Ann Veronica (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Mar 2005
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About the Author
H.G. Wells was a professional writer and journalist, who published more than a hundred books, including novels, histories, essays and programmes for world regeneration. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. His controversial views on sexual equality and the shape of a truly developed nation remain directly relevant to our world today. He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'.
Margaret Drabble is the author of fiction and non-ficton and she has edited the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She is a CBE and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Sita A. Schütt was until recently Assýstant Professor in the English Language and Literature at Bilkent University, Ankara.She has published articles on French and English detective fiction and Ford Madox Ford. She is currently writing a novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
One last thing: Ann Veronica is a great (if unconventional) love story. The last quarter of the book is incredibly touching and romantic. Not bad for a 'mere' sci-fi writer...
And this novel, "Ann Veronica", tells the story of a middle class young woman who is fed up of being expected to be purely decorative. Her father and her boyfriends really are incapable of understanding why she should want to study science, or control her own life in any way. The portrayal of these male chauvinists is quite brilliant - Well's does not make them out to be bad people, just irrevocably blinkered by the social customs of the time.
Ann Veronica herself strikes out, makes men friends, joins militant suffragette action... Wells's novel is believable and touching, and I feel really helps us to understand the values of the time (he wrote it in 1909).
'Ann Veronica' is certainly not without its problems, though. Wells appears to struggle at times with what to do with the appealing heroine he has created, and through her, seems to both criticise and mock Ann Veronica's father's paternal instincts, before creating an ending in which it is implied she needs a man to care for her; all the while both seeming to support and to denigrate the suffragette movement, the latter done often through the weak caricature that is the character of Miss Miniver. Similarly, whilst Wells shows a knowing wit on certain issues in the novel, characters like Ann Veronica's father Peter, amongst others; come across rather too much as Dickensian caricatures; a trait which sits uneasily with this largely progressive novel. All in all, 'Ann Veronica' is an interesting and sometimes insightful, but also flawed work; which seems to slip between the artful and the clumsy - but as always with Wells, you can't fault him for trying his hand at another genre of novel.
Ann Veronica "Vee" asks the question "why can't a woman be like a man" and sets out to find out why. She discovers all sorts of men, some stuffy and some devious. She may one day stumble over the perfect man. She tries to be independent and is thwarted at every turn; that is until she realizes there are better things to do than just compete.
We get to grow with Vee and go through several long dissertations, Ayn Rand style, over politics freedom, love, equality, and whatnot. All the talk loses its way and with dumb luck returns to the story. We are treated to a travelogue and scratch ourselves with a long talk about the prison dingies. Just as it, starts to get interest the story stops dead in the middle of a thought.
The story is ok and some of the subjects brought up are still relevant today. However, if you look a little closer the story as with much fiction is just a venue to express H.G's concepts of free love.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
The eponymous heroine of this novel by H.G.Wells, first published in 1909, feels stifled - 'wrappered' is the word Wells uses -... Read more
All that you would expect from one of the Masters of English writing. A book to be enjoyed by all agesPublished on 21 Dec. 2013 by B. Hough