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The Old Manor House

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"Jacqueline Labbe's new edition creates a valuable array of supplementary documents for reading the subtle politics of this novel and its negotiations with the terms of fictional romance." -- Theresa M. Kelley, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Paperback, 587 pages
Published September 19th 2002 by Broadview Press (first published January 1st 1969)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 19, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it
After loving Charlotte Smith's 'Desmond', at first I was a little disappointed with this novel as it seems rather slow and repetitive by comparison, and the heroine, Monimia, is a bit insipid. However, about halfway through it becomes a lot more interesting, when the hero, Orlando, stops lingering around the old manor house of the title and goes off to fight in the American Wars of Independence. Smith is said to have been an influence on Dickens, and you can see it in the later chapters of the b ...more
Nov 26, 2015 H.J. rated it liked it
Thank God. In itself, this book was not bad, but either because it was obligatory reading, or because it was for a course I don't feel particularly happy about, or because I just was in a bad mood to read it at this instance, I did not much enjoy it. Don't get me wrong: the story is interesting, well-written, and the plot is well-done (with the inevitable happy ending and marriage). But the writing style didn't suit me: romantic, too serious, no humor whatsoever, and characters who tend to get " ...more
Martin Roberts
May 05, 2013 Martin Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An odd but interesting and very readable mixture of fable, social critique and novel of manners. The preface to this book tells us the author stretched it out because she needed the money, and it shows, because it does not really get going until well into the second half. This may explain why the first two volumes look more like a novel of manners than the social critique the book was billed as. On the plus side, the language is engaging and most of the characters are, too, although the two lead ...more
Dec 08, 2007 Scarlettfish rated it it was amazing
Smith's best novel, this novel has an astonishing breadth. A "condition of England" novel that is a forerunner of Mansfield Park, a comment on the French Revolution through Smith's depiction of the American Revolution, and a study of injustice, this is a very interesting novel that manages to integrate plot and social/political critique in a sophisticated and believable manner. Smith took her time writing this one, and it shows. Well worth a read, as it is one of the most complex novels of the 1 ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Xander rated it it was ok
A bit long.
Dec 25, 2014 Robin rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
you could fill oceans with all the tears that were in this book
Lauren Borremans
Oct 27, 2015 Lauren Borremans rated it liked it
Shelves: sküle, english
The never ending story.
Grace Harwood
Nov 12, 2015 Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing
This is arguably Charlotte Smith's most famous book. It relates the story of romantic hero, Orlando, who stands to inherit The Old Manor House of the title, Rayland Hall. However, he can only do this if he keeps in the good books of "old Tabby" Mrs Rayland, the elderly current owner. During his visits there, he has made a childhood friend of Mrs Lennard's (Mrs Rayland's cantankerous companion) ward. Mrs. Lennard may be cruel and exacting, but she too has a romantic streak and she has named her w ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Astrid rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Adrienne Foreman
Mar 31, 2008 Adrienne Foreman rated it it was ok
Interesting, definitely. Probably more palatable for people really interested in Victorian or non-Gothic Romantic era. I don't love the writing style. Still, worth a read for what it adds to historical knowledge of the literature at the time. The author's history is also very impressive.
Oct 06, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
I rolled my eyes frequently at the hero, Orlando, especially in the beginning. His overly sentimental attachment to a girl reminded me of another Orlando in the movie Troy. But I still really enjoyed the book.
Emily Donnelly
Apr 13, 2015 Emily Donnelly rated it liked it
I enjoy the story itself, but it's fairly long and exhausting. I don't recommend this to anyone who isn't into English Literature at an academic standpoint.
Ashley Saladen
Jun 24, 2012 Ashley Saladen rated it really liked it
I based my dissertation on this book and really enjoyed it. Smith's background makes the story more complex and interesting.
Avery Vinson
Oct 28, 2013 Avery Vinson rated it liked it
This was a struggle.
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Charlotte Turner Smith (4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806) was an English Romantic poet and novelist. She initiated a revival of the English sonnet, helped establish the conventions of Gothic fiction, and wrote political novels of sensibility.

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