Forgotten Classics and Other Lesser Known Books (or No One Has Read this but Me!) discussion

This topic is about Belinda
2017 Forgotten Books Selections > Belinda - Background and Resources (June 2017)

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Luella Hello,

Book is available for free here:

message 3: by Mindy (new)

Mindy Jones (mindyrecycles) That was fast! Poll was only up for two days and results are still hidden...

Luella Wow sorry guys I messed this one up. Next one won't be hidden and everything will run smooth July's up not hidden.

message 5: by Mindy (new)

Mindy Jones (mindyrecycles) Thanks, Luella. Is there a standard for how long a poll will be open going forward?

Luella I think 15 days. Is probably good.

10 days for nominations and 15 days for polls leaving about 5 or so for a run-off (tied) poll.

I was trying to fast forward a bit just so that we can get a month or two ahead so we all have plenty of time to source the books. so like in June we could be and voting on August that kind of thing.

This one was just zombie eyes though. I hid it accidentally to begin with (I only wanted to hide those initial what should we do with the club ones not book results! It's exciting to see what might win.) And then I pulled the trigger to early on the result. But from now on it'll be different just those few hiccups to start.

message 7: by Mindy (new)

Mindy Jones (mindyrecycles) Sounds great, thanks so much. :-)

Christopher (Donut) | 33 comments I am approaching the end of Belinda, but I went and looked up George Saintsbury's remarks about Maria E. in The English Novel (1912).

... Belinda (1801) (Patronage, a longer and later book, and others are inferior), is considerably better than is usually admitted and, by its early date, deserves special notice here. It preceded Miss Austen's work in publication, and is specially cited by her as a capital example of novel in connection with the work of Miss Burney: and it is evidently founded on study of the latter, of which, indeed, it is the first really worthy continuation. Maria has nothing so good as Fanny's Smiths and Branghtons: but the whole book is far superior to Evelina.

The extravagance of the fin-de-siècle society which it represents has probably disguised from not a few readers who do not know the facts, the other fact that it is a real attempt at realist observation of manners: and it has the narrative merit which was Miss Edgeworth's gift of nature.

But the hero is patchy and improbable: the heroine, a good and quite possible girl, is not sufficiently "reliefed out"; and the most important figures of the book, Lord and Lady Delacour, almost great successes, are not helped by the peculiar academic-didactic moralising which she had caught from Marmontel. [...]

Her importance is thus very great: and it only wanted the proverbial or anecdotic "That!" to make it much greater. "That!" as it generally is, was in her case the last fusing touch of genius to accomplish the grand oeuvre—the perfect projection. She had humour, pathos, knowledge of the world, power of drawing it, acquaintance with literature, shrewd common sense, an excellent style when she was allowed to write in her own way, the feelings of a lady who was also a good woman. King Charles is made to say in Woodstock that "half the things in the world remind him of the Tales of Mother Goose." It is astonishing, in the real complimentary sense, how many things remind one of situations, passages, phrases, in Miss Edgeworth's works of all the kinds from Castle Rackrent to Frank.

She also had a great and an acknowledged influence on Scott, a considerable and a certainly not disavowed influence on Miss Austen. She is good reading always, however much we may sometimes pish and pshaw at the untimely poppings-in of the platitudes and crotchets (for he was that most abominable of things, a platitudinous crotcheteer) of Richard her father.

She was a girl of fourteen when the beginnings of the domestic novel were laid in Evelina, and she lived to see it triumph in Vanity Fair. But her own work, save in some of her short stories, which are pretty perfect, represents the imperfect stage of the development—the stage when the novel is trying for the right methods and struggling to get into the right ways, but has not wholly mastered the one or reached the others.

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