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Review: Belinda, by Maria Edgeworth


I picked up Belinda when I heard that it was similar to Jane Austen. While there are parallels to Austen’s work, Edgeworth differs in that she was slightly more worldly than Austen was.

In Belinda, we follow the story of a young woman of uncommon good sense, who, at the behest of her aunt, goes to stay with Lady Delacour in London. While there, Belinda meets Lady Delacour’s protégé Clarence Hervey, with whom, of course, she falls in love. Mr. Hervey, however, may or may not be attached to another young lady. Lady Delacour has a secret, which she keeps from everyone except her overbearing servant Marriott and Belinda. The book touches on colonialism when Mr. Vincent, a man with a deep secret, enters the picture and threatens to steal Belinda’s heart. Along the way, Belinda learns by the example of her friends how to and how not to behave.

The novel is an 18th-century “will they or won’t they?” and the plot unfolds neatly, albeit dramatically. For a novel (or, as Edgeworth would have called it, a “moral tale”), published in 1803, Belinda is highly (and compulsively) readable. It’s a must read for anyone who loves Jane Austen.

Comments

NotJustLaura said…
Thanks for the review. It sounds right up my street and has found a place on the ever-growing wish-list!
Terri B. said…
I have never heard of this book. Thanks for the review!
Nicole said…
I'm definitely into Jane Austen and now I'm going to check this one out.

Thanks for the review.

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2015 Reading

January
1. The Vanishing Witch, by Karen Maitland
2. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
3. Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg
4. Brighton Rock, by Graham Green
5. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey
6. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
7. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
8. A Movable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
9. A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf
10. Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote
11. Maggie-Now, by Betty Smith

February
1. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate, by Cynthia Lee
4. Music For Chameleons, by Truman Capote
5. Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
6. Unrequited, by Lisa Phillips
7. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
8. A Lost Lady, by Willa Cather

March
1. Persuasion, by Jane Austen
2. Love With a Chance of Drowning, by Torre DeRoche
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Miss Buncle's Book, by DE Stevenson
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garc…