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Winter reading notes

Today I finished reading Mary, by Mary Wollstonecraft. To be honest I found it lacking. The ending was poignant but the whole novel felt somehow incomplete. I understand its significance in terms of the Age of Reason school of thought giving way to the Romantic, in which emotions take prevalence over order. I recall reading that it as well as other works by Wollstonecraft were true propaganda, and this would account for the lack of depth I sensed.

I spent an hour trying to find my place in Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte. I decided to read it with Stanza instead of listening to the Librivox podcast any longer. I felt like I was missing details by listening. I am picking up at The School-feast, since that is the last event I remember, though I feel like I was much further along. I am enjoying Shirley, but it is almost too intense. I end up acting like the heroine (reference my "smothered at the first cry" reading note) if I read it too many days in a row, and I get to feeling a little multiple personalities.

I like to balance it with The Mysteries of Udolpho, which technically I began when I was sixteen, though I re-read the first chapters starting a year ago. I enjoy Ann Radcliffe. Her works are similar to one another, but I appreciate their entertainment, and I also enjoy looking at the structure and unfolding of events which serves to entertain, which is truly art. I also really enjoy the time period. The novel itself is technically historical, but the characters and their values seem to better correspond to the eighteenth century.

I have an exhaustive fiction reading list otherwise.

  • Prisoner of the Iron Tower
  • The Mists of Avalon (re-read)
  • Katherine Sutcliffe re-reads
  • Eclipse
I also found a book I had downloaded today called Gone to Earth by Mary Webb. I can't remember why I downloaded it, but it is interesting, set in rural Wales with what seem like heavy naturalistic overtones, written in 1917. 

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