Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Mary Olivier : a life (Sinclair) 25

From one Mary to another. Mary Olivier : a life was also languishing in my TBR. Another "biographical" story, it tells of the life of Mary Olivier from her early childhood to middle age. The novel is set in the Georgican period, and was my first VMC to deal with these times, an age that I am not too familiar with.

Mary is born into a household with 3 sons, and one of the main themes of the book is the disparity between the education and upbringing of the boys, and that of Mary. Her mother tries hard to impose traditional and religious values on Mary. Ultimately, Mary rejects this - she refuses to follow the Catholic faith, she becomes a poet and she declines to marry the series of eligible bachelors brought for her approval. It is an absolutely fascinating insight into family relationships and family life of that period.

Originally this was published as a serial in The little review, at the same time as Ulysses was also serialised.

I could only find the above cover picture, but there is an earlier one with the traditional green design - I know because I have it (but lack access to a scanner...)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! I'll definitely look out for this one. I'm not familiar with the Georgican period either.