Daily Archives for: February 23rd, 2015

The Awakening by Kate Chopin (1899)

The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a short novel, published in 1899. Now considered a feminist classic, it was widely criticized, even reviled when first published, and even decades after. It’s the story of Edna Pontellier, who searches for meaning outside the cultural roles of wife and mother, and fulfillment of her sexuality and desire for independence.

The book was banned in many quarters long after its initial publication. Many critics — and the public — actually called the story “poison.” Following is a fairly typical review from the time of the book’s original publication, not slamming the book entirely, but professing confusion over its purpose and propriety. This following review is typical of the those published upon its publication. Read More→

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I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith was the first novel by this British author. It’s the story of Rose and Cassandra Mortmain, two sisters who are part of an eccentric family living in genteel poverty in a crumbling castle in the 1930s.

This coming of age novel has been beloved by young adults ever since it was published in 1948.

At the time of its publication, Smith was an established playwright, and would later become even better known for the children’s classic, The 101 Dalmatians (1956). I Capture the Castle was as well received by critics as it was by the public; here is one such review: Read More→

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