An absolutely first-rate novelist [...] Bazán's genius lies in the way she mixes comedy, farce, realism and heightened-pitch hysteria with a dash of gothic [...] People may travel by donkey in this book, but it could have been written yesterday (Nick Lezard Guardian)

Pardo Bazán's mastery of social types and of the political currents that swirled around the liberal revolution are unsurpassed in Spanish literature ... O'Prey and Graves ... avoid awkward literalisms while nonetheless remaining true to the spirit of the original (New Criterion)

Product Description

This rich and unforgettable story of sexual intrigue and political scheming, written by the Spanish feminist and intellectual Emilia Pardo Bazan, deserves recognition as one of the great nineteenth-century novels.

The House of Ulloa follows pure and pious Father Julián Alvarez, who is sent to a remote country estate to put the affairs of the marquis, an irresponsible libertine, in order. When he discovers moral decadence, cruelty and corruption at his new home, Julián's well-meaning but ineffectual attempts to prevent the fall of the House of Ulloa end in tragedy. The House of Ulloa is the finest achievement of Emilia Pardo Bazán, a prolific writer, feminist, traveller and intellectual, and one of the most dynamic figures of her time.

Fans of Zola or Hardy will enjoy the novel's rich naturalism, which combines gothic elements with evocative descriptions of Spanish customs and the countryside. At the same time, the novel evokes the social comedy of a Dickens or Thackeray with its biting social satire, frank exposure of sexual mores, and gentle mockery of its innocent hero-priest.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 467 KB
  • Print Length: 279 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140445021
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Re-issue edition (1 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E54VE52
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,257 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A beautifully written, sumptuous novel that combines elements of comedy, satire and adventure as well as gothic tropes, Bazan's novel deserves to be far better known than it is.

The author's characterisations of the well-meaning but ineffective Father Julián Alvarez, the brash, libertine marquis and the scheming antagonist Primitivo, are among the most fascinating of 19th century literature. Played against a backdrop of political conniving and religious uncertainty, House of Ulloa is a novel rich in life, and brilliantly executed. It should take pride of place on every literature-lover's bookshelf!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was chosen for our book club,so probably not one I would normally have picked. However I enjoyed it because it was different,but was not totally won over by some of the translation which I felt was a touch modern.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political corruption and scandalous sex. 14 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book Loved the innocence of the young priest resisting the temptations of the earthy serving girl . The relationship with the saintly wife of the 'Marquis ' was delicate and tender. I really could see this as suitable to be made into a movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great novel. 16 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really entertaining story with humour and pathos. I had never heard of the author before but trusted a recommendation I got.
I like to be transported back into another century and culture - especially when the writing is as lively as this is.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By H. Tee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the naturalist novel by the Spanish female author Bazan, written in 1886. It takes its realistic style from famous authors like Zola, Galdos, Flaubert, Frank Norris, George Moore, Gissing, Queiros, Matto de Turner etc writing about the same time being mid-late 1800s. It is supposedly Bazan's finest achievement being a prolific author but straight off this story is no Zola or Norris.

This is quite a simple story. We are introduced to the new chaplain Julian Alvarez arriving to the manor house of the Marquis of Ulloa (Don Pedro), a single brutish man of the country - he has a ruthless scheming farm manager Primivito who's daughter, Sabal, does the cooking. The naive priest soon learns that Sabal's young boy Percho is the illegitimate son of Pedro. The historical backdrop is the Glorious Revolution of 1868 when the fight was between democratic constitutional or absolute monarchy. Julian tries to effect a moral improvement by getting Pedro to consider visiting his cousins with a view to marriage (and getting a male heir). The tale takes the classic turn of events (you know where it will lead) when he falls for the innocent, weak, youngest of four Nucha. Julian though himself innocent does in an extremely mild way, I inferred, fancy Nucha himself too. The intrigues around the Marquis putting himself up for election with Primivito secretly working against him leads to tragedy.

May be I expected too much and though a well written story and perhaps at the time mention of bastard children, wife abuse (bruised wrist) and election rigging was scandalous or challenging, the style really did lack passion or drive - not dry as such just never getting above a simmer. I did find interest in the period setting yet this didn't really take centre stage either.
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