The House in Dormer Forest Virago Modern Classics PDF

The House in Dormer Forest Virago Modern Classics ➶ [Read] ➲ The House in Dormer Forest Virago Modern Classics By Mary Webb ➾ – Mary Webb 1881 1927 was an English romantic novelist of the early 20th century whose novels were set chiefly in the Shropshire countryside and among Shropshire characters and people which she knew and Mary Webb was in Dormer Epub Þ an English romantic novelist of the early th century whose novels were set The House Epub / chiefly in the Shropshire countryside and among Shropshire characters and people which she knew and loved well Although she House in Dormer PDF/EPUB À was acclaimed by John Buchan and by Rebecca West who hailed her as a genius and won the Prix House in Dormer Forest Virago MOBI :Ê Femina of La Vie Heureuse for Precious Bane she won little respect from the general public It was only after her death that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Stanley Baldwin earned her posthumous success through his approbation referring to her as a neglected genius at a Literary Fund dinner in Her writing is notable for its descriptions of nature and of the human heart She had a deep sympathy for all her characters and was able to see good and truth in all of them Among her most famous works are The Golden Arrow Gone to Earth and Seven for a Secret .

10 thoughts on “The House in Dormer Forest Virago Modern Classics

  1. Katie Katie says:

    Although now largely unknown the House in Dormer Forest is one of the novels parodied by Stella Gibbons in Cold Comfort Farm The very fact that Mary Webb’s book was the subject of parody should have been sufficient warning for me about what I was letting myself in for but I wasn’t prepared for a book uite as amusingly terrible as The House in Dormer Forest turned out to be The House in Dormer Forest follows the fortunes of the Darke family and their servants who live and work in Dormer Old House It’s difficult for me to summarise the plot but suffice to say that it is dark and oppressive and Stella Gibbons can’t have had much work to do in producing a parody as the writing is so incredibly overwrought it almost feels like a pastiche to begin withOccasionally very occasionally her writing is intentionally amusing as Webb reveals her characters to the reader '“I can’t be thwarted” grandmother suddenly broke out She had a theory that if crossed she would die She was fond of saying “I’ve got a weak ‘eart Rachel” –dropping her “h” not because she could not aspirate it but because she did not see why at her age any letter of the alphabet should be her master'I think this perfectly encapsulates grandmother Darke’s the obvious counterpart of Aunt Ada Doom in Cold Comfort Farm tyrannical desire to control everything and the manipulation ways in which she does so Sometimes the language is wild and beautiful if rather over dramatic 'Dormer in its cup at the bases of the hills was always full of damp air and the sound of water Besieged by this grievous music — and what is there in nature sadder than the lament of falling water? — she felt as if she had opened the door not to the night and the stream but on to a future full of doubt and dread veiled in mist' Yes it’s a little bit much but it’s suitably atmospheric and I think it’s uite effective I’m partial to the odd Victorian sensation novel so I am than willing to forgive melodrama under the right circumstances Unfortunately the majority of the time the language tends towards being florid to the point of being ridiculous 'Who would ever seek in Amber Darke so still of so sad coloured an exterior the creature of fire and tears that could feed a man’s heart with faery food and call him into Paradise with songs wild as those of hawks on the untrodden snow fields?' I appreciate that Webb is trying to emphasise how plain Amber is compared to other attractive lively women and therefore unlikely to attract her ideal husband but really Mary is this necessary? Faery food? Hawks? Untrodden fields which seems an odd place for the hawks to be on; I would have assumed they were in the air as birds of prey hopping along the ground are really uite comedic and not at all wild and romantic as I think Webb is trying to suggest Jane Eyre has exactly the same thoughts about being plain and therefore unlikely to attract attention but Bronte manages to express them without recourse to overblown similes about hawks and fairies in a way which makes the reader sympathise with Jane rather than giggle at her Sadly for Amber I found her impossible to relate to because her inner life is so ridiculous and extravagant rather than believeableThe best example of this overwrought style comes when Jasper has gone to a track known ominously everything in this novel happens ominously as ‘the Beast Walk’ to think about things 'To climb this path harrowed his soul made is face even at ten years look uite wizened But now in his young manhood the dark spell was infinitely stronger He drank here of a charm thick as black honey made from purple poison flowers by bees in hell' Intellectually I know that this is supposed to show Jasper brooding and generally being consumed by dark thoughts; in reality I was too busy pondering why there are bees and flowers in hell if the bees have committed some terrible sin and are therefore condemned to an eternity of making black honey and what this might be supposed to taste like Who on earth imagines a hell which features bees and flowers? On the whole I have to conclude that metaphors generally work best if the thing to which you are comparing something else actually exists or at the very least makes sense to your readers This is just ridiculousI can forgive ridiculous writing if a book has something else to recommend it as in the case of early gothic novels which I also rather enjoy However the plot of The House in Dormer Forest is one of sheer unrelenting doom in which no one is ever happy and everyone goes on about it at length The atmosphere is suffocatingly dark and claustrophobic and while this may have been the desired effect I think it needed to be accompanied by better writing so that the reader could at least have had something to enjoy in the novel The only grim humour comes in the form of Sarah a servant who visits retribution on those who displease her by deliberately breaking their china ornaments and gluing the shards together to form a globeAs always my views are entirely subjective and it could be that I’ve missed the point of Webb’s novel entirely Search for this book on UK and you will find the same effusive 5 star review posted no less than twenty two times which makes me somewhat dubious about it but this review from a website featuing the Midlands in literature provides an interesting counterpoint to my own opinions which is much praise filled The general consensus seems to be that this was by no means Webb’s best novel so I will continue to read the rest of her books and see if I enjoy those than I did The House in Dormer Forest

