Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jury is still out on Walpole, 1 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Judith Paris (Paperback)
Warning: this review contains spoilers

Hugh Walpole was a hugely popular author in the 1930s but he has fallen out of favour with readers since his death in 1941 and is not widely read nowadays.

I first came across him when Radio 4 dramatised his 'Herries Chronicle' in the early 1970s. The Chronicle consists of four novels which tell the story of a Cumbrian family over two hundred years, from 1730 to 1930.

'Judith Paris' is the second in the series and I re-read it recently to see what my reaction to it would be after 38 years.

Walpole's greatest strength lies in his descriptive powers. His description of the Lakeland scenery and the effect of the weather on the countryside is as good as anything in Hardy. He is also excellent at conjuring up atmosphere, whether it be describing furniture, clothes or food. He knows his period well (the novel covers the years 1774 to 1822) and he uses his knowledge to good effect.

Walpole's weakness lies in his delineation of character. He fails to make any of his characters well-rounded with the exception, maybe, of his eponymous heroine. Walpole paints on a very broad canvas, his characters have powerful emotions and they display grand gestures.There is nothing inherently wrong with such an approach, but I find it unsatisfactory. For example, the suicide of one of the characters dosen't convince as we have not been shown adequately enough why he should have taken his own life.

Some episodes are included which, whilst being well done, don't really add anything to the development of the plot, for example the description of a hanging.

An enjoyable read, but not a great novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.3 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Hove

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,729