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The Twelfth Hour (1907)

por Ada Leverson

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
232785,548 (3.5)8
It is a long and golden summer in the Edwardian period. London is abuzz with gentlemen in tall hats and ladies in flowing silk, some with money, and others who want it badly. Love and marriage are the great game, but the adventure is vastly varied, depending on who is playing. Creatures of wit find it their most impressive subject; creatures of love are either pinnacled or torn apart by its demands. Felicity, Sylvia and Savile Crofton, aged 25, 20 and 16 respectively, are deep in the melee. Felicity is married to Lord Chetwode, the man of her dreams, and is largely happy, but she is already feeling deeply the falling-off of contact as he pursues horseflesh and antiques across the country in ever-longer stays away. Her younger sister Sylvia is very much in the market, according to her father, who has many ideas of whom she might marry, but particularly favours a Greek millionaire, Mr Ridokanaki. He has no idea that her great love is his penniless secretary, Frank Woodville. Their brother Savile, on holiday from Eton, has not only the spirited attentions of young Dolly Clive to contend with, but also his great passion for an opera singer, whom he loves from afar. Somehow, all their problems must be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. A typically confident Savile tries to engineer a solution, but in the end it is love itself which cuts through. This mischievously witty tale of love and intrigue, the author¿s first, was published in 1907. Ada Leverson (nee Beddington) was born in 1862. She married Ernest Leverson at the age of 19, against her parents¿ consent, but the marriage was not a success. She became a contributor to several literary and artistic journals including Black and White, St Stephen¿s Review and, most notably, The Yellow Book in the 1890s. It was at this time, after she published a brilliantly successful sketch parody of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, that Oscar Wilde desired to meet her, and dubbed her The Sphinx. They became the greatest of friends, and she was instrumental in helping him after the disaster of his trial, when many others deserted him. Her six sparklingly witty novels were published between 1907 and 1916. She died in 1933.… (mais)
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114/2020. I read this because of the author's social connection with Oscar Wilde. The novel mostly consists of the tediously trivial conversations bored rich people use to fill their time until they die. Anyone who has better things to do doesn't need to read this. It's not an especially bad novel, but wholly vacuous.

Quotes

Quite: 'Think of the tedium of always bothering about perfect strangers — pretending to care about their luck and their love affairs, their fortunes and their failures, and all their silly little private affairs.'

Especially if they talk like this: ' "But this life is so short. — Do you think it's worth it? — (Do have some mayonnaise.) — I mean the kind of thing one does — waiting, waiting — at last asking, for instance, to call on your day — only meeting in throngs — perhaps not getting a chance, for months, to tell — "
"I suppose life is rather long, isn't it?" '

Award for Best Paragraph: 'All historians and teachers alike were regarded as natural enemies from Pinnock to Plato. On the same principle, Savile would never eat Reading biscuits, because he feared that some form of condensed study was being insidiously introduced into the system. Boys had to be on their guard against any treachery of that kind.' ( )
  spiralsheep | Aug 31, 2020 |
A lovely little story of the lives and loves of three siblings. Leverson has something of Oscar Wilde's wit, but fortunately lacks his incessant need to be epigrammatic. ( )
  amanda4242 | Apr 1, 2018 |
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It is a long and golden summer in the Edwardian period. London is abuzz with gentlemen in tall hats and ladies in flowing silk, some with money, and others who want it badly. Love and marriage are the great game, but the adventure is vastly varied, depending on who is playing. Creatures of wit find it their most impressive subject; creatures of love are either pinnacled or torn apart by its demands. Felicity, Sylvia and Savile Crofton, aged 25, 20 and 16 respectively, are deep in the melee. Felicity is married to Lord Chetwode, the man of her dreams, and is largely happy, but she is already feeling deeply the falling-off of contact as he pursues horseflesh and antiques across the country in ever-longer stays away. Her younger sister Sylvia is very much in the market, according to her father, who has many ideas of whom she might marry, but particularly favours a Greek millionaire, Mr Ridokanaki. He has no idea that her great love is his penniless secretary, Frank Woodville. Their brother Savile, on holiday from Eton, has not only the spirited attentions of young Dolly Clive to contend with, but also his great passion for an opera singer, whom he loves from afar. Somehow, all their problems must be brought to a satisfactory conclusion. A typically confident Savile tries to engineer a solution, but in the end it is love itself which cuts through. This mischievously witty tale of love and intrigue, the author¿s first, was published in 1907. Ada Leverson (nee Beddington) was born in 1862. She married Ernest Leverson at the age of 19, against her parents¿ consent, but the marriage was not a success. She became a contributor to several literary and artistic journals including Black and White, St Stephen¿s Review and, most notably, The Yellow Book in the 1890s. It was at this time, after she published a brilliantly successful sketch parody of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, that Oscar Wilde desired to meet her, and dubbed her The Sphinx. They became the greatest of friends, and she was instrumental in helping him after the disaster of his trial, when many others deserted him. Her six sparklingly witty novels were published between 1907 and 1916. She died in 1933.

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