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
Arabella is completely obsessed with French Romances. She's an eighteenth century Twihard, only sans vampires. This becomes problematic when sh ...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
To the Right Honourable the Earl of Middlesex
Such is the Power of Interest over almost every Mind, that no one is long without Arguments to prove any Position which is ardently wished to be true, or to justify any Measures which are dictated by Inclination.
Not so good as expected....
This book is difficult. Funny events and misunderstandings do happen, but readers must sift through the flowery language to reach understanding.
We go through 400 pages of our protagonist Lady Arabella acting like a fathead, and finally, in the next-to-last chapter, after she nearly drowns herself in a fatheaded panic, ...more
There are scenes of pure comedy like when she believes that the newly hired, handsome young gardener is some nobleman who has infiltrated her estate in order to be closer to her. When ...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Portions can be quite tedious, yes, and the book as a whole is fairly outdated (hey, it was written over 250 years ago).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
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
The book isn't all bad. It's of some interest in the history of the development of the novel (No ...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
What I thought would be a cheap knock-off of the original instead turned out to be a clever version of the original from the opposite side of the coin.
I also enjoyed how the writer was careful to convey the various forms with which the protagonist's specific madness could manifest itself, and particularly through the various prisms of the manifold relationships and personalities in the book.
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
About a woman who is afflicted with the same madness as Don Quixote, from reading too many romance novels. It's a great idea but I didn't think that it was going to translate to a great novel. Being written in the 18th century it's archaic now in its writing and style, but I still enjoyed this more than I thought it would. T ...more
A distaff take on Don Quixote where the heroine takes her pattern of behaviour based on French romance novels written about largely classic civilisation and expecting people to behave in the same way. Being kidnapped and threatened with being ravished is all in the days work for the heroine in Arabella's world. Counting of course on a Chevalier always being on hand t ...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.
Arabella is the protagonist who falls under the spell of the masses of romantic literature she plunders from her father’s library. In this, Lennox was parodying the spell that Don Quixote falls under from books of chivalry th ...more