The Story of an African Farm (Penguin modern classics, 197)

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9780140001976: The Story of an African Farm (Penguin modern classics, 197)

Excerpt from Story of an African Farm

I have to thank cordially the public and my critics for the reception they hate given this little book.

About the Publisher

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This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.

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Review:

Renowned as a pioneering effort of South African literature, The Story of An African Farm was a work strongly influenced by nineteenth-century British traditions, filled with extended philosophical discussions, characters reminiscient of Charles Dickens, and an almost complete silence on the issue of race relations. But for all its Victorian attributes, the novel is a landmark in many ways. First is the setting in the rural South African landscape which Olive Schreiner evokes in all its bleakness and beauty, a fitting backdrop for the spiritual and philosophical development of Lyndall and Waldo, two soulmates who unceasingly search for truth throughout their lives. Their quest is frustrated - in Lyndall's case by gender restrictions and for Waldo by social position. The novel is also significant for Lyndall's character. Her forthright feminism, her refusal to alter her principles and her determination not to marry her lover despite her pregnancy make her a noteworthy female character in nineteenth century literature. In the end, the book has an uneven quality, but it is important both for its place in literary history and for the moments when it soars in its descriptions and philosophical revelations. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister

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Olive Schreiner
Published by Penguin Books (1979)
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