Times produced a tremendous effect upon the public; the libraries were besieged for copies, and the printers had to work night and day upon new editions. In fact the success of "East Lynne" was one of the most remarkable literary incidents of the century. The most popular of Mrs. Henry wood's books, next to "East Lynne seem to be "Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles" and "The Channings." These are stories of more entirely quiet domestic interest than "East Lynne." The situations are less tragical and the plots less complicated. Halliburton's quiet endurance of the privations and difficulties of her life, the pathetic life and death of her little janey, and the ultimate success and achievements of her sons, linger in the memory of the reader as a pleasant and homely picture of the vicissitudes.
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What was file at first set down as a new revolutionary kind of admiration for weakness and criminality soon resolved itself into a manifestation of that remarkable. Zeit-geist which had made itself felt in every department of human life. It is that side of the modern spirit which leads to the comprehension of the sufferings of others, to a new pity for their faults and weaknesses, a new breadth of tolerance, and a generous reluctance to judge harshly of one's fellow man. It has crept into the domain of law, of religious thought, of philanthropic effort, and it cannot be excluded from the realms of literature and art. It is, in fact, the scientific spirit, which says "there's nothing good or ill but thinking makes it so which refuses to dogmatise or hastily to condemn; which looks for the motives and reasons and causes of men's actions, and knows the infinite gradations between. If science had done nothing else, it would be an enormous gain that she should teach us to suspend our judgment, to weigh evidence, and thus to pave the way for that diviner spirit by which we refuse to consider any sinner irreclaimable or any. "East Lynne" was received with general acclamation, and has been translated, it is said, into every known tongue, including Parsee and Hindustanee. "Some years ago her son states, "one of the chief librarians in Madrid informed Mrs. Henry wood that the most popular book on his shelves, original or translated, was 'east Lynne.' not very long ago it was translated into welsh and brought out in a welsh newspaper. It has been dramatised and played so often that the author received a small royalty from every representation it was long dramatised and played so often that had the author received a small royalty from every representation it was long since estimated that it would. In France the story has been dramatised and is frequently played in Paris and the provinces." On its first appearance, an enthusiastic review in the.
Assize court, in which Sir Francis levison was tried for the murder of Hallijohn in "East Lynne". "East Lynne" owes half its popularity, however, to that reaction against inane and impossible goodness which has taken place since the middle of the century. Just as Rochester and paul Ferroll are protests against the conventional hero, so lady Isabel is a protest against the conventional heroine - and a portent of her time! We were all familiar with beauty and virtue in distress, from Clarissa harlowe downwards. It is during later years that we have become conversant with beauty and guilt as objects of our sympathy and commiseration. The moralists of the time - saturday reviewers, and others - perceived the change from one point of view, and were not slow to comment. Their opposition assignment to the modern novel was chiefly based upon what they called a glorification of vice and crime. Now that the mists of prejudice have cleared away, we can see very well that no more praise of wrongdoing was implied by Mrs. Wood's portrait of Lady Isabel than by Thackeray's keen-edged delineation of Becky sharp or george Eliot's sorrowful sympathy with Maggie tulliver.
There is no reason why pathos should be marred because a dying child asks for cheese with his tea, or because the sensible stepmother condemns Lucy to a diet of bread and water for some trifling offence, or because miss Cornelia carlisle displays her laughable. The pathos is married now and then, not because of these trifling yet irritating incidents, but because we get an impression that the author has forced a number of utterly prosaic people into a tragic situation for which they are eminently unfitted. The ducking of Sir Francis levison in the horsepond is an example of this. The man was a heartless villain and murderer, yet he is presented to us in a scene of almost vulgar farce as part of his retribution. If the author had herself realised the insufficiency of her characters to rise to the tragic height demanded of them; she might have achieved either satire or intense realism; but there is a certain smugness in Mrs. Henry wood's acceptance of the commonplaces of life which makes us feel her an inadequate painter of tragedy. We close the book with a suspicion that she preferred the intolerable barbara to the winsome and erring Lady Isabel.
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Carlisle and Sir Francis. The one inexplicable point in essay the story is Lady Isabel's desertion of her husband for a man whom she must despise. It is never hinted that she had for one moment lost her heart to Francis levinson. She left her husband out of sheer pique and jealousy loving him ardently all the while, although, in her ignorance and folly, she scarcely knew that she loved him. Here the story is weak.
We feel that Mrs. Wood sacrifices probability in her effort to obtain a striking situation. For the strongest part of "East Lynne" is the description of what occurs when lady Isabel returns as a governess to her old home, when her husband, supposing her to be dead, has married his old love barbara hare. To this situation, everything is subordinate; and it is in itself so strong that we cannot wonder of the author strains a point or two in order to achieve. But the curious, the characteristic, thing is that even environmental in this supreme crisis of the story, mrs. Wood's essential love of detail, and of somewhat commonplace detail, asserts itself over and over again. The incidents she takes pains to narrate are rational enough.
