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The Recluse

3.0 of 5 stars 3.00  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Eliza Emily Donnithorne lived most of her life in isolation in a large house in the Sydney suburb of Newtown.

She is thought to have been the model for the character of Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, who was jilted at the altar, and became a recluse, wearing her wedding dress, and keeping her wedding banquet set, until the day she died. But did it rea
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Paperback, First, 153 pages
Published 2012 by Giramondo
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Community Reviews

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Nat
Eliza Donnithorne has, for various odd reasons, been associated with the character of Dickens' Miss Havisham. In this short book, Juers shows us that there is more myth than muscle to the stories surrounding Donnithorne.

I admire Juers for pursuing a subject that ultimately proves largely insubstantial; but there is very little to say about Donnithorne and so the book is heavily bulked out with irrelevant tangents.

The book also doesn't quite know what it wants to be. It alternates between heavil
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Katie
It is a bit hard to write a book out a recluse about whom almost nothing is known. This book approaches Eliza Donnithorne as a starting point for the times, Newtown, Dickens, being a recluse,and much more. The author uses the analogy of lace where the holes are as important as the fabric ,

For me there were too many holes, and somehow there was too much extraneous fabric. There were too many stories about people who were peripheral -someone's sister once had a friend who.... It was a bit scatty a
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Lisa
Ever heard of Eliza Emily Donnithorne (1821-1886)?

I bet you have. You know her as Miss Havisham, from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. She’s that ice-queen who was jilted at the altar, and became a recluse. She wore her wedding dress till she died and she lived her life amid the detritus of her wedding banquet. She wreaked her revenge on boys and men with the beautiful Estella, brought up to break their hearts. Eliza Emily Donnithorne who lived most of her life in the Sydney suburb of Newtow
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Newtown Review of Books
There are several urban myths about Newtown’s famous reclusive spinster, Elizabeth (Eliza) Emily Donnithorne. The most persistent, and attractive, is that she was one of the models for Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. (It’s even mentioned in the information booklet for Camperdown Cemetery.) In this fascinating book, Evelyn Juers sets out first to discover the truth behind the myth and second to discover Eliza Donnithorne herself.

Read full review here: http://newtownreviewofbooks.com/2012/...
Amanda Rose
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Evelyn Juers is the copublisher of Giramondo Publishing and HEAT magazine. She has lived in Hamburg, Sydney, London, and Geneva. She has a PhD from the University of Essex, and her essays on art and literature have appeared in publications around the world.
More about Evelyn Juers...
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