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Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet?: Further Puzzles in Classic Fiction

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  120 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this sequel to his popular works Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Can Jane Eyre Be Happy?, John Sutherland unravels thirty-four new literary puzzles, once again combining erudition with bold investigative speculation. In addition to these new conundrums, Professor Sutherland revisits some previous puzzles with the help of readers who offer their own ingenious solutions and ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 23rd 1999 by Oxford University Press
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Mar 20, 2016 Jean rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jean by: Richard Thomas
Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? Further Puzzles in Classic Fiction, is is another book in the series by John Sutherland, of literary conundrums, ideal for brainboxes to get their teeth into. The author is a British academic, a Professor of English literature with a distinguished record. These are further puzzles; here Sutherland has widened his purview to include more than his favourite Victorian age. The conundrums still all have their source in classic novels, but this time a couple are from an ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Bry rated it it was ok
Note: This rating only pertains to approximately 5 of the essays in the book which is comprised of about 30-35 essays. I read the ones that addressed Jane Austen's works, Alice in Wonderland, and North and South.

I picked this book up at the library because of the intriguing title, which is also the title of one of the essay's in the book. It is also one of the shortest essays - so it was a bit of misleading title.

The book addresses 'puzzles' within classic literature and the author, John Suther
Nov 10, 2013 Cat. rated it liked it
Boy, do I feel ignorant: out of 34 chapters in this book, I have read only 7 of the titles discussed. Just about 20%. Apparently, my Brit Lit class needed to be 5 times longer than it was!

Of the ones with which I'm familiar:
How do the Cratchits cook Scrooge's turkey? (A Christmas Carol)-- ...because, after all, it is huge and delivered in the middle of the day on Christmas and needs to have the feathers removed, etc. Sutherland's solution is that they ate in the middle of the night, causing Bob
Richard Thomas
Dec 07, 2014 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing
One the series of literary conundrums by John Sutherland. It is both entertaining and thought provoking in setting out the enigmas created in great writing.
Feb 04, 2012 Margie rated it liked it
Dammit, now I have to read a bunch of classics. I will now admit publicly that I have never read The Mill on the Floss. Or Daniel Deronda.

However, this book is enjoyable even if you don't know the books (though it certainly helps, and some of the puzzles might be spoilers). It's best to read these separately rather than in one sitting. Otherwise one might start to feel that the questions/puzzles are a bit forced, and some of the answers a bit of a stretch. But overall, fun.

I found this book ref
I only just got this from Bookcrossing and was so enthralled, I had to start it immediately. This is the third in a series of analyses on classic literary conundrums or inconsistencies. The specific volume discusses a variety of novels, including Austen, Gaskell, Thackeray and many others but Dickens has the largest coverage. All are interesting in their own way and I discovered it does help to at least know the vague story in whatever title is under scrutiny, although not necessarily to have re ...more
May 21, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: liked-it, non-fiction
I enjoyed this quite a bit even though I'm only vaguely familiar with a lot of the works discussed. This is a collection of essays, each focusing on questions from well known novels (mostly English novels but one or two from the US). I thought that each essay gave enough context for the things being discussed to be perfectly understandable, but YMMV. Also, I actively seek out spoilers for things I plan to read or watch, so that aspect didn't bother me. Again, YMMV.
Victoria Blacke
Oct 01, 2015 Victoria Blacke rated it really liked it
Reading this book was like eavesdropping on two English professors at a cocktail party. It was great fun to read the different perspectives and queries about some of my favorite books. I skipped around to avoid any books I have not read but plan to return to read the chapters I missed once I have read them. Cannot wait to read more from this author.
Jan 17, 2016 Kristina rated it liked it
This has lots of interesting little articles about points most people would have overlooked in classic novels. Some, like the title question - Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? - have suggested answers, while others are merely presented for consideration.
Sep 28, 2015 Val rated it liked it
Shelves: temp
Third book in series.
Jeff Hobbs
Feb 12, 2016 Jeff Hobbs rated it it was ok
Essays I particularly liked in this collection: Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennet? What Kills Lady Dedlock? Why Was Pip Not Invited to Joe's Wedding? and Cabinets and Detectives.
russell barnes
Jul 04, 2010 russell barnes rated it liked it
Recommended to russell by: Laura Jordan
Shelves: classics, nonfiction
Brilliant - And it's still got my original Dymocks gift card in Laura!

It's amazing, picking out oddities in great literature and then going through the eccentricities. It's much better than my description makes it.
Mar 22, 2009 Aliza rated it liked it
A quick, fun read which provides some fun information about the 19th century, and made me want to read a number of classics I'd never thought to bother with before.
Oct 25, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Interesting, incisive and frequently amusing analysis of seemingly inexplicable plot anomalies within various pieces of classical literature.
Nov 12, 2009 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, library
Perfect to be read while riding the light rail, if only for the hilarity of people reacting to the Christmas-colored cover.
Aug 19, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Victorian lit
Third in the author's series of Victorian literature "puzzles"; however, those books really don't need to be read in order.

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John Andrew Sutherland is an English lecturer, emeritus professor, newspaper columnist and author.

Now Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London, John Sutherland began his academic career after graduating from the University of Leicester as an assistant lecturer in Edinburgh in 1964. He specialises in Victorian fiction, 20th century literature, an
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