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Precious Bane Paperback – 13 Jul 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Absolute Classics; First Thus edition (13 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840023864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840023862
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,266,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Mary Webb need fear no comparison with any writer who has attempted to capture the soul of nature in words (JOHN BUCHAN)

[Webb] was a great mystic and a master of both "inscape" and landscape. Any dull afternoon in London is lifted by being transported to the Mary Webb country of the Shropshire hills and the Welsh borderland. (MAIL ON SUNDAY) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

*A love story in the tradition of the Brontes and Hardy
*Won the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse in 1925

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Angel Jem VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary Webb was a British novelist of the early 20th Century. She lived nearly all her life in Shropshire, and loved the area. She died aged 46 in 1927, having written six novels and several volumes of poetry and short stories. Not many people read her now, but I count that as a shame. She wrote beautifully poetic descriptions of landscapes, and romances about the land. Her style infuriated Stella Gibbons so much that she wrote Cold Comfort Farm as a parody.

My favourite Mary Webb novel is Precious Bane. I met this at aged 20, when the BBC did an excellent adaptation with Clive Owen and Janet McTeer in what may have been almost their first leading roles. I just remember watching it, and being carried away by the pain Prue felt on being different for several reasons. Number one is, she has a hare-lip, at a time when many country folk took this as a sign of devilment and were superstitious enough to leave her alone. She also chooses to learn to read and to learn from the local Wizard Beguildy. Added to that the isolation of the farm and the natural intelligence that she has, and she is an interesting character. As soon as I could, I got a copy of the book, and one sits on my bedside table today.

I took Prue to heart when I was young. Because I was slightly weird (a sci-fi fan, a reader, a crafter) at a time when all of that was not the thing to do, I didn’t have many close friends locally. I remember thinking that I’d never meet the right man for me, or be a happy person. Of course, with hindsight I know that was all teenage angst and what I needed to do was relax and enjoy life, but I think wisdom is always more powerful after the fact.
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People wax lyrical about this book, particularly the nature. She wrote it about 80 years after the time it was set, i.e. Repeal of the Corn Laws, so not sure what she actually described. Stella Gibbons wrote Cold Comfort Farm as an antidote to Precious Bane and that I would give 5stars
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Very good , I love Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, the Bronte sisters, I felt quite at home with Mary Webb's characters, I will happily delve into her collection again
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Great
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Format: Paperback
Precious Bane is a passionate book where nature is immensly powerful and human spirit is inspiring.I have re-read it many times and consider Pru to be a thrilling if unconventional heroine. She is good in every sense and the reader feels every one of her emotions. The life she leads is extraordinary, dictated by nature and superstition. Her isolation would make most of us weep,but Pru's truly strong character survives and thrives. The triumph of her love for the weaver makes my heart sing.This book is a joy and the perfect antidote to the american best seller.
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Format: Paperback
Mary webb only wrote 6 novels in her short, tragic life. And with one of these , she died before completion. Each novel is magical and has something to offer to the discerning reader. Precious Bane is her masterpiece, though Gone to Earth is not far behind. A lot has already been said about this book and the characters. Mary Webb had an amazing feel for nature and her descriptive writing is stunningly beautiful. The heroine of this novel, Prudence Sarn is really Mary Webb in many ways.She had grave's diesease from a very young age. The frequent bouts grew worse as she grew older and her appearance ( mainly her large eyes, very bulging ) led her to experience a lot of the sad reactions and hostility that Pru Sarn does.Poor Mary Webb, a superb, delicate novelist and a wonderful poet who had so much talent to offer. The very sad thing is that her novels and poetry never sold well until after her death at 46.just before she died , the then Prime minister Stanley Baldwin publicly acclaimed Precious Bane, soon after this she died, then her works became huge sellers, reprinted many times. Gone To earth was filmed beautifully with Jennifer Jones and all location work was in Mary's beloved Shropshire.Of course the film , despite being magical never really captured the complete novel.But to see it enables the reader / viewer to see the county Mary loved.Precious Bane is set in the Shropshire of the past, the county that Mary set all her novels in. Precious Bane is a wonderful, evocative piece of writing. No one wrote like Mary, no one could capture the descriptive powers she had. Read all her works, her books are available and second hand copies can be found pretty cheap.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Precious Bane has as its heroine Prudence Sarn, a young woman persecuted by her local community as a witch, because of her hair lip. She observes the workings of the natural world around her as she works with her brother Gideon, on their farm in Shropshire at the beginning of the 18th century. The book follows Gideon's relentless ambition for money and power and the devasation it leaves in its wake. And at its centre, it follows the impossible love that Prudence has for the weaver, Kester. The book is peopled with characters who stay with you after the book is read: Beguildy the wizard, Jancis who truly loved Gideon and paid the ultimate price, Tilly the Parsons daughter who caused so much harm, Gideon with his brooding passion and heart of granite, and of course Kester and Prue, who shine as two pure spirits in an otherwise cruel and heartless world.
This book is written with such an observation for nature and the seasons that it almost takes your breath away. And the virtue of its heroine, and her honest and enduring love for Kester, is as inspiring as it is moving.
I love this book, despite it's send up by Stella Gibbons in "Cold Comfort Farm". Read it for the beautiful prose with which Mary Webb describes the natural world surrounding Sarn and Sarn mere. And read if for the real heartstopping romance of it. You'll either love it or hate it.
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