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The Crowded Street (Virago Modern Classics Book 214) by [Holtby, Winifred]

The Crowded Street (Virago Modern Classics Book 214) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 311 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Product description


The theme of "The Crowded Street" is one that is familiar from other Persephone novels: it was then assumed that young women would stay at home while looking for a husband. Muriel, who believes that 'men do as they like' whereas women 'wait to see what they will do', lives in a town in Yorkshire waiting - for what? She tries to conform to the values of her snobbish, socially ambitious mother; she tries to be 'attractive' to men; and, eventually she is rescued, by her friend Delia, a young woman who is in some ways a portrait of Vera Brittain. Throughout the description of life in small-town 'Marshington', Winifred Holtby expressed her conviction that young women should be allowed to live away from home, to work, to develop as personalities away from their families, to shake off the ties that many mothers seemed to think it was their prerogative to impose on their daughters.There are other themes, too, which make the novel fascinating: parts of it are set during the First World War (in 1918 Winifred had left Oxford to serve with the WAACs in France) and it was with first-hand knowledge of war that she spent much of her short life writing and lecturing about pacifism.

Then there are the pre-Cold Comfort Farm scenes: Muriel's sister's marries a farmer's son and lives in circumstances that would, perhaps, contribute to Stella Gibbons' satirical gaze a few years hence. Although Muriel goes away to school, most of the novel describes her life waiting for life to begin, waiting for a husband."The Crowded Street" is thus about the need to withstand the tyranny of sex success. Turn and twist how you will, it comes to that in the end. This book's conclusion is that 'the thing that matters is to take your life into your own hands and live it, accepting responsibility for failure or success. The really fatal thing to do is to let other people make your choices for you, and then to blame them if your schemes should fail and they despise you for the failure'.

About the Author

Winifred Holtby (1898-1935), journalist, critic, feminist, pacifist and author won the James Tait Black Memorial prize with South Riding, her last novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 783 KB
  • Print Length: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (18 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GQ5GXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,731 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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10 June 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
23 November 2013
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21 March 2016
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30 April 2018
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