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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  40 reviews
The story of a wealthy, fiftyish American widow, recently a famous stage beauty, but now "drifting." The novel opens soon after her husband's death and her retirement from the theatre, as Mrs. Stone tries to adjust to her aimless new life in Rome. She is adjusting, too, to aging ("The knowledge that her beauty was lost had come upon her recently and it was still occasional ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 17th 1993 by New Directions (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 06, 2014 A.M. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
Youth and beauty are everything in the arts and when the famous stage actress, Mrs Stone, turns fifty and foolhardily tries to act as Juliet, the backlash is sufficient for her to leave the stage. She and her wealthy husband go on a holiday. Her husband has a heart attack on the plane and she is left alone. She stays in Rome and amasses a new audience of sycophants. It is about the 1950’s but it is a conservative world with a vague mention of homosexuality in a couple of places.
She is a tragic f
Jul 11, 2007 Sara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who enjoyed Tennessee Williams' plays
Although Tennesee Williams is most well-known as a playwrite, this novella was the first thing I read by Williams. An aging actress has an "All About Eve-esque" crisis when she retires from the stage. She travels to Roma and deals with her loss of youth, beauty, and career. Mrs. Stone has an affair with a young Italian hottie who uses Mrs. Stone as his sugar mama. I also loved the movie version of this book starring Helen Mirren and Anne Bancroft.
Oh dear. What to say about this one? Such incisive writing, and beautiful in so many ways, but then the awful ending that I should have seen coming right from the first, that anyone would have seen we were headed for, but not me, I always want things to end well. Worst of all, when I was done, it was hard not to think that Mrs. Stone was more like a gay man of that era than a woman, but that only made me feel sexist for having such a thought. In any case, I was so hoping for something more inter ...more
تينيسي وليامز الذي عُرف بميله للتأليف المسرحي أكثر من الرواية أثبت عن طريق "الربيع الروماني للسيدة ستون" أنه روائي من الطراز الأول. هذه ليست رواية مسليّة ولا يمكن أن تمر مرور الكرام على القارئ الحصيف الذي سيكتشف ما بين السطور أكثر مما هو ظاهر من خلالها.

الرواية كلها تتمحور حول "الإنجراف" وهذه الكلمة التي خصص تينيسي عنها فصلاً كاملاً وهو الأخير. وهي كلمة توحي بالخطر وبأن ثمّة هاوية تنتظر في نهاية المطاف السيدة ستون التي تنجرف وهي واعية تماماً بما يحدث لها وواعية أكثر بأن لا حول لها ولا قوة. وهو ب

Here is a delightful little novel(la) from Tennessee Williams—the only one he apparently penned.

“Beguiling” describes this piece. Like some of his plays, a deeper investigation of life lurks below the seeming “light” title.

Protagonist: Mrs. Stone. Stage Actress, (Retired). Socialite.
Plot: Mrs. Stone begins her “new life” of retired leisure in Rome.

Well . . . no surprise so far given Williams’ characters in other work.

Nor is there surprise in the “uncovering” of Mrs. Stone’s character as the narr
Apr 19, 2014 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wanda, Jeannette
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A failing star is faced with a life-style change when her rich husband suddenly dies while they are en route to Italy. She then sets off in a series of flings with gigolos found for her by an aging contessa. Each contact spirals further out of control until she becomes obsessed with one young man, who initially treats her well, but then with disdain.

A movie was made based on this book and it is available at YouTube
Before picking this up I'd only read some of his plays, but I've been on a bizarre urge to read nearly everything Williams has written, so I checked this one out. It's a short read, but I really enjoyed it and look forward to getting into his short stories once I finish tearing through his plays. The story is what you'd expect from Williams' earlier work. A faded, former theater star is in Rome and having a relationship with a gigolo who's only with her in an attempt to squeeze out as much money ...more
Brandon Rife
"...the worst thing about love between a very young and a somewhat old person is the terrifying loss of dignity that it seems to call for..."

Karen Stone, an aging stage actress, has recently been widowed. Finding it increasingly difficult to work as a thespian, presumably due to her age, and now the sole beneficiary of her late husband's wealth, Mrs. Stone retires in Rome, where she leads a responsibility-free life. When a contessa introduces Mrs. Stone to a young gigolo named Paolo, the two beg
Those who like nice, neatly tied little pretty packages of stories will not appreciate this book because well it's not a simplistic book. In fact, this book is pretty intense! Not a fairy tale, that's for sure. More of a cautionary tale for its times. Of course nowadays no one looks askance at May/December relationship where the woman is older, but the fact that a woman would actually pay for sex? Well, that's still a shocker even by today's standards. I found this book interesting in the way t ...more
Years ago a professor remarked in class that there are no heroines in literature above the age of 30. So far I've only been able to come up with Mrs. Dalloway, and now Mrs. Stone. An interesting character study of an aging actress attempting to cope with her loss of beauty and importance, this novella must be one of the first pieces of literature to mention menopause.
There's nothing new about the cougar concept. Tennessee Williams describes the sad case of a woman who has acquired a young Italian lover 30 years her junior. The Roman world he describes is bizarre and fascinating. A decrepit and impoverished contessa acquires a stable of gigolos, splitting their financial takes with her. The gigolos move easily and shamelessly between male and female patrons.

