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F. Tennyson Jesse (1888–1958)

Författare till A Pin to See the Peepshow

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(eng) The author's full name was Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse (1888-1958). She also wrote under the name Wynifred Margaret Tennyson.
Note that she was, however, christened Wynifried [sic] Margaret Tennyson Jesse; the name 'Fryniwyd' was coined as a playful usage during her teens and adopted by the author for the rest of her life.

Verk av F. Tennyson Jesse

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Allmänna fakta

Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Jesse, Fryniwyd Tennyson
Andra namn
Tennyson, Wynifried Margaret
Tinker, Beamish
Chislehurst, Kent, England, UK
London, England
Chislehurst, Kent, England, UK
Guernsey, Bailiwick of Guernsey
Newlyn, Cornwall, UK
St John's Wood, London, England, UK
Surrey, England, UK
war correspondent
Harwood, Harold Marsh (husband)
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord (great uncle)
Kort biografi
Grandniece of Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The author's full name was Fryniwyd Tennyson Jesse (1888-1958). She also wrote under the name Wynifred Margaret Tennyson.
Note that she was, however, christened Wynifried [sic] Margaret Tennyson Jesse; the name 'Fryniwyd' was coined as a playful usage during her teens and adopted by the author for the rest of her life.



Two young women leave their Brighton boarding school to rejoin their relatives in Burma; Fanny Moroni- part Italian and part Anglo-Burmese- hopes to get access to the royal city on the strength of her father's trade connections. Agatha, meanwhile, is to join her missionary father...
But when King Mindoon breathes his last, one of his wives manipulates events to get her daughter - and the easily led Prince she has married- on the throne. In a series of huge massacres, all the rival royals are despatched...
Knowing nothing of Burmese history when I began, this was quite fascinating. As the French, Italians and Brits squabbled over the country, desperate messages to the British government from an imperilled diplomatic staff are largely ignored, as problems in other colonies take precedence.
The author really brings 19th century Mandalay to life. The characters- shallow, exuberant Fanny and the vaguely disatisfied High Church Agatha- are so vividly drawn. Excellent read.
… (mer)
starbox | 4 andra recensioner | May 21, 2021 |
A touch of the RL Stevenson's in this story of a Cornish boy running away to sea in 1801. When his ship is seized by the mysterious pirate, Captain Lovel., young Jacky joins their crew. And in a subsequent attack on a French vessel, Raoul joins them.
The Frenchman talks Lovel into sailing to Haiti to help the Black rebel leader, Toussaint l'Ouverture who, after leading the slaves in rebellion, faces imminent capture by Bonaparte's troops...
The author knows her sailing ships, and writes quite vivid descriptions of the Caribbean scenery and the voodoo drums of San Domingo (Haiti.) The nastier events are rather glossed over quickly: "he massacred them till the sands were black with their bodies."
I felt rather unengaged through the main narrative, though the last- rather implausible, yet dramatic- chapters do hold the reader's attention!
… (mer)
starbox | May 15, 2021 |
My advice is to go into this book knowing as little as possible, so if you’re ever going to read this book, you may want to skip this review. It was actually somewhat difficult to locate in new or used bookstores over the years, but I was happy to find it finally on a recent trip to Powell’s in Portland. It’s unfortunate that it’s not more widely read, because it’s quite good, and works as feminist literature, as well as a story of coming of age, the passion and difficulties of relationships, and crime and punishment. Jesse was the great-niece of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and does him proud, with very nice writing and deep insight into the psychology of her characters.

What made the book for me was how it touched on so many women’s issues, and so matter-of-factly, without preaching. It’s telling that the protagonist, Julia Almond, often simply wants to have privacy in a room of her own, and interesting that the book was written five years after Woolf’s essays were published. It was a time when women had great difficulty gaining economic independence, marriage meant subordinating oneself, getting a divorce was sometimes impossible, and abortion was a crime. On a day to day basis, there was (and still is) casual harassment while at work, and an underlying bias against women in so many situations, resulting in unfair perception and treatment. Because of the stigma of a woman who wears glasses, Julia often doesn’t wear hers, and sees things with only fuzzy perception.

