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Kenilworth (1821)

por Sir Walter Scott

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Waverley Novels (1575), Waverley Novels, publication (1821)

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9461217,289 (3.46)72
In his ever-popular romance of Tudor England, Scott brilliantly recreates all the passion, brutality, verve and vitality of the Elizabethan world. Only two of his novels end tragically - Kenilworth ends with the death of Amy Robsart, who unwisely loved Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl ofLeicester.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
Scott is not more popular today because his style is so high flown that it completely leaves modern readers cold. I fell in love with the cadence while reading Ivanhoe when I was thirteen. So, if you can get beyond the flowery language there is a good story underneath. This is the tragic tale of Amy Robsart. Seduced, married and put away by the Earl of Leicester, she’s a difficult character to empathize with after a while. Her husband aspired to marry Queen Elizabeth causing him to conceal their marriage. Many women mistakenly marry treacherous men, but Amy is presented with multiple rescuers and opportunities to be saved from her situation but she is an indecisive fool, an absolute and utter nitwit who rejects every opportunity. Her great beauty landed her in this situation and inspired many to help her but she is as shallow and vacuous as can be imagined. In the face of strong, modern heroines her weakness and helpless state was a situation of powerlessness women found themselves in until recent history and could be off putting to many readers. The strong depiction of the historical personages and the unforgettable minor characters are worth the read. We will leave Amy to her fate. ( )
  varielle | Mar 23, 2020 |
In this novel, Kenilworth is the home of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and possibly the only man she could condescend to marry. He doesn’t have a problem with that, except for the fact that he’s already married. His wife, Amy Robsart, lives in obscurity at Cumnor Place in Oxford, while her father has no idea of her whereabouts. Among Leicester’s retinue of men keeping his secret safe is Richard Varney, whose Iago-like ambitions imperil Amy’s life.

This was a stop-and-start book for me. Parts of it flowed really well, and I was incredibly energized. Other parts dragged. Throughout, though, I was fully invested in Amy’s story and directing streams of profanity at Varney (out loud, while I was reading) as his sinister plot bubbled to the surface. In this regard Scott certainly succeeded in his objective, if his objective was to elicit sympathy for Amy and vilify Robert Dudley for either doing nothing to stop or actively encouraging harm to befall his wife. Dude, it was your own fault for getting married and not being honest about it. If you wanted a legitimate shot at the throne, you shouldn’t have got married.

The historical note at the end points out where Scott deviates somewhat from the historical record, and it appears that most modern scholars do not consider Amy’s death to be suspicious, although it is acknowledged that the circumstances do look kind of shady. I didn’t know any of this and have been inspired to request non-fiction books about the period to find out more. This book gets an extra half-star on that basis.

I recommend this book, but be aware that Scott is taking *some* liberties with history—take this as an entertaining story rather than historical fact. (If you do know a lot about the period, I would understand if you found it more aggravating than entertaining.) ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 29, 2018 |
Pity Robert Dudley, first Earl of Leicester and favourite of the Virgin Queen. Such a status was perilous, for the Queen loved to play off courtiers against each other and there were many who would have been delighted to replace Dudley. Even worse for Dudley, the queen was a jealous sort and while not willing to elevate Dudley to royal consort, she was not about to see him as anyone else's consort either.

Walter Scott has taken the bare bones of this court drama and created a completely reworked account of Dudley's real first wife, Amy Robsart, using his comprehensive knowledge of Elizabethan England to create a novel of intrigue, drama and just plain old enjoyable reading that rivals Dumas. Kenilworth is set in the year 1575, a full fifteen years after the death under strange circumstances of the historical Amy Robsart. Scott used this well known death to create the atmosphere of suspense in his novel.

