The Half Sisters

The Half Sisters This radical novel contrasts the lives of two women in Victorian England The illegitimate Bianca contends with poverty and prejudice to attain eminence and respectability as an actress Her legitimate

  • Title: The Half Sisters
  • Author: Geraldine Jewsbury
  • ISBN: 9780192837578
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Paperback
  • This radical novel contrasts the lives of two women in Victorian England The illegitimate Bianca contends with poverty and prejudice to attain eminence and respectability as an actress Her legitimate half sister, Alice, finds herself unhappily married, trapped in the dreary and philistine existence endured by numerous middle class wives of her time Each has to confrontThis radical novel contrasts the lives of two women in Victorian England The illegitimate Bianca contends with poverty and prejudice to attain eminence and respectability as an actress Her legitimate half sister, Alice, finds herself unhappily married, trapped in the dreary and philistine existence endured by numerous middle class wives of her time Each has to confront the implications of passion in a woman s life, with surprising results that challenged contemporary orthodoxy Now back in print for the first time in over a century, this poignant work addresses the damaging effects of conventional Victorian beliefs about women.

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      Geraldine Jewsbury

    About Author

    1. Geraldine Jewsbury was born in Measham, then in Derbyshire, now in Leicestershire She was the daughter of Thomas Jewsbury d 1840 , a cotton manufacturer and merchant, and his wife Maria, n e Smith, d 1819 The family moved to Manchester in 1818, after her father s business failed After her mother died, she was brought up by her sister Maria Jane Jewsbury In 1841 Geraldine Jewsbury met the Carlyles Thomas Carlyle pronounced her one of the most interesting young women I have seen for years, delicate sense courage looking out of her small sylph like figure Jewsbury has earned a place in literature in three respects as a novelist, as a critic and publisher s reader, and as a figure in London literary life Jewsbury was primarily a novelist of ideas and moral dilemmas.

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    The Half Sisters Comment

    1. Geraldine Jewsbury seems to have been ahead of her times In this novel, she addresses the lack of women s education, the lack of respectable jobs for women and looks at the need for in their lives than needlepoint, singing and being weak reflections of their husbands She argues that a woman can be self reliant, smart, capable and successful by working at something she loves to do and dealing with her own finances situation Radical thinking in 1848 This is an enjoyable story to read It does use [...]


    2. Absolutely brilliant A thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating read I love the way the different lives of these two half sisters are contrasted with each other, and the juxtaposition of their lives as Victorian women says so many great things about gender, class, morality, and personal drive It s just a brilliant book, very underrated, and one I highly highly recommend



    3. I think The Half Sisters holds a place with anything that Elizabeth Gaskell or Charlotte Bronte have written, reflecting a deep concern with the plight of women and girls and the limitations imposed by a society that holds them to incredibly lofty standards they do not dare deviate from, because the resulting censure is so damaging Jewsbury s message is clear and urgently expressed within the framework of her story about half sisters from diverse backgrounds that struggle within society s conven [...]


    4. The Half Sisters is an unusual, radical novel of 1848 which contrasts the lives of two half sisters in Victorian England Half Italian, illegitimate Bianca fights poverty by entering into a career on the stage, where she achieves fame, while her sister Alice marries respectably and is trapped in a stultifying existence which deadens her latent intellectual talents Through the lives of her two heroines, Jewsbury emphasizes women s need for something real to do Bianca says late in the book, I have [...]


    5. 3,5 rounded to 4Highly enjoybale and thought provoking Some passages can be dull but overall I liked it very much.You can t help but root for Bianca for the very beginning and to feel sorry for Alice So much comtrast in personality and destiny I wonder how this book was received by the rigid victorian society.



    6. Born of the same father but unaware of each others existence, Alice Helmsby is brought up in idle English wealth, Bianca Pazzi in rustic Italian poverty.Alice is destined to be married into a good family and want nothing than to be a supportive wife, a docility which proves fatal to her morbid conscientiousness, which made her painfully anxious to do right, without ever feeling satisfied with any of her own actions.Bianca has to make her own way in the world, which she does as an actress, a pro [...]


    7. I d heard of Jewsbury as a friend of Jane Carlyle s, and perhaps some of the other eminent Victorians, and picked up her novel at some point because it was unusual to run across it It s refreshing to see a Victorian novel that privileges a heroine who actually does something with her life, and doesn t condemn her for a being on the stage, b being illegitimate, and c being the daughter of an Italian woman and a British man Unfortunately, Bianca s unknowing half sister, the legitimate Alice, is se [...]


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