  2. Trisha Trisha says:

    The House in Dormer Forest Mary WebbIf this would have been my first introduction to Mary Webb I doubt whether I would have bothered with any of her other books Which would have been too bad because it would have meant missing “Precious Bane” At her best Mary Webb is a passionate observer of the natural world and when she can keep herself from going overboard her descriptions of the woods streams and countryside of her native Shropshire are reminiscent of Thomas Hardy’s descriptions of Wessex The comparison to Hardy comes across elsewhere as well – notably in the way she has captured the traditions customs social structures and indigenous language of late 19th century rural life during a time when things were changing so dramatically Like many of Hardy’s novels Mary Webb’s are filled with darker elements and in this case they end up verging on the gothic The story is filled with dark and sinister characters who live in a decaying country house in the middle of an overgrown forest and the plot which is skimpy at best uickly takes on all the characteristics of an all too predictable gothic melodrama Because of Mary Webb’s almost mystical reverence for the natural world nature itself becomes one of the major characters in this book and some of her descriptions of Dormer Forest and the surrounding countryside are uite beautiful Unfortunately much of the loveliness gets obscured by pages and pages of affected and often downright turgid language Overall this book was a disappointment and perhaps the best thing I can say for it is that I gained an addition to the list of vocabulary words I pick up while reading obscure books “tenebrous” which means dark shadowy causing gloom It kind of sums up the general tone of the book

  3. Liz Broomfield Liz Broomfield says:

    I do love Mary Webb with her rural settings like those of Hardy and Brett Young with the landscape playing an active role in the atmosphere and events of the story and an intriguing mysticism and insight into the interior and exterior of family and community relationshipsIn this dense novel the house in which the Darke family exist ingrained in age old patterns and acting as a unit rather as individuals they can’t really be said to be living seems to exert its own impassive yet claustrophobic influence over the family which in turn has bound itself too fast in its own web of special conventions and ties of mostly hatred Jasper fights against his religion Ruby is trapped between her need for convention and her own desires and Peter is forced to rebel while uiet Amber truly communes with nature and thus surely deserves a better fate than being the unattractive odd one out regarded with disdain by her manipulative cousin Catherine her of the “long eyes”Although there’s a brooding matriarch given to shouting out Biblical phrases and a scary family retainer Enoch Mary Webb does not deserve her reputation of being melodramatic and humourless unfortunately brought up by her association with Stella Gibbons’ “Cold Comfort Farm” which Gibbons herself claimed was based on an amalgam of ‘countryside misery’ novels including Hardy and others as well as Webb The descriptions of nature are truly beautiful and this is a very human understanding and sometimes funny book Webb certainly doesn’t take herself or her characters too seriously undermining them with touches of playful or vicious satire A better read than people would think luckily I already knew I was going to enjoy it

  4. Merry Merry says:

    Not as perfect as Precious Bane and Gone to Earth It has a sense of being a practice novel in a way Still I liked it a lot

  5. Helen Bell Helen Bell says:

    I have changed the rating for this book as I was finding it hard to get into Now I have completed it I have a different take on itI read this partly because Mary Webb comes from Shropshire a county I love but also because one of my reviewers compared my writing to hers This is a short and intrinsically simple story about a house deep in the Shropshire countryside full of people some likeable most not who hate each other and long to break free The trouble is none of them can find a way out that isn't yet another form of prison for them In the end the likeable characters choose to defy convention and do escapeThe story may seem simple enough but Mary's writing makes it like being in a sensory tumble dryer eating rich fruit cake Her descriptions of people are caricatures even the likeable individuals putting me in mind of Mervyn Peake's astonishing cast in Gormenghast a writer few could emulate in the portrayal of sumptuous and scary individuals 'There was a ghost hiding in Mrs Velindre's eyes a cadaverous grisly thing which had looked at her out of other people's eyes when she was a child slowly possessing her in womanhood; finally absorbing her whole personality eating into it like a worm into a rotten fruit' Like Gormenghast Mary's settings are no less characters either; the house gardens and countryside all described in detail from the most menacing to the most awesome and beautiful Dormer House here Elizabethan there ueen Anne another part Georgian 'had something of a malignant air as of an old ruler from whom senility takes the power but not the will for tyranny' In another place it is described as an 'old vampire dwelling Between them Mrs Velindre and the house dominate the atmosphere even when we aren't aware of them until they both remind us of their importance in dramatic styleIn the end this is also a tale about the old versus the young constraint versus defiance and theistic versus natural beliefs The seemingly simple holds surprising depth

  6. Sharon Zink Sharon Zink says:

    A Gothic story with no mystery written in Victorian and first published in the twenties Plot characters and setting very well developed The flaw in this book is that description of the setting was too long Every house not lit by love is desolate That statement taken from the last chapter is the theme of the book

  7. scarlettraces scarlettraces says:

    I find Mary Webb hard to rate since the lyrical description has dated rather than the minor character byplay which is still intensely funny The House in Dormer Forest has both And it's always satisfying when the plain ageing spinster trumps gorgeous youth

  8. Wendy Wendy says:

    This had some romantic and lovely parts just like Precious Bane but it still wasn't as good Enjoyed it very much

  9. Maureen Maureen says:

    A classic example of romantic movement; author's voice elouent but the contortions of gothic plotting and psychological intensity is dated

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