The Female Quixote
A young woman is caught up in her ideas about romance and valor in this celebrated eighteenth-century parody of Don Quixote
Written in 1752 and admired by Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, and Dr. Johnson, The Female Quixote relates the comic misadventures of Arabella, a hapless aristocrat whose life becomes hopelessly confused with the romantic fiction she so adores. Cha...more
From the title itself, you can discern that it involves some kind of delusional mis-adventurer. Quite right, as the story revolves around the life-story of the Lady Arabella, who is as beautiful as she is intelligent, graceful and kind-hearted. It is a pity that, with all her admirable traits, she is possessed with a mind too swayed by the romances stocked in her library.
In this boo ...more
Arabella is completely obsessed with French Romances. She's an eighteenth century Twihard, only sans vampires. This becomes problematic when sh ...more
This may be against protocol, and I realize that I only gave Don Quixote three stars. But, I enjoyed this parody more than its roastee. I warn would-be readers: this is not as bawdy as DQ. But, the laughs are there just the same.
Instead of Don Quixote, we have Arabella - a young lady who has been isolated from the world in her father's country estate and has read way too many romance novels. Everything that happens around her is mi ...more
Portions can be quite tedious, yes, and the book as a whole is fairly outdated (hey, it was written over 250 years ago). But, it was a very popular book in its day and I think it's an important work for anyone who's at all serious about getting to know either 18th century British literature or women's British literature.
The ending is quite rushed, which is shameful, but this is apparently because the author was urged by friends (includ ...more
Raised on poorly translated romances that she reads to be gospel, Arabella's expectations of the world involves chivalry like the kind she read in the romances of Cleopatra's life. When it comes to her suitors she expects her men to ...more
Some interesting questions were raised in my class, such as--do the women have agency in the novel? Why does a male figure (the doctor/clergyman) eventually become the hero who works a "miracle" and talks some sense into romantic Arabella? Why did the Countess have to leave the plot? And so on.
I thought that the attention given to the "proper" ways to behave in soc ...more
The book isn't all bad. It's of some interest in the history of the development of the novel (No ...more
Our lovely young heroine has raised herself on a diet of fantastical romances and has disregarded all other works which might have been supposed to provide a leavening of commonsense. The result is a hysterical fool whose arrant stupidity endangers and humiliates everyone around her. Charlotte Lennox tries hard to convince me of this young ladies worth but she fails. ...more
Finished the book this morning, it was ok but very dated but it is from the 1750's so it is understandable.
The heroine of the novel, Arabella, has lived a reclusive life and has been fed a steady diet of romantic French novels, which she comes to believe are factual illustrations of love. When she comes of age to marry, she mistakenly believes that most men are out to steal her away and ravish her. Her ardent suitor Glanville is ...more
I found it to be very repetitive, after a while even the small amount of humour I got from Arabella's antics got boring, not to mention gave me the urge to give her a smack upside the head. I ...more
She takes the books she reads far too seriously and, when she fi ...more
Basically, Charlotte Lennox models the story after Don Quixote, and the "heroine" (I'm a bit ambivalent about her heroine-ship; more on that later), who has read way too many "romance" novels (think chivalry), has a ridiculous world view. Lady Arabella is raised by her father, who allows her to indulge he ...more
Very clever idea from Lennox in taking Quixote and applying the same basic concept to a female protagonist: What if someone became so engrossed in romance novels that th ...more