The Old Manor House

The Old Manor House Jacqueline Labbe s new edition creates a valuable array of supplementary documents for reading the subtle politics of this novel and its negotiations with the terms of fictional romance Theresa M Kell

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  • Title: The Old Manor House
  • Author: Charlotte Turner Smith
  • ISBN: 9781551112138
  • Page: 337
  • Format: Paperback
  • Jacqueline Labbe s new edition creates a valuable array of supplementary documents for reading the subtle politics of this novel and its negotiations with the terms of fictional romance Theresa M Kelley, University of Wisconsin Madison

    One thought on “The Old Manor House”

    1. It is a gruelingly long book at 533 pages of small print, and language that is very wordy and ornate. It was published in 1793, and it is a marvel really, both as social commentary and a demonstration of the manners and speech patterns of yesteryear. I loved saying these long and complex sentences aloud, somewhat to the distress of my family, although the cat didn't mind, thank you. I thought the author was very droll and amusing. She pokes fun at the social posturing of the well born and wealth [...]

    2. After loving Charlotte Smith's 'Desmond', at first I was a little disappointed with this novel as it seems rather slow and repetitive by comparison, and the heroine, Monimia, is a bit insipid. However, about halfway through it becomes a lot more interesting, when the hero, Orlando, stops lingering around the old manor house of the title and goes off to fight in the American Wars of Independence. Smith is said to have been an influence on Dickens, and you can see it in the later chapters of the b [...]

    3. An odd but interesting and very readable mixture of fable, social critique and novel of manners. The preface to this book tells us the author stretched it out because she needed the money, and it shows, because it does not really get going until well into the second half. This may explain why the first two volumes look more like a novel of manners than the social critique the book was billed as. On the plus side, the language is engaging and most of the characters are, too, although the two lead [...]

    4. Smith's best novel, this novel has an astonishing breadth. A "condition of England" novel that is a forerunner of Mansfield Park, a comment on the French Revolution through Smith's depiction of the American Revolution, and a study of injustice, this is a very interesting novel that manages to integrate plot and social/political critique in a sophisticated and believable manner. Smith took her time writing this one, and it shows. Well worth a read, as it is one of the most complex novels of the 1 [...]

    5. This is arguably Charlotte Smith's most famous book. It relates the story of romantic hero, Orlando, who stands to inherit The Old Manor House of the title, Rayland Hall. However, he can only do this if he keeps in the good books of "old Tabby" Mrs Rayland, the elderly current owner. During his visits there, he has made a childhood friend of Mrs Lennard's (Mrs Rayland's cantankerous companion) ward. Mrs. Lennard may be cruel and exacting, but she too has a romantic streak and she has named her w [...]

    6. What a long read! But the time invested was repaid with emotional investment -- I felt more than once how sorry I was that Orlando's hopes were blasted, and found myself anxious when I put the book down about Monimia's fate. Seems to be doing much of the same social commentary as Northanger Abbey will later, in a much more seriously earnest way -- none of the Gothic horrors need superstition or historical distance to render the characters' distress plausible.

    7. 1. I know it's just that styles and preferences have changed, but I found all of the characters excruciating. Orlando is quite clearly being mocked by his author, but literally everyone else cries far too much and is generally incapable of anything useful or constructive-- and then occasionally the plot requires real action, and suddenly someone who otherwise only cries and faints can think quickly and take action.2. This edition makes me very angry. First, the insistence on a photograph for the [...]

    8. 3.5 StarsI wasn't sure about this one at first—reading it for class. It was a little slow and dragging for maybe the first half or so, but after a while picked up, and by the end I was enjoying it much more. I didn't really care for the romance, but otherwise the plot was interesting enough to keep me engaged up to the last page, particularly when the focus was more on Orlando and less on Monimia.

    9. I rolled my eyes frequently at the hero, Orlando, especially in the beginning. His overly sentimental attachment to a girl reminded me of another Orlando in the movie Troy. But I still really enjoyed the book.

    10. Interesting, definitely. Probably more palatable for people really interested in Victorian or non-Gothic Romantic era. I don't love the writing style. Still, worth a read for what it adds to historical knowledge of the literature at the time. The author's history is also very impressive.

    11. I enjoy the story itself, but it's fairly long and exhausting. I don't recommend this to anyone who isn't into English Literature at an academic standpoint.

    12. I based my dissertation on this book and really enjoyed it. Smith's background makes the story more complex and interesting.

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