Guide The Real Charlotte

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Essentially the book explores the roles these women are forced to play by their looks and stations in life. Francie, the young pretty girl from Dublin is foisted off on Charlotte, her well-to-do cousin, and the conflict between the two fuels the actions of the novel. While Charlotte is ostensibly the villain and several times the authors feel the need to remind us of this , it is she we are left admiring because despite her limitations as a woman in this society, she finds ways around them and always achieves her goals. While she is responsible for some very bad behavior the death of her best friend, the ruin of a man she secretly loved who spurned her for Francie , she comes out the clear victor.

While Victorian convention could never allow Charlotte to be deemed a hero, in The Real Charlotte, she really is. May 05, Jyoti51 rated it really liked it. It's interesting how relevant this book still seemed - both to Ireland's history and to humans generally - after a gap of 40 years since I first read it. The personal interactions and behaviours still seem complex and convincing and I am now much more struck by the way in which the book elaborates how women made use of their intelligence and skills in that context Not just as subject to their times, but to the constraints of class, colonialism the confident entitlement of the English charac It's interesting how relevant this book still seemed - both to Ireland's history and to humans generally - after a gap of 40 years since I first read it.

Not just as subject to their times, but to the constraints of class, colonialism the confident entitlement of the English characters contrasting with the constant planning, plotting, negotiation of the Irish , appearance, and age. Charlotte is elderly, plain, Irish, female, and intelligent. Her intelligence and options are circumscribed by all these descriptors but she works constantly to become less at their mercy. Re-reading, I found myself much more aware of the kindness with which the characters are treated - whether apparently cruel bullies or brainless fluffs, their internal life and construing is available in a way that helps make sense of their choices and mistakes.

Somerville and Ross are two women writers who are still worth reading - and re-reading too!


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Jun 08, Sally rated it really liked it Shelves: 19th-century-literature , irish-literature. This review is from: The Real Charlotte Kindle Edition When pretty, charming orphan Francie Fitzpatrick is sent to live with her plain middle aged cousin Charlotte Mullen, she awakens a hornet's nest of feelings. From the quiet and studious aristocrat Christopher Dysart to the considerably lower class Mr Hawkins, a man with a p "The real Charlotte had seldom been nearer the surface than at this moment and Mrs Lambert cowered before the manifestation", 8 Jun.

From the quiet and studious aristocrat Christopher Dysart to the considerably lower class Mr Hawkins, a man with a past. And most vitally there is Roddy Lambert - a man who has married for money, but for whom Charlotte has strong feelings nonetheless. How will she handle his developing feelings for the lovely Francie? A really compelling read which brings to life late 19th century life in Ireland.

The authors have a great skill for bringing to life the characters through dialogue and accent, from the servants to their 'betters. Dec 31, A. Perhaps I enjoyed this so much because it was such a refreshing, pleasant change from the intense reading I've been doing lately.

The Real Charlotte by Edith Anna Oenone Somerville

Even if that is the reason for four full stars, I think the novel would stand up in other circumstances. Early on, I laughed aloud several times and wrote out a few hilarious descriptions to share. This co-written story has clearly drawn characters, and it isn't a simple read, as some might suppose it would be.

There's much being said about human nature, and the title Perhaps I enjoyed this so much because it was such a refreshing, pleasant change from the intense reading I've been doing lately.

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There's much being said about human nature, and the title is critical, because it's easy to forget that this isn't Francie's story entirely. The novel incorporates truths about the land system and inheritances, but its focus is the privileged, Protestant population.

It is a Victorian novel. I really enjoyed it, and especially appreciated that there is far more to Francie than there seems to be.

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real charlotte ( 1990 ) part 1

This book was on my list of important but difficult-to-find Irish titles. Well worth reading. Jun 11, Kate rated it liked it. Apparently this is one of the most famous novels to come out of Ireland in the 19th century, and I found it in a dollar cart at the Book Barn. I love reading things I've never heard of, so it was exciting. It had everything you might expect from a 19th century British novel aimed at women: a female character who seduces men, sometimes accidentally and sometimes on purpose, unrequited love, money trouble, class issues stemming from people's money trouble, melodrama, and a somewhat evil older woma Apparently this is one of the most famous novels to come out of Ireland in the 19th century, and I found it in a dollar cart at the Book Barn.

It had everything you might expect from a 19th century British novel aimed at women: a female character who seduces men, sometimes accidentally and sometimes on purpose, unrequited love, money trouble, class issues stemming from people's money trouble, melodrama, and a somewhat evil older woman character. Not usually my favorite. However, this book is Irish. I know it seems like that wouldn't make it that different, but it does. For one thing, it's wittier than an English book cut from the same cloth, and that goes a long way with me.

It held my interest more than the usual Bronte sister book, but I don't think I'll ever re-read it. Jan 28, Eleanor rated it really liked it Shelves: I heard a recommendation for this book on the radio - an english professor from Trinity College, said that her class would be in uproar if she didn't choose it in her top three books. It went on the list!!! The writers were cousins two women , and they had a great insight into life in the upper classes of Ireland during the Victorian era - which makes this book interesting, but it's the characters and their interaction that makes this novel zing.

It is almost Austen like in the beautiful, entert I heard a recommendation for this book on the radio - an english professor from Trinity College, said that her class would be in uproar if she didn't choose it in her top three books. It is almost Austen like in the beautiful, entertaining protrayal of the everyday. Lovely read. Jan 27, Corrie rated it really liked it Shelves: spinstars. One of my new favorite spinster protagonists! If we can call Charlotte the protagonist But I'm not giving anything away because more people should read this book if you can find it in print.

Jan 16, Philip Lane rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Irish landscape and houses as well as the brooding prescience of Charlotte.


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She really is a formidable character and one I am surprised I had not heard of previously. Good story. Quite an endearing heroine, very forthright, flirtatious with slightly common Dublin accent. Her romantic adventures with admirers and determination of them all to escape or avoid poverty. Jul 04, Jane rated it really liked it. A lovely novel! Somerville and Ross are known for their witty books that describe the goings on between the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and the peasants that usually get the better of them.

This is amore serious effort, reminiscent of Mrs. Gaskell's Wives and Daughters.


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  5. A really fine read. Feb 21, Liz marked it as to-read Shelves: unfinished. I've decided to read this for St. Patty's day. Jan 11, Chelsea added it Shelves: One of the most well-written books I've never finished! Will have to delve back in sometime. Words were music. Such a horrible character. One of those books I thought I 'ought' to read, but loathed every minute of it.

    Meh, I suppose in the unlikely event it ever comes up in conversation I'm good. Oct 08, Anjelina Azizsoltani rated it really liked it. Reminded me of Jane Austen types. They lived in an odd social limbo that was being increasingly threatened by Nationalist movements of the late s. The book does not go into the political ethos of the day and, indeed, even the more peasant characters seem to be politically neutral, which is not always the case in Somerville and Ross books. It does help, though, to have some knowledge of the political context of the times if one is to understand the observations made by Lyons and Foster.

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    Still, even without that information the book is an excellent read and the social and political implications are not really that important. The story concerns Francie Fitzpatrick, a young woman of impoverished semi-gentility and cousin of Charlotte Mullen, who received an inheritance that was partly to go to Francie. Shades of Emily Herbert, again. Charlotte has connections, social and financial, with the local squirearchy and when Francie goes to stay with her she mingles in unfamiliar society.

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