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East Lynne by [Wood, Mrs. Henry]
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East Lynne Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Length: 417 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"This is a splendid edition. Its introduction is an authoritative and up to date guide to the novel and its context. A generous and judicious selection of contemporary reviews of East Lynne and the sensation novel further amplify the context, and provide an excellent resource for students." - Lyn Pykett, University of Wales-Aberystwyth

"In his introduction, Andrew Maunder suggests that East Lynne may be 'one of the most famous unread works in the English language.' This immensely readable and teachable edition should help to preserve its fame while increasing its readership. Maunder locates the novel in its various contexts—social, historical, and literary—focusing especially on the material conditions of the novel's publication, and the various "woman questions" of the middle nineteenth century. The supplemental materials are thorough and well-chosen, and for the selections from T. A. Palmer's theatrical adaptation alone, the Broadview edition would be my choice for teaching." - Elisabeth Rose Gruner, University of Richmond


Excellent introduction, nicely presented.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1374 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846374642
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00847BZLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,073 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Eat your heart out Wilkie Collins. What a fantastic book this is! I just loved every minute of it (and there were a LOT of minutes - for some reason it took me an age to read). For about three weeks I felt like I was living in the middle of a Victorian soap-opera. There was murder, betrayal, divorce, disguises and death and all this set among a backdrop of stately homes and horse-and-carriages. What's not to love?

I can't understand why this book is not better known or held in higher esteem. Hallelujah for Oxford World Classics reviving this book (with a fab cover too). I haven't read anywhere near the amount of Victorian classics that I want to yet but for me, this ranks among my favourites now. Classed as a sensational novel in the 1800's when it was written, this book was serialised in a weekly newspaper. How I would have waited with baited breath for each new edition to hit the news- stands!

The books main character is Lady Isabel Vane who lives at East Lynne (a grand stately home) with her Father. When her Father, the Earl of Mount Severn, dies and his debts are discovered Lady Isabel is proposed to by the lovely young lawyer, Archibald Carlyle (much to the heartache of one Barbara Hare who, unbeknown to Archibald, is in love with him). Lady Isabel and Archibald seem happy together and go on to have three children, but all the while Archibald is helping Barbara Hare to clear her brother's name for a murder that was committed some years ago and for which he escaped the scene of the crime and hasn't been seen since. With all the clandestine meetings between Archibald and Barbara, Lady Isabel is overcome by jealousy and in the heat of the moment abandons her entire family for a man of very dubious character.
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Format: Paperback
A welcome new edition of this classic Victorian shocker. After a slow start, the story develops into a true "ripping yarn" full of adultery, bigamy, murder and fraud - who says the Victorians were repressed?
This edition offers an excellent introduction, copious footnotes and a wealth of additional material. Appendices include serialisation details, contemporary reviews, extracts from the 1862 stage adaptation (which contains that much-quoted line "dead ... and never called me mother!") and selections from contemporary writings on women and sensation fiction. This edition will be incredibly useful for anyone studying Victorian popular fiction - my advance copy is well-thumbed already!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For incident, drama, passion and intrigue 'East Lynne' makes 'The Woman in White' look like an exercise in quiet, dreary Sunday-afternoon restraint; and while the immortal line "Dead, and never called me mother!" is sadly absent (it comes from a stage adaptation rather than from the novel itself) the quotation does give an accurate taste of what the reader can expect.

The plot is quite straight forward: the lovely but poor Lady Isabel marries Archibald Carlyle, the local lawyer and all-round decent chap. Unfortunately she then finds herself eaten-up by jealousy as her husband begins to spend more and more time with the neighbourhood beauty Barbara Hare. Running away with the local charming cad, Francis Levison, Lady Isabel finds herself separated from her children and suddenly stuck with a boorish, brute of a man. Later however, as the devious hand of fate deals her a very peculiar hand indeed, she finds herself heavily disguised and back with her former husband as the governess to his (and of course to her own) children. As a word to describe the plot "implausible" doesn't do it justice but Ellen Wood carries the whole thing off with such style and panache that the 600 pages of the tale rattle along quite beautifully. She was, on the basis of this novel at least, an absolute natural when it came to telling a story and telling it well. The characters are all interesting and have their own peculiar traits: Carlyle's sister, Corny, for example is a shrieking harridan of fiscal prudence, while Justice Hare is a model of pompous bombast and his daughter - the very lovely Barbara - is the epitome of an innocent girl seething inwardly as unrequited love gnaws away at her soul.
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By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're going to read Victorian Literature, you might as well start with this one. It's a good read and, despite its 624 pages, remarkably easy to get through.

It has all the right ingredients for any reader who enjoys a modern family saga: complex emotional relationships, disguises and secret meetings, an unsolved murder. Was Ellen Wood the Jackie Collins of her day? I would say so.

There are the moralistic bits of Victorian Christian thought, but they help to create a clear idea of how people thought then and are not as oppressive as might be expected. The theme of redemption underpins the emotional response to events in the novel. Mrs Wood creates a balanced view and, in some senses, chats to the reader rather than preaching.

Lady Isabel is a great central character, if a bit mawkish at time; following her story is very engaging. Afy Hallijohn is one of those wonderful comic and crafty creations who comes into her own in the third part of the book.

Scenery and description form a good part of the narrative and conjure up rural England and its people with a nice vividness.

There are familiar techniques of suspense which are as familiar from modern soap opera as nineteenth century melodrama. The book isn't anywhere near as sentimental as the play and it doesn't contain the lines, "Dead, dead and never called me mother!" (I thought that was a bit of a shame, but then the play only contains words approximately similar).

I heartily recommend getting into this one.
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