The present generation complains that the pathos of the story is overdone; but even if detail after detail is multiplied, so as to harrow the reader's feelings almost unnecessarily, the fact still remains that Mrs. Wood has imagined as pitiful and tragic a situation as could possibly exist in the domestic relations of man and woman. The erring wife returning to find her husband married to another woman, to nurse one of her own children through his last illness without being recognised by him or by her husband, and to die at last in her husband's house with the merest shadow. The faults of Mrs. Henry wood's style, its occasional prolixity and common-placeness, the iteration of the moral reflections, as well as the triteness and feebleness sometimes of the dialogue, very nearly disappear from view when we resign ourselves to a consideration of this tragic situation.
It cannot be denied that there is just a touch of mawkishness now and then, just a slight ring of false sentiment in the pity accorded to lady Isabel, who was certainly one of the silliest young women that ever existed in the realms. Nevertheless the spectacle of the mother nursing the dying boy, who does not know her, is one that will always appeal to the heart of the ordinary reader, and will go far to account for the extraordinary appeal of "East Lynne.". A novelist of more aspiring genius would perhaps have concentrated our attention exclusively upon Lady Isabel's feelings and tragic fate. Wood's failings, as well as her capacities, reveal themselves. She sees the tragic side of things, but she sees also (and perhaps too much) the pathos of small incidents, the importance of trifles. She spares us no jot of the sordid side of life. And in a novel of the undoubted power of "East Lynne" there are some details which might have been spared. The rapacity of the creditors who seize the body of Lady Isabel's father, the gossip of the servants, the suspicions of Afy hallijohn, and, in short, almost all the underplot respecting Richard Hare - these matters are superfluous. The reader's eye ought to be kept more attentively upon the heroine and her relations with.
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The reason of the popularity of "East Lynne" is not far to word seek. It is to begin with, a very touching story; and its central situation, which in some respects recalls the relation of the two women in Mrs. Crowe's "Linny lockwood is genuinely striking. It is perhaps not worth while to argue as to its probability. It is, of course, barely possible that a woman should come disguised into the house where she formerly reigned as mistress, and act as governess to her own children, without being recognised. As a matter of fact, she is recognised by one of the servants only on account of a momentary forgetfulness of her disguise. Her own husband, her own children, do not know her in the least; and although he and his kinswoman are vaguely troubled by what they consider a chance resemblance, they dismiss it from their minds as utterly impossible, until the day when lady Isabel, dying. The changes in her personal appearance, her lameness, for instance, and the greyness of her hair, are very ingeniously contrived; but it certainly seems almost impossible that two or three years should have so completely summary changed her that nobody should even guess at her identity.
Its success was prodigious and it is still one of the most popular novels upon the shelves of every circulating library. It has been translated into many languages and dramatised in different forms. It was published in 1861, and reached a fifth edition within the year. Amongst her örnekleri most popular works also are "The Channings" and Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles 1862; "The Shadow of Ashlydyat 1863; "St. Martin's eve 1866; "a life's Secret 1867; "Roland Yorke a sequel to "The Channings 1869; "Johnny ludlow stories reprinted from the. Argosy, 1874 to 18852 "Edina 1876; "Pomeroy abbey 1878; "Court Netherleigh 1881; and many other stories and novels. Wood was for many years the editor of the.
skill, but it is skill of a kind which deserves recognition, under what name soever it may be classed. Henry wood was born in Worcestershire in 1814, and died in London in 1887. She suffered from delicate health and passed the greater part of her life as an invalid. She was the daughter. Thomas Price, one of the largest glove manufacturers in the city of Worcester. Henry wood, the head of a large banking and shipping firm, who retired early from work and died comparatively young. It was not until middle life that Mrs. Wood began to write; and her first work 1 - perhaps, of all her works, the most popular - was "East Lynne which first appeared. Colburn's New Monthly magazine.
There is no book of hers which deals - as supermarket so many novels deal - with merely one or two characters. She takes the whole town into her story, wherever it may. We not only know the lord-lieutenant and the high Sheriff and the Squire, but we are intimate (particularly intimate) with the families of the local lawyer and doctor. We are almost equally well acquainted with their bootmaker and greengrocer, while their maids and their grooms are as much living entities to us as if they had served us in our own houses. To take a great group of dramatis personae, widely differing in circumstances, in character, in individuality; to keep them all perfectly clear without confusion and without wavering; to evolve from them some central on which the attention of the subsidiary characters shall be unavoidably fixed. Henry wood, might well be proud. It is no more easy to marshal a multitude of characters in the pages of your book than to dispose bodies of soldiers in advantageous positions over an unknown country.
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Ellen wood - adeline sergeant's Essay - "Mrs. Henry wood" (1897) "Mrs. Henry wood" by Adeline sergeant, the art of the raconteur, pure and simple, is apt to be undervalued in our days. A rage for character-painting, for analysis, for subtle discrimination, down to the minutest detail, book has taken hold upon us; and although we have lately returned to a taste for adventure of the more stirring kind, there is still an underlying conviction that the highest forms. Hence the person who is gifted simply with a desire (and the power) of telling as story as a story, with no ulterior motive, with no ambition of intellectual achievement, the Scheherazade of our quiet evenings and holiday afternoons, is apt to take a much. This is especially the case of Mrs. It is impossible to claim for her any lofty literary position; she is emphatically un-literary and middle-class. But she never has cause to say, "Story? God bless you, i have none to tell, sir for she always has a very distinct and convincing story, which she handles with a skill which can perhaps be valued only by the professional novelist, who knows the technical difficulty of handling the numerous groups.