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Bertram Cope's year
Henry Blake Fuller
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Bertram Cope's year

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  81 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In 1918, when Henry Blake Fuller was 62 years old, he completed the manuscript of a novel, Bertram Cope's Year. Though Fuller was well known as an accomplished realist and had published twelve previous novels, this work was his first published fiction to address the topic of homosexuality. In the novel Bertram Cope, a handsome young college student, is befriended by Medora ...more
Nook, 308 pages
Published by R. F. Seymour (first published 1919)
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Apr 15, 2013 Sketchbook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: currently, favorites
Bertram Cope is squeezed from all sides. An English instructor, age 24, at NoWestern U - smart, polite with a fine sense of punctilio and too much charm - he arouses the passions of three coeds, a society hostess and a bachelor in his 50s who mentors likely chaps. Can Bertram get through the year, working on his thesis and teaching 18thC Lit, without being compromised?

Written almost 100 years ago, this stylish treatment of an ambiguous situation is fiercely contemporary. Ignored in its day, the
Mike Puma
Sep 27, 2011 Mike Puma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt-fic, 2011

4.5 stars—it’s not perfect, but it’s fun. I’m ever-so-gently inching back from my string of 5 star reviews in a feeble attempt to attain some sort of legitimacy knowing, full well, that’s it’s often your fault that I’m reading as many good books as I am. I can only feel so bad about that, and you…you’ll just have to live with the guilt you share for recommending so many of them. Deal with it.

Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Well, the novel doesn’t ask, and it doesn’t tell. It tells quite a lot, but doesn’

mark monday
Sep 23, 2013 mark monday marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
the year is 2013. Bertram Cope contemplated (view spoiler) censorship. he threw up. I still fucked him.
Jan 09, 2012 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite novels from late nineteenth-century America include Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage which I first read while I was attending high school, and Harold Frederic's less well-known The Damnation of Theron Ware which deals with personal religious issues of the titular character. It was not until the end of the twentieth century when I was in my reading maturity that I discovered this somewhat similar and equally good novel by Henry Blake Fuller.
Fuller, who was born in Chicago and
Blake Fraina
Jul 20, 2012 Blake Fraina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it hard to believe that this book was written in 1919. More unbelievable still is that the author, Henry Fuller Blake, praised by many of his more illustrious contemporaries such as Thornton Wilder and Booth Tarkington, sank into almost total obscurity.

This novel is an utter delight. It tells the story of Bertram Cope, a blonde, blue-eyed country boy who takes a post as a college English teacher in a moderately large Michigan city and manages to attract the ardent admiration of everyone i
Sep 12, 2012 Claude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtlety with which the novel is written is what really makes the book so exceptional. Nothing is ever directly said or written about Bertram's status and the male friend he lives with. Their entire relationship is written and described as a string of innuendos and very subtle ambiguous physical contacts when the two of them are in public.
There is no attempt to disguise their relationship since they are never fully identified as a same sex couple.
At times the writing is very current especi
John David
There are two kinds of forgotten writer. One is vaguely remembered when perusing a book shelf or in passing conversation. Hamlin Garland – didn’t he write about farmers? Or maybe William Dean Howells – didn’t he used to be considered one of America’s greatest writers? This is a precarious and perhaps the most painful of literary deaths, being half-remembered and half-forgotten. Perhaps more graceful is the obsolescence of the completely and utterly forgotten. These include George Washington Cabl ...more
Dec 26, 2007 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my favorites. It immediately involves the reader into a world long since past. It is as much a cutural primer as it is a narrative. What capitivates a modern reader is the ageless psychological struggles that we face today - and will, no doubt - tomorrow. Young, old; talented, beautiful; straight-laced, artistic - just a few of the dichotomies found within its pages. The book was self-published in 1919 - the author was 62 at the time. This is an easy read and if you like "per ...more
Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Bertram, a graduate student, is pursued by two of three young ladies and an older man in the university town as he completes his studies all the time missing his companion from home. The ladies live with the matron Medora Phillips who engineers many of the encounters between Bertram, the young ladies and Basil Randolf, the older man.

