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

Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace by Kate Summerscale
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's review
Apr 19, 2012

bookshelves: vine, gave-it-a-try-and-then-gave-up, non-fiction

This is the second book by Kate Summerscale I've attempted to read. Other readers and several friends enjoyed and recommended 'The Suspicions of Mr. Witcher'. Last year I gave it a try and didn't get very far. I had high hopes that 'Mrs. Robinson's Disgrace' would be more enjoyable, and it was. I made it more than half way through the book before giving it up.

I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction but I do like to mix a little non-fiction into my diet. This story sounded really interesting and I liked the beginning. I thought Summerscale did a nice job of making the historical figures come to life. But by the time the dry details of the divorce trial rolled around I no longer cared what happened to these people.

I would have preferred more attention paid to the Robinsons and less to Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens and George Eliot. I understand why the newspapers were opposed to publishing the portions of Mrs. Robinson's diary that were read into evidence during the trial but I wanted to know just what was so scandalous, what did she say...

I thought this would have had more from Isabella Robinson's private diary and less of Summerscale's dry commentary.

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