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Flush (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 26 Mar 2009
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"A most triumphant trespassing of human imagination into dog sensibilities... The result is a book of irresistible grace and charm" (Spectator)
"A masterpiece... It is not fiction because it has the substance, the reality of truth. It is not biography because it has the freedom, the artistry of fiction" (New York Herald Tribune Books) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
A lively and touching biography of the cocker spaniel given to Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Mary Russell Mitford. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Poor Flush has to contend with being dog-napped, having to accept Robert Browning into his life and then the Browning's baby. He travels form London to Italy, making him a well traveled pooch, also he has to endure the Spiritualist craze of the time.
This book gives you an insight into Elizabeth Barrett Browning's life and the love she had for her dog, as well as a dog's view of living with humans. Definitely the lightest of Woolf's works this is also possibly the most accessible. If you have never read Virginia Woolf before this is a good book to make you acquainted with her work. If you are fans of her books you will love this. This book also includes the original illustrations and Margaret Forster's introduction gives an insight into Flush and his effect on Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
This is probably Woolf at her most playful as she imagines a 'biography' for Flush, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's dog. Told from Flush's point of view, this follows his introduction in the Barrett household, the advent of Robert Browning and the move to Italy... from a dog's viewpoint.
I have to admit that I found this all a bit too cute for my tastes. We certainly might read Flush as a symbol for other groups excluded from, and yet existing on the margins of, nineteenth-century upper middle-class life, such as the personal maids who served women like Elizabeth Barrett, but the 'dogginess' of this didn't really work for me (maybe I'm too much of a cat person?)
Others have clearly loved this - but if you're looking for an accessible way into Woolf, I would recommend Orlando over this.
The story is deceptively simple and there are those who think the writing is far too whimsical and quite unworthy of the brilliant Virginia Woolf. However, I think they have missed the point. Flush comes from the freedom of the countryside to live in the Barrett's house in the city as a companion to the constantly ailing Elizabeth. Ms Woolf uses Flush's thoughts and observations to tell us a great deal about the way society expected women to behave in Victorian England, the restrictions on them and their lack of opportunities. This engaging (cocker spaniel!) narrator is a very socially aware pet and he gives us a very clear picture of life in London at that time. He notices class conflicts and struggles, the claustrophobic atmosphere in the Barrett's home and the squalor in parts of the city. At the same time, Flush provides a glimpse into the life of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning both before and after Robert Browning enters her life.
The book is quite charming and this gorgeous Persephone edition makes a beautiful gift for a friend or for yourself.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Charming tale told from the point of view of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's spaniel, Flush, that will be utterly endearing to dog lovers. Read morePublished 20 days ago by WhatCathyReadNext
the book has got a highly intellectual preface, useful for a dissertation, the print is good, i ts a pleasant read. Read morePublished on 24 Jun. 2014 by izabella sarkozi
I read this many years ago and decided to recommend it to my Book Group as we wanted to read something about dogs. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2013 by KLP
The only reason I bought this was because it was our book club choice and my heart sank when I heard about it! I'm not wild about dogs and don't like biographies. Read morePublished on 13 Sept. 2010 by Ailsa