He starts at Cunmor Hall, where Amy lived quietly in seclusion, the source of much speculation in the village, where her identity was a mystery and where it was believed she was the paramour of either the tenant of Leicester's hall, or Richard Varney, Leicester's aide. The truth was that she was secretly married to Leicester and was being held virtual prisoner by these men. While Dudley kept her there in conditions befitting his Countess, despite her repeated requests he refused to announce their marriage, fearing Elizabeth's wrath. Dudley was nothing if not ambitious. As he explained it to Amy
...you speak of what you understand not. We that toil in courts are like those that climb a mountain of loose sand -- we dare make no halt until some projecting rock afford us a secure stance and resting place -- if we pause, soon we slide down by our own weight, an object of universal derision. I stand high, but I stand not secure enough to follow my own inclination. To declare my marriage, were to be the artificer of my own ruin --

Meanwhile back at Court in London, Leicester was a virtual captive of the Queen, afraid to leave for fear of losing his political war with the Earl of Sussex, his opportunities for financial and political advancement, and most of all his coveted status as favourite. Scott, intrigued by Elizabeth and a scholar of her era, sets up her management of the rivalry between Leicester and Sussex
...to bridle him who thought himself highest in her esteem, by the fears he must entertain of another equally trusted, if not equally beloved, were arts which she used throughout her reign...
...it might be in general said, that the Earl of Sussex had been most serviceable to the Queen, while Leicester was most dear to the woman...

Leicester did not realize it, but even while threatened from within the Court, his position was about to be threatened from outside. Amy's rejected suitor Tressilian, believing Varney to have seduced her, took the matter to Court, with Sussex as his intermediary. Leicester's secret was almost revealed, suppressed only by Varney's outrageous deception of the Queen.

Elizabeth was about to make one of her famous progresses. She had granted Dudley the honour of receiving her and the Court at his estate at Kenilworth. Thither she also ordered Sussex, Varney, and the absent Amy Robsart. Amy, knowing only that Dudley would be entertaining the Queen, insisted to him that she be present as his Countess. Leicester and Varney could not allow her to do any such thing. Tressilian wanter her there to plead what he believed to be her wrongful confinement. How all this was managed and the dread over Amy's fate provide the suspense for the rest of the book.

Scott has used the Queen's actual historical progress to Kenilworth as his backdrop for the events there. She was there for nineteen days. Scott has many of his supporting characters take part in the great progression north to the estate, a journey that seems as colourful and rich as a medieval progression. Leicester entertained the Queen with jousts, bear baiting, feasts, dances and masques, and it seemed all of England took to the roads toward the castle to participate. Elizabeth herself had an entourage of over four hundred people. While Leicester was managing all this, behind the scenes the Leicester of the novel had to deliver himself and his reputation from the web of intrigues that threatened not only him, but also Amy at every turn.

[Kenilworth] is masterful story telling and although there is almost no historical accuracy as far as the relations among the characters are concerned, it is an excellent picture of the age written with a novelist's skill and a historian's knowledge. Writing almost seventy years later, no less an author than Thomas Hardy said "... no historian's Queen Elizabeth was ever so perfectly a woman as the fictitious Elizabeth of Kenilworth". Kenilworth is also probably one of the most accessible of Scott's novels for today's readers. It is one of his very few set outside Scotland. Consequently the language, history and digs at Scottish factions that defeat many readers are not to be found here. Instead, there is a far more straightforward narrative. So, if you've ever wondered about reading Scott, this may be a good place to start. Then you can go on to his other great works.
1 vote SassyLassy | Mar 3, 2017 |
This historical novel is based extremely loosely around the events of the Elizabethan Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester's marriage to Amy Robsart, the controversial and tragic ending of which formed the subject of the historical investigation book Death and the Virgin by Chris Skidmore that I read recently. This novel does massive violence to the historical facts and one wonders why Scott bothered, given that the real historical facts are already exciting and scandalous enough to have formed a good novel, whether one takes the view that Amy's death in 1560 was murder, suicide or a tragic accident. This novel takes place in 1575 and as well as Amy being alive fifteen years after her death, Shakespeare is at the height of his literary powers here at the age of 11. All this aside, taken as a romantic historical novel, it is as well written as Scott's other works, though it lacks the punch of Ivanhoe. I was quite relieved to have reached the end after nearly two weeks of reading, though it is only 285 pages in this edition. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Oct 11, 2015 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Scott, Sir WalterAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Davenport, BasilIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Parker, W. M.Introduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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In his ever-popular romance of Tudor England, Scott brilliantly recreates all the passion, brutality, verve and vitality of the Elizabethan world. Only two of his novels end tragically - Kenilworth ends with the death of Amy Robsart, who unwisely loved Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl ofLeicester.

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