Now that I have read a few Tennessee Williams works, I can see that he has many female characters who h
A wonderful story filled with aviary metaphor about an aging actress fled to Rome. Drifting toward forgetting in a cloudy chiffon of American abroad make-believe . Her apartment overlooks the Spanish steps. Below walks and wags masculine sex...
Just a little book but beautifully written. Williams captures the angst of Mrs Stone as she deals with widowhood, her retirement from the stage and a much younger Italian lover. Really worth reading.
Evelyn Marshall
The story is about a lost older American widow who finds a new life in Rome with a young gigolo.

Tennessee Williams is a playwright first. This is a novella. The difference between a play and a novel is that a play is all scenes while a novel is heavily loaded with narration. In Williams' case, he is a lyrical writer, rich in romantic detail. But he went overboard with the narration in this novella. He sacrifices much needed dialog.

Having seen the movie (several times) which was superb and now ha
Alexander Arsov
Tennessee Williams

The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone

Vintage Classics, Paperback, 1999.

8vo. 116 pp.

First published, 1950.


A Cold Sun
Island, Island!
The Drift


I am sorry Tennessee Williams didn't write more novellas like this one. It has a kind of perfection he seldom achieved in his short stories. The latter are often marred by verbosity, obscurity or plotlessness; and sometimes the poetry in prose doesn't fit very well. But here, for once,
Philip Tha- B. Toole
I will readily admit that for some few years when still in the flower of my youth, I believed this book to be somehow related to the movie Roman Holiday. Yes, I realize the stories are fairly-- well, perhaps egregiously different. Nonetheless, since Hollywood hid the involvement of Dalton Trumbo all those years, how was I to know??

In any case, this is a splendid little work by Tenn. Williams that comes highly recommendef, dahlin'..
I really liked the descriptions of Rome. The best part of this book that was the most haunting for me was the exhausted self awareness of the sad, aging heroine. She doesn't have any illusions, but can't stop herself from succumbing to temptation and happiness that she knows will be fleeting. It also doesn't stop the end from being awful. This is the kind of book I kept thinking about for a while afterward.
Daniel Rosler
Exceptionally beautiful prose. Thematically, this parallels the pains of the aging theater star played by Bette Davis—charming even when cynical—in "All About Eve", which, may be the best written film of all time.
Karim El
After 6 chapters I stopped reading and I lost any desire to continue. In 6 chapters, the author couldn't say anything more than how Mrs Stone met Paolo. It was a big shock
I love the notion of "the drift". Rounding off with the spooky line of, "Look, I've finally stopped the drift." Waaah! NO! DON'T DO IT!
Très très belle écriture. Histoire touchante, mélancolique, dérangeante parfois. Mais une vraie belle lecture.
Betul Aisha
üzücü...çıkışı bulmak için ilk şart, çıkışın varlığına inanmak.inanmamak...üzücü.
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This was an interesting and well-written book.

It's about a very beautiful and very successful actress that loses her good looks as she is growing old. Now old, retired and widowed she tries desperately to be the leading star in her life but fails.

This is the first book of Tennessee Williams that I read and I have to say that I expected something more. Probably, this isn't his best work. I will surely read the plays he has written to form a better opinion.
Short, easy to read, but I love the notion of "The Drift" that he stresses... I remember the summer I read this I really identified with that notion, feeling the tide ebb and flow and push me in these different directions the result of which I really had no idea. Good themes of youth vs. age and beauty: external or internal peace. Love Tennessee.
Dh Sraddhabandhu
I think Williams was not just a good playwright, but a good novelist as well. As expected, precise descripions of moods. But sometimes I wonder, if he - having been gay - really could understand women. I was disappointed that this novel was so short, the end begged for a lot more explanation and didn't seem to be very consequential.
I've never read Tennessee Williams before, but I think I will now.
This novella was fantastic and I loved it a lot.
From the Jungian psychology to just the idea of aging, I enjoyed the characters and I loved the puzzle that was left for me to piece together.

In fact, I can't wait to read it again, just for kicks.
Everett Darling
Feb 15, 2009 Everett Darling rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Gays, aging ones.
Shelves: 2009
Morals – Having sex with salacious, impoverished, macho hunks stops time and cures loneliness. Paying for love is degrading. I'm half in agreement, and totally in love with Tennessee Williams. The unique talent who hasn't written a thing I haven't liked.
Tennessee Williams certainly catches the best words to describe the characters and the events. Drifting thru life and being king of the mountain were very fitting. How low will someone sink when they feel lost? What an ending.
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...more
More about Tennessee Williams...
A Streetcar Named Desire The Glass Menagerie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Suddenly Last Summer The Night of the Iguana (Acting Edition)

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“His beauty was notable even in a province where the lack of it is more exceptional in a young man.” 0 likes
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