Helen She was the bestselling author of Regency England Admired by Jane Austen whose fame she eclipsed and dubbed Our Great Maria by Sir Walter Scott John Ruskin declared her work The most re readable in e

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  • Title: Helen
  • Author: Maria Edgeworth John Mullan
  • ISBN: 9780956003898
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
  • She was the bestselling author of Regency England Admired by Jane Austen whose fame she eclipsed and dubbed Our Great Maria by Sir Walter Scott John Ruskin declared her work, The most re readable in existence Isn t it time we started reading Maria Edgeworth Written in 1834, Helen was the last and most psychologically powerful of Edgeworth s novels.Newly orphaned HelShe was the bestselling author of Regency England Admired by Jane Austen whose fame she eclipsed and dubbed Our Great Maria by Sir Walter Scott John Ruskin declared her work, The most re readable in existence Isn t it time we started reading Maria Edgeworth Written in 1834, Helen was the last and most psychologically powerful of Edgeworth s novels.Newly orphaned Helen Stanley is urged to share the home of her childhood friend Lady Cecilia This charming socialite, however, is withholding secrets and soon Helen is drawn into a web of white lies and evasions that threaten not only her hopes for marriage but her very place in society.A fascinating panorama of Britain s political and intellectual elite in the early 1800s and a gripping romantic drama Helen was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell s Wives and Daughters.The book is introduced by John Mullan, Professor of English at UCL He hosts the Guardian Book Club, and contributes regularly to Newsnight Review, LRB and New Statesman.

    One thought on “Helen”

    1. Can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg link to free copy .“ I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom, so common with novel-writers, of degrading, by their contemptuous censure, the very performances to the number of which they are themselves adding; joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insi [...]

    2. Helen is of the moralistic novel variety, and while it is more character driven than typical of the style IMO, the characters do serve (and suffer a little from) the overarching point of the story.The length got a little tedious, I must admit, but it did serve to illustrate the value of truth and honesty, even when falsehood seems necessary for the happiness of the deceived party, in reality it only causes more pain and distrust.Helen is one of those angelically virtuous heroines that are a litt [...]

    3. Helen is the kind of novel where one should not focus on plot. In truth, the plot is very silly; but what redeems this novel is Edgeworth’s character studies—the social and emotional impact on deception and concealment. It is truly amazing how something so insignificant and trivial—school girl deceptions and concealment—can be blown out of proportion, on the brink of becoming a social nightmare for all involved. This is the most interesting part of the novel, and I can easily understand [...]

    4. A really super book. Apparently she was Jane Austen's greatest rival at the time, but she is obviously nowhere near as popular these days. The book has similarites to Austen but is slightly racier (!) and really does involve you in the lives of the characters.

    5. Maria Edgeworth was the best-selling author in Jane Austen's time, and it's not hard to see why. In Helen, she sketches some really excellent characters so that you sympathise with almost all of them. This novel is the inspiration behind Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, except there's actually more drama in Helen than there is in WaD. My favourite character would have to be Esther Clarendon, even though she does not appear very often. She is a very clear sighted young woman and brutally [...]

    6. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Maria Edgeworth’s novel “Helen”. To me Helen seemed to be a novel about lying. The small, little lies we tell and how destructive even they can be. The heroine of the novel, Helen Stanley, is orphaned and goes to live with her dearest friend, Lady Cecelia Clarendon and her husband. Cecelia is a sweet, charming girl; but she has the habit of telling small seemingly harmless lies, that build up and destroy her relationships and her marriage.Now I did enjoy the no [...]

    7. As others have noted, Maria Edgeworth was one of the most popular and esteemed authors of her time. Roughly a contemporary of Jane Austen, she wrote along simiar lines, i.e novels of domestic affairs rather than of larger social movements or "great" events such as wars. Her strength is in her exploration and development of character and a style that remains quite readable nearly 200 years later. I would agree with others' observations, however, that the moralistic tone, drawn-out agonizing (with [...]

    8. There is much to recommend this, including the invigorating common sense of Edgeworth's writing about women and marriage and honesty. But there is plenty of baggy histrionics to bulk out the paper thin plot over 500 pages and the ending is full on emotional excess.