Jesse was not afraid to write openly of Julia’s crush on a female teacher when young (“Oh, if only Julia were a little girl at a Council School and Miss Tracey could take the cane to her, how thrilling that would be…”), or her sexual desire as an adult (“Nothing is as voracious as a woman who, for the first time in her life, has had physical satisfaction”). Julia’s lack of understanding of sex is shocking, but that’s how the world was then. We identify and find ourselves rooting for her, but on the other hand, she’s far from perfect, marrying naively, taking advantage of her husband’s wealth while denying him sex, and then casually wishing he was dead. It’s a very balanced and honest account.

My only quibble is the last part dragged on for too long without any real suspense, and probably should have been shortened a bit, but even with that said, I considered a slightly higher rating.

On people in public:
“One looked at people in buses and trains, when their bodies were quiescent and their minds somewhere else, in a book or a newspaper, or behind them at the place they had left, or before them at the place they were going to, and they seemed harmless enough, and so they were while you were looking at them – but what hadn’t those apparently tranquil bodies harboured? Souls that had been jealous and angry and afraid and envious, even murderous, and the bodies themselves had been passionate, intemperate, greedy, agonised. People you saw in buses and trains weren’t really themselves at all, only the quiescent ghosts of what they had been, and what they might still be again.”

On perceptions of others:
“A man may meet another, admire his operating, or his painting, or his sculpture or whatever it is he does, and at once the other man will feel a softening of the heart, a sudden little glow, a sense that here is a nice person. Just as two men may meet, and one be offended at the some heartless remark of the other, and quite a different moment will spring to life between them. Yet both moments are true, and both untrue. They are true because the contact is real, untrue because it covers such an infinitesimal point in the soul of each man.”

On relationships that are long distance:
“Julia entered upon a new phase of relationship, a phase of building up the most dangerous relationship in the world – that spun of words, and, worse still, of words put on paper. As the weeks went by she lived more and more for her letters to Leo and his answers to them. They were getting to know each other, she felt, in a far more real and true way than they would have had they been together. This, she felt convinced, was the right way to begin a relationship.”

On sex education, or lack thereof:
“It seemed to her sometimes that no one could ever have felt the sharp ecstasies that Alfie had taught her. How could the secret fumblings, the half-ashamed realisations of her forebears be weighed against them, or else, whey should she have been kept in ignorance, as though there had been a conspiracy to shut off from her the knowledge that there was such a lovely sensation?”
… (mer)
2 rösta
gbill | 6 andra recensioner | Jan 31, 2018 |
This story of a young woman trapped by social conventions in 1920s England takes as its basis actual events from a sensational crime. Julia Almond grows up in surburban London, and initially escapes her humdrum family of origin through work in a dress shop. She develops as a business woman, representing the shop on trips to Paris to choose new clothing lines for the shop. But Julia isn't satisfied with her modest lifestyle, and believes she deserves more. She marries a man several years her senior, primarily for a sense of security. The union is unsatisfying due in large part to Julia's inflated expectations, and her inexperience with romantic relationships. When she meets up with a boy she once knew in school, sparks fly, but in Edwardian society there is really no way for Julia and Leo to be anything other than lovers. Eventually and inevitably, matters come to a head, with disastrous consequences.

In addition to its basis in history, A Pin to See the Peepshow also inspired Sarah Waters' 2014 novel, The Paying Guests. F. Tennyson Jesse's novel spends a great deal of time developing Julia's history and character, whereas Waters focuses primarily on the crime and its aftermath, and develops her characters in that context. I enjoyed both books and found it particularly interesting to compare and contrast the two while reading A Pin to See the Peepshow.
… (mer)
1 rösta
lauralkeet | 6 andra recensioner | Nov 17, 2014 |



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