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2017 Forgotten Books Selections > Belinda - Week 1 (June 2017)

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message 1: by Luella (last edited May 23, 2017 07:06PM) (new)

Luella This week's reading is about: Chapter I - V (1-5)


message 2: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Yay! Exciting! Are we starting June 1?


message 3: by Luella (new)

Luella Dianne wrote: "Yay! Exciting! Are we starting June 1?"

Officially yes but if you want to start earlier no biggie. Post is here for you to do so! :)


message 4: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Ok I'll plan to start posting June 1 since I'm reading this as part of a June - august challenge. But feel free to start discussing early if you'd like!


message 5: by Cheryl (new)


message 6: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Yep!


message 7: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments I read the first two chapters, and definitely like it so far. Is it Valley of the Dolls? At the very least, it reminds me of Jane Austen's juvenilia:

A short time after her arrival at Lady Delacour's, Belinda began to see through the thin veil with which politeness covers domestic misery.—Abroad, and at home, Lady Delacour was two different persons. Abroad she appeared all life, spirit, and good humour—at home, listless, fretful, and melancholy; she seemed like a spoiled actress off the stage, over-stimulated by applause, and exhausted by the exertions of supporting a fictitious character.—When her house was filled with well-dressed crowds, when it blazed with lights, and resounded with music and dancing, Lady Delacour, in the character of Mistress of the Revels, shone the soul and spirit of pleasure and frolic: but the moment the company retired, when the music ceased, and the lights were extinguishing, the spell was dissolved. [...]

The first time Belinda ever saw his lordship, he was dead drunk in the arms of two footmen, who were carrying him up stairs to his bedchamber: his lady, who was just returned from Ranelagh, passed by him on the landing-place with a look of sovereign contempt. "What is the matter?—Who is this?" said Belinda. "Only the body of my Lord Delacour," said her ladyship: "his bearers have brought it up the wrong staircase. Take it down again, my good friends: let his lordship go his own way. Don't look so shocked and amazed, Belinda—don't look so new, child: this funeral of my lord's intellects is to me a nightly, or," added her ladyship, looking at her watch and yawning, "I believe I should say a daily ceremony—six o'clock, I protest!"


message 8: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments What do you think of Lady Delacour's split personality? I wonder if other 'life of the party' types are like that. I can see why she would be glum with her day to day life given that once the frivolity of her grand parties wears away she is faced with her alcoholic (of the non-functional variety, it seems) spouse.


message 9: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments I wonder where the novel is going.. Is Belinda going to be 'naive' until the end? Surely she is getting lessons in cynicism from Mrs. Stanhope and Lady Delacour.

Did you like all the gossip about the other nieces that Mrs. Stanhope got married? The "brown" one who became a "dasher"?


message 10: by ConnieD (new)

ConnieD (bookwithcat) I'm on chapter 14, but this starts earlier in the book -
There's an unexpected amount of cussing for an older book. I'm not offended, it just seemed odd, especially when thinking of the reaction to one use of the word in "Gone With the Wind". But I know people's reactions to that kind of thing come and go over the years.
I've often read characters in older books deploring of young people reading novels, calling them frivolous, etc. But they never mentioned language ha.


message 11: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Christopher wrote: "I wonder where the novel is going.. Is Belinda going to be 'naive' until the end? Surely she is getting lessons in cynicism from Mrs. Stanhope and Lady Delacour.

Did you like all the gossip about ..."


I had to flip to the back to see what some of these terms meant! The whole notion of matchmaking was interesting, apparently it was quite the profession and men seemed wary of its manufactured results - including the view of Belinda herself as being a "composition of artifice and affectation." I found this comment curious, as wasn't the POINT of Lady Delacour's intervention to modify the natural state of her charges to make them more appealing to men? Is she not aware that this seems to be backfiring?

Meanwhile, don't we all need a Mrs. Stanhope in our lives who will float us a ton of cash to further our future well being? Must have been nice!


message 12: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Did you all notice the 'ADVERTISEMENT' at the beginning of the novel that the "following work is offered to the public as a Moral Tale - the author not wishing to acknowledge a Novel." I found it to be rather condescending that she did not wish her book to associated with others than might contain "so much folly, error, and vice."

Does anything strike you as moralistic in the novel so far?


message 13: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments What do you think of Clarence so far? He seems like a huge snob to me!

