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Unfashioned Creatures by [McDowell, Lesley]
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Unfashioned Creatures Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 292 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Unfashioned Creatures...neatly captures the fevered menace of later 19th-century classics such as Wuthering Heights or indeed Frankenstein itself...These ghostly encounters are quietly chilling, and it's some compliment to McDowell that she succeeds so well in sweeping the modern reader into her world of pre-Victorian murk and superstition....As a psychological whodunit, Unfashioned Creatures keeps up the pressure, even beyond the final page. ... Unfashioned Creatures is a finely worked and confident flight of Gothic fancy that stands up well to scrutiny in our cynical, self-analytical age. McDowell's ear for dialogue is already finely tuned and her handling of the contrasting narratives deftly judged...a tantalising read. --Mary Crockett, The Scotsman<br ><br >Set in 1823, when Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had become a bestseller, this novel imagines the life of Mary's real-life childhood friend Isabella Baxter Booth....Mary wrote about her as being 'disturbed in her reason', and Lesley McDowell makes this the premise for an exploration of madness and the prevailing attitudes to it in the 19th century, with a particular emphasis on the treatment of women deemed to be 'of unsound mind'. It is a rich historical context.... McDowell maintains an engaging edge of ambiguity throughout. Apart from being a highly intelligent historical exploration of madness and our attitudes to it, this novel is also a compelling account of the developing relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient, in which the former comes to exert an extraordinary power over the latter, with disturbing consequences. McDowell's prose is dense but sharp, charged with urgency by her deep interest in her subject. As in Alexander Balfour's theory of madness, her passion for it in this novel is infectious. --Brian McCabe, Herald Scotland<br ><br >'A meticulously researched gothic novel full of madness, ghosts and murderous desires. Lesley McDowell brilliantly evokes the tension between the scientific imagination and creative longings. Monstrously good.' --Louise Welsh. <br ><br >
More praise for Lesley McDowell: 'McDowell's confident writing boasts smart dialogue and subtle lyrical style throughout.' --Scottish Review of Books<br ><br >'Controversial and provocative.' --The Independent

Set in 1823, when Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had become a bestseller, this novel imagines the life of Mary's real-life childhood friend Isabella Baxter Booth....Mary wrote about her as being 'disturbed in her reason', and Lesley McDowell makes this the premise for an exploration of madness and the prevailing attitudes to it in the 19th century, with a particular emphasis on the treatment of women deemed to be 'of unsound mind'. It is a rich historical context.... McDowell maintains an engaging edge of ambiguity throughout. Apart from being a highly intelligent historical exploration of madness and our attitudes to it, this novel is also a compelling account of the developing relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient, in which the former comes to exert an extraordinary power over the latter, with disturbing consequences. McDowell's prose is dense but sharp, charged with urgency by her deep interest in her subject. As in Alexander Balfour's theory of madness, her passion for it in this novel is infectious. --Brian McCabe, Herald Scotland

'A meticulously researched gothic novel full of madness, ghosts and murderous desires. Lesley McDowell brilliantly evokes the tension between the scientific imagination and creative longings. Monstrously good.' - Louise Welsh. More praise for Lesley McDowell: 'McDowell's confident writing boasts smart dialogue and subtle lyrical style throughout.' - Scottish Review of Books. 'Controversial and provocative.' - The Independent. --Louise Welsh

About the Author

Lesley McDowell is a literary critic for The Herald, The Scotsman and The Independent on Sunday. Her first novel was The Picnic (2007). Her second book, Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th-Century Women Writers, was shortlisted for the non-fiction prize in the 2011 Scottish Book Awards.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 862 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Saraband (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F0L12XS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,739 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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