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Dombey and Son


Hilary
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I have started this book today. I'm only a few pages in and already I'm feeling low level outrage at the treatment of the poor big sister of the Son in the title! I'm expecting it to increase! It's rather odd entering into a Dickens book with only the sketchiest of outlines of the plot.

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I have just this minute finished Dombey and Son, what an incredible book. Slow moving in some senses, and so many threads of story woven together, but so wonderful and it ends so movingly...and SO funny in places! Some really amusing touches to the characters and cleverly written really FUNNY stuff. My husband kept seeing my grinning face and saying incredulously, 'Is that book funny?!' and it really was. And I feel such a sense of having conquered it...I often find Dickens rather hard going.

 

I do feel like a second reading would really help me see how everything slotted together better as we kept coming back to characters and situations and I was thinking, 'oh yeah, I'd almost forgotten about them' but going through again would enable me to see the bigger picture more clearly. I haven't got time to read it again now though, I'm on to page 1 of Middlemarch!!

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So glad you enjoyed it, Hilary - it's a rather neglected novel in the Dickens canon and whilst it certainly isn't amongst his very best it's a hugely worthwhile read nonetheless.

 

I know what you mean about the re-reading and the necessity of moving on to your next text. I vividly remember the summer before my Victorians term at university, ploughing through author after author in a hugely enjoyable process that nevertheless left all the great stories of nineteenth century fiction washing into one another in my head! I still intend to go back for a proper re-read of many.

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Glad you enjoyed it Hilary. How odd (and slightly egotistical!) to quote yourself, but here's something I said on another thread -

 

Not embarrassing as such, as quite frankly there is no one around me just now to make me embarrassed, but I am doing an essay on Dickens' Dombey and Son just now and was reading one of the last paragraphs in the book. It has actually made me well up and tears have flowed. Here is the passage -

 

"But no one, except Florence, knows the measure of the white-haired gentleman's affection for the girl. That story never goes about. The child herself almost wonders at a certain secrecy he keeps in it. He hoards her in his heart. He cannot bear to see a cloud upon her face. He cannot bear to see her sit apart. He fancies that she feels a slight, when there is none. He steals way to look at her, in her sleep. It pleases him to have her come, and wake him in the morning. He is fondest of her and most loving to her, when there is no creature by."

 

How good is that? "He hoards her in his heart." I just love that line. And before David cuts in, yes, I am a sappy git.

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My eyes filled with tears at that bit... 900 pages of run up to that and then just a simple paragraph laying it all to rest so beautifully...

 

It's very neglected, David, my Mum was looking for a copy so she could read it alongside me and she hasn't been able to find one anywhere! And now I've finished so it is too late!

 

I know what you mean about them all getting in a jumble...I'm only half way through the books and I'm already thinking, 'Northanger Abbey... Jane Eyre...' and watching scenes and characters from all the books swimming around together in my head.

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