Belinda learns much more about Lady D than she did previously - do you think this has caused her to change her perspective of her? I thought that, particularly when she saw her physical appearance without all of the makeup, jewelry, and fine dresses, that she was beginning to become disillusioned with her benefactor. I wonder what, if any, secret Marriott harbors??And what on earth did Belinda SEE when Lady D revealed herself to her?


message 14: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments Dianne wrote: "What do you think of Clarence so far? He seems like a huge snob to me!

Belinda learns much more about Lady D than she did previously - do you think this has caused her to change her perspective o..."


On what Lady D revealed in her boudoir...

Wasn't it breast cancer?


message 15: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Christopher wrote: "Dianne wrote: "What do you think of Clarence so far? He seems like a huge snob to me!

Belinda learns much more about Lady D than she did previously - do you think this has caused her to change he..."


Yes! I hadn't read that far at the time I asked. But doesn't it seem odd that somehow her shooting a gun would precipitate that? Odd.


message 16: by Dianne (last edited Jun 02, 2017 01:10PM) (new)

Dianne | 46 comments I finished this section and I CANNOT believe Mrs. Stanhope sent our dear Belinda to Lady Delacour! She seems to be rather evil and utterly self absorbed. To me it seemed that in some way or other she contributed to the deaths of two of her children and had nothing to do with her third child. She is only interested in the admiration and attention of others even though this does not bring her any happiness. She has used men and played with their emotions and in addition to being totally superficial is vindictive and petty. Belinda finally gets an inkling of this during this section but still decides to be a support to Lady D during her illness and in light of the Lady's tyrannical maid Marriott.

Meanwhile, Belinda's retort about the conversation she overheard to Mr. Hervey captures his attention and he develops an interest in her but not of the matrimonial sort.

A few questions I had on this section...

How do you think Belinda will do under Lady Delacour's continued tutelage? Will she become corrupted by her?
Why do you think Mrs. Stanhope placed Belinda with Lady Delacour?
Is belinda the protagonist of the novel or Lady Delacour?
What on earth do you make of Harriet and her cross-dressing? How has her relationship with Lady Delacour evolved?


message 17: by Christopher (last edited Jun 03, 2017 01:44PM) (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments Sounds like I'm the one who has to read further now...


message 18: by carissa (new)

carissa okay...this just arrived at the library. And, I'm not looking at your discussion...I'm NOT!
well, I am a bit and can't wait to begin this tonight. It sounds weird and wonderful.


message 19: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 46 comments Yay! Glad you are joining Carissa!


message 20: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments Okay, just finished chapters three and four, the history of Lady Delacour, and I thought it was hilarious.. although the narration sometimes gets.. if not bogged down, then slightly redundant.

Maybe as a guy, I am not in a position to say this, but what woman hasn't had a "friend" like Harriott Freke? All in the name of getting back at the archenenmy... Mrs. Luttridge. The kind who is always challenging you to do unimaginably dumb things- like fight a duel, for instance. Dang, that was funny.

And in the end, the electors voted in an Independent candidate, with a *normal* wife.


message 21: by Luella (new)

Luella Christopher wrote: "Okay, just finished chapters three and four, the history of Lady Delacour, and I thought it was hilarious.. although the narration sometimes gets.. if not bogged down, then slightly redundant.

May..."


As far as I tell men have these kind of friends too...

I agree with the repetitiveness but on my part it helped me get more familiar with some of those words. I don't always read older books but I seem to be on a roll this year.

What I don't get is how she is dying as a result of the injury unless it was some kind of Iron Man shrapnel thing or a rotting away of the flesh which seems to me should have happened shortly after the wound happened.

Also if it was that bad a wound shouldn't she have been "exposed" through that entire ordeal?

And what is going on her one last kid now, is it still in boarding school?


message 22: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments Luella wrote: As far as I tell men have these kind of friends too...

I see Hervey's so-called friends egg him on to jump in a river, even though he can't swim.. in next week's reading, so I guess you're right.


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) I just finished this section, hope to catch up this week. I like the word choices and the way she uses characters to tell us information.

Lady Delacor, wow, what a piece of work. I love her, but mostly I hate her. Or is it opposite? I pity her, but she makes me angry. What a fascinating character.

As Dianne pointed out, I can't believe Belinda was left in the care of her. She's a lamb in a wolf's den. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

I see reminiscents of Jane Austen's Lady Susan and Mansfield Park, also a Frances Burney's Cecilia.


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