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The Rector's Daughter av F. M. Mayor
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The Rector's Daughter (urspr publ 1924; utgåvan 1924)

av F. M. Mayor (Författare), Susan Hill (Inledning)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2871072,110 (3.9)51
Dedmayne Rectory is quietly decaying, its striped chintz and darkened rooms are a bastion of outmoded Victorian values. Here Mary has spent thirty-five years, devoting herself to her sister, now dead, and to her father, Canon Jocelyn. Although she is pitied by her neighbours for this muted existence, Mary is content. But when she meets Robert Herbert, Mary's ease is destroyed and years of suppressed emotion surface through her desire for him. First published in 1924 this novel is an impressive exploration of Mary's relationship with her father, of her need for Robert and the way in which, through each, she comes to a clearer understanding of love.… (mer)
Medlem:NickTaipei
Titel:The Rector's Daughter
Författare:F. M. Mayor (Författare)
Andra författare:Susan Hill (Inledning)
Info:Penguin Classics (1992), 224 pages
Samlingar:Fiction (PB)
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Rector's Daughter av F. M. Mayor (1924)

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'In her eyes Mary by her plainness was as cut off from men as a nun by her cloister'
By sally tarbox on 6 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
Virago Classics at its best in this engrossing tale of the plain middle-aged daughter of a stern but loving clergyman. Mary's spinster friend Dora is cheerfully resigned to her lot of church and charity work. But Mary secretly yearns for more:
'"I have longed for it"... "I have sometimes thought", Mary said with feeling, "the kisses-"
And then Mary's life seems to be changing...
Interesting to compare the different kinds of lives available to young people when this was written (1924)- the Victorian upbringing of Mary compared to the fast-living young set who crop up later in the book, with their slangy talk and affairs.
A heartily reccommended read; and the ending is so beautifully written. ( )
  starbox | Jul 9, 2016 |
No one could accuse F M Mayor of writing a cheerful story, but she certainly wrote a beautifully poignant one, and one I found very readable. I have been circling around this novel and The Third Miss Symons for some time, knowing already that there would be a degree of sadness to the stories of stagnant lives that Mayor appears to have particularly written about. I have Simon and Karen’s 1924 club to thank for giving me the nudge to read The Rector’s Daughter my first F M Mayor novel.

Flora M Mayor, like the woman she created in this novel was the daughter of a clergyman. However according to Janet Morgan in her introduction to this edition, Flora was nothing like her heroine Mary Jocelyn. I was rather delighted to learn that Flora seemed to have had quite a bit of spirit about her.

Mary Jocelyn is in her mid-thirties and already fading, her life has been one of quiet, respectful duty. Living in the home of her father Canon Jocelyn, Dedmayne Rectory a house as faded as its occupants, Mary is pitied by her neighbours for the reduced life she is living. Having devoted herself to her father, her recently deceased, disabled sister, and the few wants of the villagers Mary has little to look forward to. An occasional visit from her childhood friend Dora, a short holiday to Broadstairs with her Aunt, is what her life has become. Her father is an octogenarian of Victorian values, a man of cold reserve, he has no idea of Mary’s inner life, and he takes her and her continual presence for granted.

“She supposed her winter was passing as ordinary winters passed, but she was changing. She began to have longings she never had before. Her mind frequently recurred to the question which occupied Shakespeare’s heroines, ‘what is love?’

Lady Meryton is fond of poor Mary, and invites her to her garden party. Dora accompanies Mary – but it appears that although Mary is viewed as a little dull she is acceptable in a way that Dora never can be – the difference in their social standing perhaps inexplicable to us in 2015 is clear enough to Lady Meryton’s guests. One of these guests is Kathy, captivatingly beautiful, young, and blessed with all the effervescent fun and sarcastic wit of the age.

“Dora came from that section of the middle class which is so good and kind it cannot be rude. (Mary came from the section immediately above it which can)…”

When another parson, Robert Herbert comes back to the area, the son of an old friend of Canon Jocelyn; Mary’s suppressed emotional life is rocked. Mary falls in love with Mr Herbert, it would seem her feelings are returned, the two get along very well, and Mary recognises something of his feelings in the look he gives her when they are walking together. Mary allows herself briefly to dream, to wonder, and to hope. In a moment of rash confidence Mary writes to Dora of her hopes, and Dora’s reply only helps to encourage her. Nothing however is destined to be so happily straightforward for Mary.

