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Red Pottage

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Mary Cholmondeley wrote at the beginning of the 20th century. She spent most of her life in England caring for her mother. By age 18 she was convinced she would never marry. She is best remembered for her satirical novel Red Pottage. Red Pottage is the story of adultery and a clergyman who destroys his sister's art. The first plot contained in this novel is that of Rachael ...more
376 pages
Published by Virago Modern Classics (first published 1899)
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Mar 17, 2016 Jane rated it it was amazing
Oh, what a book this is. It has a wonderfully diverse cast of characters, it is full of drama and intrigue, it has plenty to say, and every single thing in it is so cleverly and vividly drawn that I found myself living and breathing the story.

It begins with Hugh Scarlett, who is set on breaking his relationship with his mistress, the married Lady Newhaven, even as he is travelling to a party at her home. He realises that his position is invidious, but he is set on his course.

He is even more cert
Jun 08, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it
Friends since childhood, Rachel West and Hester Gresley now lead very different lives. Rachel came through years of poverty to inherit a fortune, but becomes involved in a messy love triangle. Hester is a writer, forced by her aunt's death to live with her conservative clergyman brother and his wife.

Their plotlines have little to do with each other, only intersecting because of their friendship, but each plotline examines, forcefully and satirically, how the women are bound by the conventions o
Steph Su
Dec 03, 2009 Steph Su rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
In Red Pottage, childhood friends Rachel West and Hester Gresley exist in entirely different realms within late 19th century British society, with Rachel facing a sudden transition from an impoverished but independent typist to the heiress of an industrial fortune and Hester struggling to write her second novel in the oppressive conditions of her provincial clergyman brother's home. The novel follows the story of their friendship through Rachel's romantic entanglements with Hugh Scarlett, "an ...more
Sep 11, 2016 Patrizia rated it liked it
A costo di ripetermi: un buon autore vittoriano (e Mary Cholmondeley è a mio parere uno dei migliori) è davvero capace di intrattenerti con la sua scrittura spietatamente ironica, farti entrare nelle pagine del suo romanzo, farti vivere la vita di ogni suo personaggio, farti vedere nel dettaglio la casa, la canonica, il parco, i giardini nei quali trascorre il suo tempo. Sì, ma se le cose (come in questo caso) vanno terribilmente male, alla fine della lettura ti senti l'anima straziata e ti ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Rosanna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recent-favorites
This novel has a very weird subplot about a perverse sort of duel. One man has an affair with another man's wife and the men draw straws. Whoever gets the shorter straw has to kill himself. The whole point of a duel--public vindication for a wrong--seems to be undermined by the secret nature of this weird pact and the lack of any demonstration of masculine prowess. Much of this plot strand is about the hero's struggle to decide what the appropriate course of action is to take based on the straw ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Mizzou rated it really liked it
An English spinster, living with her brother, a clergyman of mediocre capabilities, turns to writing to fill the lonely days in their small rural parish. After she is urged by a visitor to send her manuscript to a publisher, she is flustered but pleased when it is returned to her for a bit of polishing before being returned and sent to be printed. But her brother feels chagrin that recognition has come to her, for her writing talent, and not to him. He cannot cope with his jealousy and this turn ...more
Jun 24, 2013 Abigail rated it really liked it
This was a remarkable book. I like the three interwoven plots concerning Hugh, Rachel, and Hester and the way they were related to one another. The extreme melodrama of the 'wager' that threatens Hugh's life was a strain (rather like the bet in Diana Tempest) but once you swallow that the rest of the book is a fascinating look at ideas about Art, Marriage, and Womanhood in a time of social and intellectual ferment. Highly recommended. It's hard to talk about w/o spoilers, but I hope I've ...more
Deborah J
Mar 31, 2016 Deborah J rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars in fact. Loved loved loved this. I'm not quite sure why, but I was surprised and delighted to find this 1899 book very moving and extremely funny. Sure, some of the class issues are very much of its time, but conversely it dealt with feminism, adultery and possibly lesbianism, while being sad and shocking and totally involving. I shall be looking for more Mary Cholmondeley, if she's still in print.
Nov 25, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled with the first couple of chapters to begin with, and thereafter, the book was a joy to read.
Beautifully written and full of diversity where characters are concerned.
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Mary Cholmondeley (8 June 1859 – 15 July 1925) was an English novelist.
The daughter of the vicar at St Luke's Church in the village of Hodnet, Market Drayton, Shropshire, England, where she was born, Cholmondeley spent much of the first thirty years of her life taking care of her sickly mother.

Selected writings
* The Danvers Jewels (1886)
* Sir Charles Danvers (1889)
* Let Loose (1890)
* Diana Tem
More about Mary Cholmondeley...

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