Posts Tagged ‘transatlantic voyages’

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Love Stories

March 24, 2012

I blame Eleanor for the amount of Mary Roberts Rinehart I’ve been reading lately. Every time I move on to something else, she tells me which Rinehart she’s reading and I get jealous.

Anyway, I read Love Stories last week. I was pretty sure I hadn’t read it before, but the first story seemed awfully familiar. It turns out I’d already read it in a magazine. But it holds up well. I mean, it’s Rinehart. Of course it does.

This book is kind of a precursor to the hospital romance comics from the 1970s that I read at my grandmother’s apartment when I was younger. All but the last two stories are set in hospitals, and all but the last one are romances. Lots of doctors and nurses. Lots of incidents recycled from or for K. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Lord John in New York

January 11, 2012

The worst thing about terrible mystery novels — the kind where the hero judges everyone on the most shallow grounds imaginable, and every tenuous connection is treated as a solid deduction — is that you can make fun of the hero all you want for assuming the Egyptian guy he’s found in the phone book (apparently this is a phone book that sorts by nationality?) is the same mysterious Egyptian guy who might have upset the girl he’s fallen in love at first sight with, but in the end you know the hero is going to be proven right. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Little Miss Grouch

August 9, 2011

All you members of the fluffy romance contingent will not want to miss out on Samuel Hopkins Adams’ Little Miss Grouch, the most adorable and entertaining novel of transatlantic crossing that it’s ever been my pleasure to read. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reviews at EP: Lord Loveland Discovers America

August 8, 2011

Now up at Edwardian Promenade: Lord Loveland Discovers America, sequel to Lady Betty Across the Water.

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Mae Madden

April 25, 2011

I have no idea why I decided to read this book. I clicked on a random author name on Project Gutenberg — Mary Murdoch Mason — and there was one title there — Mae Madden — and I thought, “that’s a lot of initial Ms,” and read it.

I’m not sure how much else I have to say about it.

Mae is a nineteen year old American girl traveling in Europe with her two brothers, her friend Edith, Edith’s mother, and Edith’s cousin Norman Mann, who is presumably named that so that Mae can have an additional initial M when they get married. But first she has to get entangled with a flirtatious Piedmontese officer.

The book is completely fine, I guess. The dialogue is a bit above average, and there are some nifty psychological bits, although I wish the book as a whole had been less down on the concept of young women having fun and taking care of themselves, but: fine. Totally, totally fine.

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One Day

September 16, 2010

Remember Three Weeks? Remember High Noon?

Elinor Glyn published Three Weeks in 1907. Anonymous published High Noon in 1911. Anonymous — the same Anonymous, I’ve just found — published One Day in 1909. So, yeah, I went and read them in the wrong order. I’m not sorry, though; awful as High Noon was, I’m glad it wasn’t tainted for me by the total horror that is One Day.

What do I even say about One Day? Everything I can think of entails a level of profanity you don’t normally see on this blog. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Princess Aline

September 1, 2010

I’ve been told that Richard Harding Davis was the model for the typical hero of the early twentieth century novel, and you only have to look at a picture of him to see why someone might say that. So I was surprised to find that Morton Carlton, hero of The Princess Aline, didn’t look like an illustration by Charles Dana Gibson. I mean, I can’t say for sure that he didn’t, because Davis doesn’t go in for much physical description, but that’s my point: from the start to the finish of The Princess Aline, I was always much more sure of what the characters were like as people than what they looked like, and that was pretty cool .

ETA: I have just realized that this book was actually illustrated by Charles Dana Gibson. I think my point still stands.

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Lady Betty Across the Water

May 20, 2010

So, Lady Betty Across the Water is by the Williamsons, but for the second Williamson book in a row, I was constantly reminded of Elinor Glyn. And this time, it wasn’t just a general feeling of Glynishness: my major recurring thought was, “this happened in Elizabeth Visits America, didn’t it?”

The answer, for about fifty percent of the events of Lady Betty, is yes. But apparently Lady Betty came first. I’m…actually probably going to have to work at not resenting it for that. Not that Elizabeth Visits America is significantly better, or that I didn’t really enjoy Lady Betty. It’s just that Elizabeth so embodies the kind of character that she and Lady Betty both are, that Lady Betty is always going to seem like an imitation. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Patty in Paris

September 8, 2007

As I reread the first few chapters of Patty in Paris, I contemplated just posting large chunks of it here, instead of describing it. And I’m not going to do that — at least, not exactly — but it’s even lighter on plot than the other books in the series, so I’m going to use it to illustrate a couple of things about the series in general. like Patty’s personality, and parties. It’s funny that I haven’t said that much about the parties before, because about a third of  each book is usually taken up by loving descriptions of them.
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