World Enough and Time: A Romantic Novel
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World Enough and Time: A Romantic Novel

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In the admixture of wilderness and elegant society that was 1826 Kentucky, Jeremiah Beaumont, a brilliant, imaginative lawyer, stood trial for murdering his benefactor and father figure, the politician Colonel Cassius Fort. Now all the documents are in hand to reconstruct Beaumont's life story - his crime, his trial, his ultimate sin and punishment - and the historian-narr...more
Hardcover, First Edition
Published 1950 by Random House
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Ruth Sims
This was one of those classic novels that makes me feel extremely small and ignorant. Who am I to criticize someone as gifted and honored as Robert Penn Warren? I read it some years ago, and don't remember many details except that it was a very, very long book and depressing as hell. I remember feeling such pity for Jeremiah, the protagonist, who came to such a ghastly end, and terrible pity for his poor wife, Rachel, disgraced and mad and grieving. I remember, probably more than anything else,...more
Merilee
I did not enjoy this nearly as well as I did All the King's Men, but I do acknowledge that it is very well-written and Penn Warren's background as a poet it obvious.
Carol
Dark and depressing, yet strangely ~at times~ fascinating. A constant train wreck of misguided honor and deceit. Comparable, I would suppose, to a lengthy 465 page visit into the minds of a brilliant sociopath (Beaumont) and his equally disturbed, duplicitous wife/friends/enemies. Written by a Pulitzer Prize/Poet Laureate winner, I was slightly disappointed by his exceptionally redundant writing style. Gifted author, yes....but the fact remains, this semi-factual tale could have been told more i...more
Tim
"I lay there and shuddered that all man's life should be but the twisting and contortion of a cat hung up strangling in a string for sport of boys."

It is perhaps inevitable that Robert Penn Warren's first post-"All the King's Men" novel would suffer in comparison. And "World Enough and Time," set mostly in 1825-26, does. This 1950 novel goes on entirely too long — it's Warren's longest novel, I think — but there is enough of Warren's dazzling wordplay to recommend it.

Jeremiah Beaumont's life doe...more
Kristy
This book is an uneven and melodramatic retelling of a real murder and trial in 1820s Kentucky, and I just loved it. Warren (who is most famous for his novel All the King’s Men) draws the reader into the near-frontier of 19th century Kentucky, and swirls us around in the (coincidentally) uneven and melodramatic minds of Jeremiah Beaumont and his wife, Rachael. Esoteric 19th century politics, damn depressing characters, and inevitable tragedies all combine into an unexpectedly moving novel. A few...more
John Harder
Jeremiah Beaumont, living in the Kentucky frontier is pushed to murder in defense of his wife’s honor. He never regards his victim as a fully developed human being – he only sees his one alleged dishonorable act.

The tables are turned when Beaumont, a highly complex, intelligent, feeling human being is judged by his community.

This novel is a tragedy in the classic sense – one sees that the natures of Beaumont and his wife, and their inability to let matters rest doom them to heartache.

World Enoug...more
Sahar
i spent years writing essays involving this book, using it as the basis for all my projects in and out of school; poems, videos, pictures, whatever. I was more entranced by this writing than any ever before. I dont know if it would have the same effect if i read it for the first time as an adult, but the concept of the purity of the idea used by the main character was as revolutionary to me at 14 as the metaphor of the fog in one flew over the cuckoos nest. A prosaic and philosophical novel from...more
Richard Epstein
"Name another novel by Robert Penn Warren." "Uh...." That would be the most common response, I think. This one will do. It's a good book, thoroughly Penn Warren-ish, and, after all, the end of man is knowledge. It's not All the King's Men, but what is?
Robert Hays
I first read this book many years ago, and just went back to it for a second look recently. It is classic Robert Penn Warren and anyone who likes historical fiction will find it hard to put down. When I read it the first time it brought vivid memories of Frankfort, the capital of Kentucky, which I had unintentionally wound up in as a hitchhiker when I was in the Army. I've been there a few times since, and every time I visit I think again of Warren's great story.
Lucy
intense story, beautiful writing
Melissa
Didn't finish.
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Robert Penn Warren was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic, and was one of the founders of New Criticism. He was also a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. He won the Pulitzer in 1947 for his novel All the King's Men (1946) and won his subsequent Pulitzer Prizes for poetry in 1957 and then...more
More about Robert Penn Warren...
All the King's Men All the King's Men: A Play A Place to Come to Band of Angels The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren

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