In a few short pages,” writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, “May Sinclair succeeds in rendering the oppressive weight and strength. This short book charts the life of Harriett Frean, from birth to death. She is born into a well to do Victorian tradesman’s family in a London suburb. Life and Death of Harriett Frean: English literature: The literature of World War I and the interwar period: Olivier: A Life () and Life and Death of Harriett.

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Reflective of the privileged “nothing lives” of women who had no choice or voice in a previous era, it is just as effective today, albeit for different reasons; for at that time, it was a still life of a woman; today, it is the most horror-laden of cautionary tales.

It is also a dark and harsh critique of late Victorian morals and propriety as well as an examination of the dark side of familial bonds.

It sounds quite interesting. There are a couple of very readable and interesting books on the suffrage books you might like — The Virago book of Suffragettes, and drath ascent of woman by Melenie Phillips — you might already know them, but if not — I found fo very inspiring, everything from the birth of the movement to womens fight for education, and interestingly a lot of stuff about working women and trade unionism.

Quotes from Oc Life and Deat We have a lot of old maids in our family. This page was last edited on 11 Octoberat Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.

Interesting Literature

Mar 23, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: An hour or so veath all what you need to finish reading this book, deatj it may take you one lifetime to forget it.


Books by May Sinclair. Feb 27, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: And the other way round, there are such individuals amongst us that can live only fulfilling parents desires and pleasing them is their only aim. Notify me of new comments via email. But the novel has quite contemporary repercussion.

Essentially, the story revolves around the detached illustration of the way well-meaning social rules can create a monster. By coincidence, I picked up The Life hzrriett Death of Harriett Frean in an Oxfam bookshop the other week so your reading and review of it is very timely! And you revel in this secret pathological abnegation with all the pervy thrill of a hairshirted medieval monk.

Life and Death of Harriett Frean by May Sinclair

She pf over 23 novels, 39 short stories, a couple poetry collections, and some crucial literary criticism. I really This short novel tells the disturbing tale of a Victorian girl named Harriett Frean and her attempt to live a “morally beautiful” life It was easy to read but a sad tale of a narrow and repressed life, and the futility of self-sacrifice.

Actually she may never have existed so unimpressive, futile and meaningless her life was, and she herself more and more dependant, at first from her parents later from her maid. Her father dies after ruining his forture and his friend’s one as well, and his perfect image in harriett’s mind is ruined. It was disturbing, it was ironic, and bitter and poignant as well.

However, the book is also a more modernistic piece in that Harriett almost becomes insane due to the path her life takes a mundane one and questions her belief in very outdated Victorian values such as the family and ‘beautiful behaviour’.

It’s amusing that a story can be woven out of something ordinary; it’s even part of Project Gutenberg! Or if you remember, that there’d be nothing now which would tell you that some things you’ve done in the past, especially those you thought were right or beautiful or principled were actually horrible mistakes or acts of cruelty or selfishness.


She was stiff and abrupt with her partners, convinced that none of those men who liked Connie Hancock could like her, and anxious to show them that she didn’t expect them to.

I have an old aunt who lives with her cats. I could relate to Harriett who often sacrificed what she wanted for what she thought others wanted, and it just resulted in no one actually getting what they wanted. Harriet floats through life and not much changes except her age. She ends up being and old stiff spinster afraid of changes, afraid of being too far of her house, annoyed at her friends, and she puts her life in the hands of a maid Maggie who is the total opposite of what she was at her age.

When she was a little girl, she vowed to always obey her parents because she saw firsthand how disappointed they can be when she disobeyed.

Life and Death of Harriett Frean | novel by Sinclair |

Nov 21, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: Yet things are beginning to change. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

I read dozens of books that semester, but this one stuck out and has haunted me ever since. The Life and Death of Harriet Frean is an apropos manifesto for the elevation of women to the rank of humans.

What a really well-written review! Though as its hard back might save it for a holiday….

The very first novel I’ve read which starts with a nursery rhyme.