November 28, 2020

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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No trivia or quizzes yet. Essentially, the story revolves around the detached illustration of the way well-meaning social rules can create a monster.

Life and Death of Harriett Frean by May Sinclair

The book was interesting because it gives an insight into the lives of Victorian women, This book is very centered around the protagonist and is often confusing in its abrupt passings of time. Nov 21, Paul rated it really liked it Shelves: As social critique it is devastating in its oof as a rainy Saturday afternoon read it was not the best choice. Along with all this her books were actually popular and sold well back then.

I know some people do not like that list much but this slender bitter novel from would have otherwise passed me by completely. In its singleminded satire of a long-buried standard, I harfiett it totally depressing, stif As a denunciation of the Victorian-era ideal daughter, dutiful to the point of total self-negation, this probably had considerable bite in its era.


Well written review, Rachel.

May Sinclair’s Modernist Masterpiece: The Life and Death of Harriett Frean | Interesting Literature

In fact, she was the first one to use the term “stream-of-consciousness” in a literary sense. If the author had made the title “The Life and Death of Spinster Harriett Frean”, then there’s nothing more to say in this review. Harriett never wanted to disappoint. She has opened her house to boarders so technically, she doesn’t live alone.

This is crucial because we can’t forget that the majority of the women of this time suffered in silence. 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. Later, after about an hour of nonstop reading, Harriet Frean is already 68 years old, dying of the same cancer which killed her mother years before.

Cynthia’s Biblio -Files January 9, at 5: Books by May Sinclair. It was also adapted into a BBC television show in The author, May Sinclair, was a poppin’ writer, feminist, and suffragette in the early s who was hugely influential to modernist literature but she’s almost completely forgotten.

Harriett on the other hand, wanted to become like her idolized mother and she did, but she was still disappointed. By coincidence, I picked up The Life and Death of Harriett Frean in an Oxfam bookshop the other week so your reading and review of it is very timely! To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


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.

It is a modernist treatment of Victorian repression as well as an examination of the role of women in Victorian society. We gaze, and wonder and admire and envy from a distance.

Return to Book Page. Sinclair championed the work of the Imagist poets led by Ezra Poundand even wrote a novel in verse using the Imagist method, The Dark Night. And then we learn that her mother was just the same way and that her parents weren’t all shiny and perfect as Harriet idolized them to be.

I really enjoyed this book, which covers the entire 70 years of Harriett’s life at a fast pace and makes you question Harriett’s morally sound but perhaps emotionally unsound decisions.

This article about a s novel is a stub. First hafriett inelements of the novella feel incredibly modern. Retrieved from ” https: She is a woman who has allowed herself to become utterly useless, both to herself and others. No breath of wind.