Amanda's Reviews > Corinne, or Italy

Corinne, or Italy by Anne Louise Germaine de Sta...
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: regency-georgian-lit
Read in August, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Corinne was once called the worst great novel, and it's rather true. The biggest drawbacks are the plot and the characters, both of which are pretty insipid and suffer too much from the cult of romanticism (I love novels of the period, but enough with all the tremblings and faintings and weeping fits already). The "hero" especially is insufferably bigoted and sexist, yes I know different times and all; but his bemoaning the fact that the woman he loves isn't timid and retiring and actually enjoys her fame and her work gets old incredibly fast. As does his constantly putting down everything about Italy, especially the people and the customs. I couldn't understand what an intelligent dynamic woman like Corinne saw in such a narrow-minded weak waffler. Other reviews have commented on the pontificating and the philosophical discussions, which I agree with--they go on far too long and there is too much talking and not enough doing. However, there are a lot of good things technically about it--the writing itself is very good, and it's a testament to de Stael's skills that I read the whole thing despite all my grievances.

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Tara Funny - I read Stael as being a bit sly/ironic about Oswald; I don't think she thinks he deserves her one bit! (But I agree - what DID she see in him?). I loved it, though - I'm a sucker for badass poetesses.

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