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Headlong Hall

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  67 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Headlong Hall was an instant success upon its anonymous first appearance in 1816. Like most of Peacock's novels, it assembles a group of characters Mr Cranium, Miss Poppyseed, Mr Treacle and others who, while eating and drinking to abandon, discuss topics which were then of interest to Peacock and his circle of intellectual friends. Some of the figures are thinly-disguse ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published March 27th 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1816)
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Headlong Hall was the first of Thomas Love Peacock's novels and the simplest. I suppose it was intended as satire, but there is no longer any way of identifying who the characters represent among Peacock's contemporaries, except where he specifies in the notes. Happily, it works as comedy, even if it is not not roll-around-the-floor hilarious.

The set up is straightforward: a variety of guests are invited to spend time at a Welsh country house, there to discuss whatever takes their fancy. The thr
HEADLONG HALL. (1815). Thomas Love Peacock. ***.
The only other novel I’ve read by Peacock was “Crotchet’s Castle.” I do remember enjoying it, although it has been twenty years ago. This novel was Peacock’s first, and is lesser known and read, although it outlines his style that was to become his trademark. There is no plot to speak of. The whole premise is based on a holiday party, for Christmas, that was put on by Squire Headlong at his manor house in the country. He didn’t have close friends,
Marts  (Thinker)
Squire Headlong invites a myriad of guests to his home for a party and many an interesting philosophical discourse occurs...
I read this because it was mentioned in The Moving Toyshop, which I loved, so I was curious. This was written in 1815 and I was floored by how the opinions variously expressed seemed to be very modern and the humor was still funny almost 200 years later. The language is difficult but I think that was supposed to be part of the humor. Having the Kindle helped hugely. And it is short, novella in length, so it didn't take long and you can skim over the wordy parts and the songs.

The point of the sat
Timothy Ferguson
Is it cheating if you helped record the book? Headlong Hall was performed as a dramatic reading by Librivox, and I narrated. Like many people who listen to their own recordings, I think my bits the worst of the lot. It sounded fine on my own equipment, but through the $5 bud headphones I’m using on my phone (since the ridiculously expensive ones that came with it gave up the ghost) my part’s terrible. You can tell I have a mic that’s too powerful for the room, because there’s a lot of “air”. aro ...more
The satire is very heavy-handed, so it was somewhat dull, but fortunately brief. :) The satire is predominantly about three schools of philosophy: those who think that human progress in science/technology is positive, those who think it's a negative thing & that we were better off when humans were hardly more than apes, and the third that the positives & negatives pretty much cancel each other out. It was all right and would - should - be used in courses that examine satire as socio-poli ...more
I can't help but be a little let down by this novel. 'Nightmare Abbey' is so brilliant that I had high expectations for this one, which were bound to be disappointed. There are far less philosophical ideas that are made fun of. 'Nightmare Abbey' is a lot richer in ideas and diversity, which makes it a lot more fun to read.
Brilliant satire played out in tightly choreographed sentences, laugh-aloud funny. Wit so dry I read it with a pucker. I can see why Tom Stoppard named him as a primary influence,but I was also reminded of Twain.
What a strange little book! There really were several laugh-out-loud moments of satirical commentary on academics and their silly ways. The ending seems quite a perfect counterpoint to all the Austen novels.
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More or less plotless but amusing. Mostly satirical philosophical discussions.
Not sure if I'd have enjoyed it if it was much longer.
Apr 15, 2013 Ken marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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English novelist and poet. For most of his life Peacock worked for the East India Co. He was a close friend of Percy B. Shelley, who greatly inspired his writing. His best verse is interspersed in his novels, which are dominated by the conversations of their characters and satirize the intellectual currents of the day. His best-known work, Nightmare Abbey (1818), satirizes romantic melancholy and ...more
More about Thomas Love Peacock...
Nightmare Abbey Nightmare Abbey; Crotchet Castle Crotchet Castle (Dodo Press) Maid Marian Gryll Grange

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“A mere wilderness, as you see, even now in December; but in summer a complete nursery of briers, a forest of thistles, a plantation of nettles, without any live stock but goats, that have eaten up all the bark of the trees. Here you see is the pedestal of a statue, with only half a leg and four toes remaining: there were many here once. When I was a boy, I used to sit every day on the shoulders of Hercules: what became of him I have never been able to ascertain. Neptune has been lying these seven years in the dust-hole; Atlas had his head knocked off to fit him for propping a shed; and only the day before yesterday we fished Bacchus out of the horse-pond.” 0 likes
“The Squire flew over to Mr Escot. "I told you," said he, "I would settle him: but there is a very hard condition attached to his compliance."

"I submit to it," said Mr Escot, "be it what it may."

"Nothing less," said Squire Headlong, "than the absolute and unconditional surrender of the skull of Cadwallader."

"I resign it," said Mr Escot.

"The skull is yours," said the squire, skipping over to Mr Cranium.

"I am perfectly satisfied," said Mr Cranium.

"The lady is yours," said the squire, skipping back to Mr Escot.

"I am the happiest man alive," said Mr Escot.”
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