Guardian Newspaper 1000 Novels discussion

Monthly Book Reads > March 2016- Castle Rackrent

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Mar 02, 2016 06:48PM) (new)

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 184 comments March 'state of the nation' group read

message 2: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 825 comments My Kindle edition from Project Gutenberg has a quite lengthy introduction (maybe a quarter of the book) by Anne Thackeray Ritchie. I skipped this. Does anyone know if it is worth going back and reading it?

message 3: by Kaycie (new)

Kaycie | 455 comments Mod
Leslie, I remembered enjoying at least parts of the intro, especially because I knew nothing about the author at all. I don't remember tons about it at this point, though.

message 4: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) It seems to be the standard edition. Mine has it too. I haven't yet started, but is looking forward to it.

message 5: by Carolien (new)

Carolien (carolien_s) I've finally read the book.

One of the things that I discovered in the introduction is the stature of the author in her day. From the account, she was obviously highly regarded as an author with people such as Sir Walter Scott spending time in her company. There are also a few names of other authors of the day who I did not recognise and will investigate.

The story itself is fascinating in its simplicity. Effectively it recounts the mismanagement of an estate over four generations by the various owners. Each owner has his own approach to the process, but none of them can be described as good landlords. Some of them are well-loved for their hospitality, but their tenants would have had a horrible time during the lifetime of the last three owners. There are also indirect comments on the prevailing attitudes of the day to Jews and other minorities.

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