This is written in a very different style of writing than I'm accustomed to from modern fiction. I read this for its historical significance, as the first published
Lindsay Heller
This was a good book. It was also enjoyable to read. Those two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive. My best friend lent me a copy of this several summers ago while I was reading Brideshead Revisited because there are some... similar themes.

Bertram Cope is writing his thesis at a university closing resembling Northwestern when he meets Medora Phillips, who takes a great interest in the young man and begins inviting him to her lavish home where three young women are in residence. But wh
Jun 12, 2015 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-fiction
Bertram Cope spends a year to complete his master's degree, and his appearance at the small university town attracts the attention of the local society circle. Pursued by by the indomitable Mrs Medora Phillips and her young female charges who compete with now not so young Basil Randolph for the new student's attention, the hapless young Bertram tries to make the best of it and satisfy his admires, and along the way inadvertently becomes a little too attached to one or other of Medora's girls. Be ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hopefully, within our lifetimes, the scenarios that play out due to closeting within this book will become to be seen as improbable and unrealistic. I love the line between humor and seriousness that has to be used to show the constrictions of the society these characters inhabit.
Aug 08, 2014 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and beautifully written story from the early 1900s. Clearly a gay story, but very subtly handled.
Now, I know some of you will be attracted to this book for the same reason I was, the fact that it is historically very significant in gay literature. I do hope you'll be as delighted with it as I was for what it is : a charming story.

Bertram Cope is an instructor in a university next to the fictional town of Churchton, he gives himself a year to better his prospects and finish his thesis and that's the year we spend with him. Cope is flawed and that's one of his charms and it is hard not to be
Rachel Eliason
Bertram Cope's Year is one of the first gay novels ever written by a gay man. For that historical significance it rates three stars at least.
However the modern reader should be aware they will be exposed to "a liberal exhibition of perfect teeth" from a character who has "a high degree of self-possession, even of insouciance." If you like the flowery 'literary' style of the time period you find "a beaming affalbility"...your "happy allotment". However most modern readers will probably find the
Bertram Cope is a young man who's gone off to study at college and quickly taken in by Medora Phillips, a wealthy society woman. Bertram falls into their world quickly and Mrs. Phillips tries her best to set him up with several of the eligible young women in her circle. But Bertram's focus is only on Arthur, his friend and eventual housemate. But not everyone is as enamored of Arthur as Bertram is, and that can prove to be a problem.

This book is definitely a product of its time, having been writ
Mar 28, 2016 Drianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, m-m, literature
Amazing that this exists -- and it's nice to read. As explicit as Maurice (with which it is roughly contemporary), no, but remarkably obvious to the eyes of hindsight.
Feb 02, 2015 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Though Bertram is not always clearly defined and the ending a bit unclear, I loved the book as a whole and its depiction of life in that time period.
I did not technically finish this book, but Goodreads won't let it only be in my "gave-up-on" folder. This is one of the most boring books about college life I've ever read. Very little actually happens. I read half of it, I gave it a good chance. Was a snoozer.
May 13, 2012 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this forgotten gem would appeal to fans of EF Benson. There is the same gentle humour with a sting in the tail and the same social posturing.
Jun 27, 2007 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A fascinating, subtle story about two men living together in an early 20th-century American college. Then as now, partners of faculty must suffer many fools.
Rick Novakovich
Rick Novakovich marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
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Apr 25, 2016
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2016
Alexa Burks
Alexa Burks marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2016
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Apr 14, 2016
Stephen Bruce
Stephen Bruce marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2016
B marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2016
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Mar 29, 2016
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The other Sandy marked it as to-read
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Henry Blake Fuller (January 9, 1857–July 28, 1929) was a United States novelist and short story writer, born in Chicago, Illinois.

Fuller's earliest works were travel romances set in Italy that featured allegorical characters. Both The Chevalier of Pensieri–Vani (1890) and The Châtelaine of La Trinité (1892) bear some thematic resemblance to the works of Henry James, whose primary interest was in
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“Traps!" he said. "Never in the world! Don't think it! Why, Gower is just a necessary olf bore. Nobody's supposed to know much about him--except instructors and their hapless students.” 1 likes
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