Debra's Reviews > Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady

Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale
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Jun 27, 12

Read from June 18 to 27, 2012

I feel like this is two separate books in one, neither of which I have any desire to re-visit. The title starts out promising, and then it's all yawn from there. The book really does not pick up speed until midway through, at the actual divorce proceedings. Even then, Summerscale takes so many side trips down irrelevant avenues that I started to wonder if these tangents don't serve the purpose of fluff and filler. Do we really have an aching need to learn everything there is to know about hydrotherapy, phrenology and other voodoo sciences of the Victorian era? Or could we not write a book filled with the indignities of a woman's place in that society, the medical history behind hysteria and declarations of insanity due to female complaints, and the laws and precedents that led up to the divorce of Henry Robinson and his wife, Isabella? I think there is an abundance of material available in the world that readers of this book are looking for and will not find here. Too bad, as that would have strengthened this story in a historical context. I wanted to learn and I was denied, instead fed trivia that had very little to do with what should have been the main subject of the book. I'm truly disappointed, and that does not happen often.
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Reading Progress

06/19/2012 page 65
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Debra Moving a bit slower than I would have liked.


Debra This book is torture. It only started to move recently when we get to the actual court case. And even then...very slow and frankly boring.


Christopher Roden I'm about halfway through this, and have to agree. I felt there was far too much 'padding' in the first section, and, after being so absorbed by THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER, I'm finding this something of a drag.


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