Book Review – The Hampstead Mystery by Arthur J. Rees

The Hampstead MysteryThe Hampstead Mystery by Arthur J. Rees

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Slow, thinly characterized, dubious ‘psychological’ deductions, descriptions and motivations ascribed. Numerous patronizingly stereotypical portraits of working-class characters and women. Not genuinely awful, but not of the first rank and certainly very much of its time. One point five stars really.

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Book Review – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have loved this book for years now, but… honestly, what a cad Rochester is. I know it’s not precisely an original observation, but still. Jane deserved better. And only a blinkered Charlotte, with exactly the narrowly circumscribed inculcated nineteenth century notion of a woman’s lot she ascribes to Jane, could possibly think that ending a happy one.

And yet, it’s still one of barely a handful of books in my lifetime that have reduced me to feeling off my head while reading it, light-headed and nutty and unsteady as if I’d had a drink or two. What can you do? A massively annoying permanent classic.

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