    9. Maria Edgeworth was, apparently, a role model of sorts for Jane Austen. It's very clear in "Helen," a story whose title character is a young woman of perfect integrity and maturing judgement. An enjoyable read for lovers of this literature, which I am.

    10. Great fun! Jane Austen-ish but more author intrusion and instruction on morality. Malre characters a bit cardboard, but females good and she build tension very well in second part! It was a good light read while ploughing through Capital!

    11. This book tells the story of the virtuous, beautiful Helen whose devoted uncle guardian dies, leaving her nothing but debts. She then goes to live with Cecilia, now happily married to a rather strait laced husband. Before she married him, she told him a white lie about her previous boyfriend, and after some incriminating letters appear, she persuades Helen to take the blame for the letters. Although Cecilia promises to tell her husband the truth, she always finds some reason not to do so just th [...]

    12. If you've never read any Edgeworth but are keen to give her a go (maybe you read that she was Jane Austen's greatest competitor?) - then Helen is a good place to start! It's a fairly late book in the author's career, which means that she is less didactic, and more concerned with nuanced characterization, than in earlier books like 'Patronage' and 'Belinda'. 'Helen' also contains an extraordinary portrait of an unrepentant (for the most part) career woman, who chose political influence over mothe [...]

    13. Benché questo romanzo sia stato pubblicato più di dieci anni dopo la morte di Jane Austen, ci mette nelle condizioni di apprezzare l'enorme balzo in avanti che quest'ultima ha impresso alla letteratura inglese, comprendere quanto profondamente abbia modificato un genere che subiva (come dimostra ancora la Edgeworth) le pastoie moralistiche e dottrinarie della produzione letteraria del settecento europeo. Quante prediche, quante disquisizioni, quante tempeste in un bicchier d'acqua, quante occa [...]

    14. I think I went through every agonising emotion that the author intended for the reader. I went through the second half of the book very quickly as I was so unsure how it all would end. I found the characters portrayed very well and I believe that they are very relevant to the present day. I thought that the publishing of the love letters is a very similar thing to leaked photos and the malicious use of images in our modern day way of slandering. All in all a good book despite the frustration thr [...]

    15. This book was very dramatic and annoying in parts, and it has all the 19th century stereotypical characters that can get on my nerves after a while (particularly the perfect girl who never does anything wrong and almost loses her chance at happiness because of her loyalty to somebody who doesn't deserve it), but there was still something compelling about it. Just when I would start to get bored with all the over-emoting, something interesting would happen. Edgeworth is writing about a society th [...]

    16. Miserable. I began this book because I read that Maria Edgeworth was a contemporary of Jane Austin and was exponentially more popular in her time. It is not poorly written but the humorless agony the characters experience goes on for far longer than I can stomach. Helen is the last book Edgeworth wrote and is alledgedly free of moralizing. Instead the characters stop every two pages to deliver long lectures about how to be really racist, or the proper place for women, or how to be horrid to pers [...]

    17. I was really looking forward to read it but now that I got it from the post office I have to say that the cover is really off-putting and nothing to do with the image I have of Maria Edgeworth (I'm writing my dissertation about her) so, even though I don't like to judge a book by its cover, this time I have to say that this cover gives a wrong impression of this novelist I'm disappointed with this sentimentalistic image at the front! It has nothing to do with the hidden polemist and proto-femini [...]

    18. One which I will probably come back to. I was very much enjoying this - and in my opinion, it is better than Austen - but it is so incredibly long. I think it will be a good idea to read one of Edgeworth's smaller books first to see if I continue to enjoy her style and plot. If I am satisfied, I will embark upon the good ship Helen once more.

    19. A few nice tidbits supremely weighed down by almost unbearable tedium. Made it through 63% and just can't take it anymore. I'm sorry Miss Maria, if you had stuck to the story rather than the social commentary I may have continued on. Lady Davenant ad nauseum.

    20. *sigh* much ado over nothing. seemed like a lot of madonna vs whore undertones as well. might be my new millennium sensibilities tho. hard to believe this was the titillating book back in the day. nothing happened. it was all gossip. the scarlet letter had ACTUAL adultery, you know?

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