A Simple Story (Penguin Classics)

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9780140434736: A Simple Story (Penguin Classics)

When Miss Milner announces her passion for her guardian, a Catholic priest, she breaks through the double barrier of his religious vocation and her society's standards of proper womanly behaviour. Her love is legitimized when Dorriforth is released from his vows, but her own unorthodox nature cannot be contained by a marriage where her husband continues to be a stern moral guide. Elizabeth Inchbald is concerned with the question of a woman's 'proper education' and in a novel whose sureness of touch and subtlety of characterization prefigure Jane Austen's work, she shows that there is no simple answer.

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Review:

"This is an ideal teaching edition. The full and lucid introduction considers both biographical and formal elements. Particularly welcome and valuable is the generous set of appendices; the first, providing extracts from Inchbald's own critical and dramatic writing, as well as from her pocket diaries, gives us a rounded and sympathetic view of the impressive variety of Inchbald's achievements as a writer, while the contemporary reviews contained in the second appendix give a good sense of the prevailing understanding of the novel as genre."--Aileen Douglas

"By situating A Simple Story against theatrical texts, Lott evokes the complexities of Inchbald's life--as woman, actor, novelist, playwright, and eventually critic--and thus challenges us to understand the work as an 'attempt to merge two forms, the novel and the play.' Examples of conduct literature demonstrate that Inchbald was an astute reader of gender construction, while accounts of divorce proceedings illustrate the reality of social consequences facing women who balked at the double standard for female behavior. Excerpts from period debates over the politics of authority remind us that the novel was completed as the French Revolution was beginning and that many of Inchbald's friends were shortly to be labeled Jacobin. This edition of Inchbald's most famous novel will prompt revisions in many an eighteenth-century syllabus."--Katherine Green

“This is an ideal teaching edition. The full and lucid introduction considers both biographical and formal elements. Particularly welcome and valuable is the generous set of appendices; the first, providing extracts from Inchbald’s own critical and dramatic writing, as well as from her pocket diaries, gives us a rounded and sympathetic view of the impressive variety of Inchbald’s achievements as a writer, while the contemporary reviews contained in the second appendix give a good sense of the prevailing understanding of the novel as genre.” — Aileen Douglas, Trinity College Dublin

“By situating A Simple Story against theatrical texts, Lott evokes the complexities of Inchbald’s life—as woman, actor, novelist, playwright, and eventually critic—and thus challenges us to understand the work as an ‘attempt to merge two forms, the novel and the play.’ Examples of conduct literature demonstrate that Inchbald was an astute reader of gender construction, while accounts of divorce proceedings illustrate the reality of social consequences facing women who balked at the double standard for female behavior. Excerpts from period debates over the politics of authority remind us that the novel was completed as the French Revolution was beginning and that many of Inchbald’s friends were shortly to be labeled Jacobin. This edition of Inchbald’s most famous novel will prompt revisions in many an eighteenth-century syllabus.” — Katherine Green, Western Kentucky University

"This is an ideal teaching edition. The full and lucid introduction considers both biographical and formal elements. Particularly welcome and valuable is the generous set of appendices; the first, providing extracts from Inchbald's own critical and dramatic writing, as well as from her pocket diaries, gives us a rounded and sympathetic view of the impressive variety of Inchbald's achievements as a writer, while the contemporary reviews contained in the second appendix give a good sense of the prevailing understanding of the novel as genre." -- Aileen Douglas, Trinity College Dublin

"By situating A Simple Story against theatrical texts, Lott evokes the complexities of Inchbald's life--as woman, actor, novelist, playwright, and eventually critic--and thus challenges us to understand the work as an 'attempt to merge two forms, the novel and the play.' Examples of conduct literature demonstrate that Inchbald was an astute reader of gender construction, while accounts of divorce proceedings illustrate the reality of social consequences facing women who balked at the double standard for female behavior. Excerpts from period debates over the politics of authority remind us that the novel was completed as the French Revolution was beginning and that many of Inchbald's friends were shortly to be labeled Jacobin. This edition of Inchbald's most famous novel will prompt revisions in many an eighteenth-century syllabus." -- Katherine Green, Western Kentucky University

From the Back Cover:

After its publication in early 1791, A Simple Story was widely read in England and abroad, going into a second edition in March of the same year. The novel's young heroine, Miss Milner, scandalously declares herself in love with her guardian, Dorriforth, a Catholic priest. Dorriforth returns her love and is released from his vows. Though the pair go on to marry, the second half of the novel reveals the disastrous and far-reaching consequences of Miss Milner's subsequent adulterous affair.

The critical introduction to this Broadview edition considers such issues as Catholicism, theatricality, the theatre, and the masquerade, while the appendices provide a wide selection of cultural, biographical, and literary contexts for the novel.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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