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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
Blue Velvet
Format: Paperback|Change

on 7 April 2009
This may well be the best of the `Victorian/Edwardian' volumes originally issued by Grove Press, books that tend to have names such as James Jennings and Patrick Henden associated with them, although authorship in this genre is tantalisingly fraught with enigmas. It does not have the ethereal other-worldliness that characterises some of these, and it has a definite plot, one replete with arousing incidents and scenarios. The central character, Clarissa, has been given by her husband to a couple as a sort of enjoying and enjoyable servant, and the book grazes agreeably between a range of different time-frames, both before and after this event. The couple are dominated by the wife, Margaret, in her demands, but slowly, with the help of others who become entranced by Clarissa's amenable nature, Margaret finds the tables turned, she then becoming submissive, indeed expendable. Clarissa's youthful dalliances with her parents are charmingly described. Eventually, Clarissa manages to slough off all of her past, becoming lady of all she encounters. A delightful book, fully of atmosphere and far more though-provoking than is the norm in this genre.
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on 21 May 2001
This is a keeper. It is right up there with the classics of the genre like Frannie Jones, Mrs. Saxon, and Beatrice and Eveline. It has every kind of perversion - incest, sodomy, voyeurism, exhibitionism. You name it. But what I liked best was the dreamlike, surreal quality of the writing. Its written in first person, from the heroine's point of view, and alternating chapters jump between the past and the present. The heroine starts life as a country girl from a decent but not too rich family, and seems to flow with a series of events and encounters, ending up as a jaded courtesan for a rich nobleman. The writer must have been on some good drugs, because it is wicked and sexy and yet it is also mild social satire.
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