“Each felt drawn to the other. It struck him how beautifully her eyes shone when the tears were in them. She seemed easy to talk to. As a clergyman he had sometimes been called on to console women, but he had never considered himself an adept with them; he had not liked them, shrinking in repulsion from the too patent fact how much some liked him.”

the 1924 clubMary is quietly shattered when Robert Herbert suddenly announces his engagement to the much younger Kathy. Hiding her devastation, she must congratulate him, and get ready to welcome his new bride to the area. Robert and Kathy are fairly obviously mismatched; they are carried away by the bliss of new love during the first year of their marriage. The focus of the novel switches a little now, in the story of the Herbert’s marriage, Mary is a visitor and friend of the couple, awkwardly positioned, when the cracks begin to appear. Kathy’s friends (of the cynical, witty bright young things type) are now frequently to be found at the Herbert’s home, Robert finds his middle-age quiet shattered by their shenanigans, they embarrass him in church while he is in the midst of preaching, and spirit Kathy away to the South of France on a holiday without her husband.

F M Mayor‘s story is that of a heart-breaking love triangle, it is also the story of the unfolding of a woman’s emotional life. Mary is ill-equipped to pursue her dreams; her life has been one of duty and Victorian values. The jazz-age is a world she is little prepared for; so often she seems like a woman out of time.

If you absolutely insist on a happy ever after, then F M Mayor might not be for you – thankfully I don’t insist on that. F M Mayor writes about quiet, unremarkable people and their quiet, disappointed, unfulfilled lives, the poignancy of this is obvious but Mayor’s writing is lovely and her characters so well drawn that I was hooked by their story. ( )
  Heaven-Ali | Dec 12, 2015 |
Un romanzo che sembra uscito dalla mano di Jane Austen: la giovane Mary figlia del reverendo Jocelyn vive una monotona esistenza in un villaggio inglese, isolato e privo di attrattive. Le sue giornate opache vengono turbate dall'arrivo di un uomo che accende in Mary la speranza di una nuova esistenza.
Cosa accade ad una donna colta e amabile ma scialba, poco attraente, intrappolata dai doveri familiari? Mary una cara ragazza dagli "occhi tristi" vive un'esistenza senza sbocco proprio come il sentiero vicino alla sua canonica, che "non portava da nessuna parte". Pubblicato nel 1924, il romanzo meritò il giudizio positivo di Virginia Woolf e della sua cerchia, pur non regalando all'autrice una fama immediata. ( )
  cometahalley | Nov 21, 2013 |
If you already have a low opinion of Victorian-era clergymen, this book will not change your mind. ( )
  otterpopmusic | Sep 7, 2011 |
I heard about this novel on BBC Radio4's 'A Good Read'.

Written in the 1920s, it's set in the early years of that century and mostly in a village in East Anglia. Mary, the daughter, is already in her mid-30s, plain, and aware that life and love is passing her by.

Her elderly father with whom she lives is learned but distant, one of the old school as the author points out: in outlook and manners he belongs to the upper middle classes of a previous generation.

The novel doesn't go on a predictable path. I expected the father to be the one who ruins the one chance Mary has ....(musn't spoil) but no it isn't. And then, just as you think later on that another opportuniy of happiness is imminent, another twist.

What makes this novel something out of the ordinary is the acute social observation whether of the county set, the bohemian set that Mary comes across briefly in London, and the rather restricted lives of women of various ages and circumstances. Mary is perceptive, self-aware and someone I warmed to.

There are some lines clunkilly written but on the whole it was 'a good read' and deservedly a Virago Modern Classic. ( )
2 rösta hazelk | Jun 16, 2011 |
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Dedmayne is an insignificant village in the Eastern counties.
Like Mary Jocelyn, the heroine of this novel, Flora Mayor was a clergyman's daughter. (Introduction)
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She supposed her winter was passing as ordinary winters passed, but she was changing. She began to have longings she never had before. Her mind frequently recurred to the question which occupied Shakespeare’s heroines, ‘what is love?
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Dedmayne Rectory is quietly decaying, its striped chintz and darkened rooms are a bastion of outmoded Victorian values. Here Mary has spent thirty-five years, devoting herself to her sister, now dead, and to her father, Canon Jocelyn. Although she is pitied by her neighbours for this muted existence, Mary is content. But when she meets Robert Herbert, Mary's ease is destroyed and years of suppressed emotion surface through her desire for him. First published in 1924 this novel is an impressive exploration of Mary's relationship with her father, of her need for Robert and the way in which, through each, she comes to a clearer understanding of love.

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