Sunday 19 February 2017

The Romola Factor

I've been reading George Eliot's Romola, a novel with a forbidding reputation. Many great novelists carry such burdens. When reading Dickens I left Barnaby Rudge till last. And I've never managed to get more than a few pages into Virginia Woolf's The Waves. (Barnaby Rudge is actually rather brilliant, and I've high hopes of Romola.)

Which, I wonder, is the prodigal among Anita Brookner's family of novels, ready one day for rehabilitation and the fatted calf? I've explored in a previous post the precarious status of A Friend from England and A Misalliance. But my money's on Lewis Percy. It's different in tone and setting from other Brookners. On publication (like Barnaby Rudge) it got a very bad press. I've considered its merits in another earlier post. Let's all give it a hearing one of these days.

Leighton, 'The Blind Scholar and His Daughter'

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