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The priory por Dorothy Whipple
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The priory (original 1939; edição 2003)

por Dorothy Whipple, David Conville

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3011265,925 (4.06)40
Saunby Priory, a large house somewhere in England has seen better times. This book shows two Marwood girls, who are nearly grown-up, their father, the widower Major Marwood, and their aunt; then, as soon as their lives have been described, the Major proposes marriage to a woman much younger than himself - and many changes begin.… (mais)
Título:The priory
Autores:Dorothy Whipple
Outros autores:David Conville
Informação:London : Persephone Books, 2003.
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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The Priory por Dorothy Whipple (1939)

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The Marwood family has lived at Saunby for generations, but in recent years the estate has been in decline, due Major Francis Marwood’s astonishingly poor management. In debt up to his ears, he still puts on a two-week cricket tournament every summer, providing housing and meals for the teams. Over the years he has been forced to sell off parcels of land to settle debts. Early in the novel the Major, a widower, remarries, disrupting the lives of his young adult daughters who, inexplicably, have established some measure of independence by continuing to live in the nursery wing of the house. Christine and Penelope never quite accept their stepmother Anthea, and her eventual pregnancy is seen as a further threat. Marriage was their only means of escape, and while they made the best choices considering their options, life after Saunby wasn’t easy for either of them.

Dorothy Whipple is best known for highly character-driven novels, and The Priory is no exception. Besides Francis, Anthea, Christine and Penelope, the household also includes Francis’ unmarried sister Victoria, and a host of servants whose interactions among themselves and with the family enhance the novel. The book comes to a close as World War II threatens. The Major’s financial woes are solved in a way that is a bit too tidy, and the general optimism about avoiding war is jarring, leaving one wondering what happened to the family during the war years. ( )
  lauralkeet | Jul 21, 2020 |
This is another of my recent Persephone book acquisitions and I loved it. [The Priory] is a 1939 British novel about a decaying home and family, the Marwoods of Saunby. Major Marwood is broke but insists upon hosting an expensive cricket tournament every summer. The house is falling apart. He has two beautiful daughters, Christine and Penelope, who have completed isolated themselves and become a fixture of the house. And there's an odd Aunt Victoria who cares only about her painting and neglects any duty toward house or the girls. When Major Marwood makes the decision to marry a local woman, Anthea, life at the house is upended. Christine, the older daughter, falls in love with a man who comes to the cricket tournament which further disrupts the quiet life at Saunby. At the same time that the Marwood family is developed, the lives of the servants are explored. In that way it's a familiar upstairs/downstairs story.

This is a plot-driven book that focuses on character and relationship development and I loved it. It was easy and fun to read but provided plenty to think about. It was published in 1939, and has a now unrealistic happy ending as the threat of war diminishes through diplomacy at the end of the book.

This is the first book by Dorothy Whipple that I've read and I'd definitely like to read more. ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 26, 2020 |
This novel centers on Saunby, a former priory that is now an ancient English estate owned by the Marwood family. Major Marwood is a handsome middle-aged gentleman who cares about nothing but cricket; he has neglected the upkeep of Saunby and completely ignored his daughters, Christine and Penelope. As a result, the girls have lived a strangely sheltered life and have had almost no education. Despite this unsatisfactory situation, none of the Marwoods seem to realize their plight – until the Major decides to marry again. When his new wife Anthea enters the house, things at Saunby slowly but irrevocably begin to change.

Although this novel was written just before the outbreak of World War II, it reads like a Victorian novel in many ways. Instead of focusing on just one protagonist and a few other central characters, this book explores the lives of everyone connected with Saunby, from the Major to the servants to Christine’s eventual in-laws. At times I felt like the book was wandering aimlessly, but I still found it very readable. I cared about all the characters and was rooting for them, so the book’s tragic moments really made an impact on me. The ending is bittersweet, but ultimately uplifting. I enjoyed this book a lot, though I couldn’t help wondering about some of the secondary characters, such as Bessy the maid and Penelope Marwood; their stories were never really resolved. Still, I would recommend this book to those who like the style and time period.
  christina_reads | Oct 28, 2011 |
This novel is about the Marwood family who live on the crumbling estate, Saunby Priory somewhere in the countryside of England. The Major has two young neglected daughters Christine and Penelope, and an elder son Guy who lives in London and is hardly ever seen. The Major himself can’t be bothered too much with his daughters and he allows them to roam the countryside, enjoying life and doing what they want. He spends most of his time trying to save as much money as possible for his annual cricket fortnight, something he loves most dearly in life and can do little else to save the estate or provide for his family. When he decides he needs to marry again he picks a much younger woman, Anthea who brings with her many sudden changes to the Priory and the family finds themselves thrust into different directions.

This book has a lot of strong points. It reads very well and the story keeps moving but the pace is never rushed. This is a story about family and about how times are changing for women, servants and the world. Even though the novel takes place on the brink of WWII, the author manages to leave readers feeling hopeful for the future of the family. The author creates the perfect blend of tragedy and triumph throughout the book. Also, Dorothy Whipple does such an excellent job with her characters because they are so well developed and all grow throughout the story that makes for very interesting reading. All of her characters are susceptible to human emotions such as jealousy, love, anger, lust, stubbornness and pride that create a bond between readers and the characters. The only plot line that I felt could have been better developed through the second half of the book was between Thompson, Betty and Bertha, which left me with little closure, even though it was realistic

Many people have compared her writing with that of Jane Austen and while I think Austen writing has more wit and sarcasm, Whipple is also a keen observer of human behavior and both writers are capable of taking simple domestic situations and infusing them with tragedy, sadness and hope.

I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was fantastic. This is the first novel that I have read by Dorothy Whipple and I will be looking to read more of her books in the future. I am so glad that Persephone Books decided to reprint this forgotten classic it is wonderful! ( )
2 vote Renz0808 | Feb 22, 2011 |
A rather irregular family saga. It starts as a gently ironic observational comedy about an aristocratic family and their decaying mansion, but progresses to a full-blown melodrama full of rather cheap plot tricks (jealous sisters, evil femme fatales, sick babies) and rushed characterisation. There are still moments of gentle beauty and subtlety in the first part, particularly the scarecrow that reappears in various estate of decay to illustrate the passage of time. There is also a rather odd feeling to the ending, set around the time of the 1938 Munich pact, as the historical background is used somehow to illustrate the hopes for happiness for the characters (I ignore if that was a deliberate ironic effect sought by Whipple). ( )
1 vote MariaAlhambra | Jun 23, 2010 |
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Saunby Priory, a large house somewhere in England has seen better times. This book shows two Marwood girls, who are nearly grown-up, their father, the widower Major Marwood, and their aunt; then, as soon as their lives have been described, the Major proposes marriage to a woman much younger than himself - and many changes begin.

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