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The Doctor's Wife

4.2 (1292)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Doctor's Wife.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    M. E. Braddon(Author)

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The Doctor's Wife

2.5 (10686)
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Book details

  • PDF | 212 pages
  • M. E. Braddon(Author)
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 18, 2017)
  • English
  • 4
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Bobbie Sue on November 12, 2017

    I am a big fan of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's writings, but for THIS book, I did have to do a lot of ''reading between the lines'' best I could (even though my best wasn't good enough much of the time), in trying to understand certain points she intended to make. This book was originally published in 1864. In the course of the plot, she used many-MANY a reference to what I assume are characters from 18th Century ''classic'' novels or writings, of which I'm not familiar. For those of you who ARE familiar with those classics, no doubt those references would give you enjoyable insights – more ''depth'' than I was able to glean from them.I can't give the book a bad rating because of that, though, because it is MY ignorance and not anything that MEB had done wrong.The MAIN character, Isabell Sleaford Gilbert, is a very ''interesting'' one even though she is sometimes a bit hard to understand. But the ''being hard to understand'' parts were the FUN parts of reading the book – most of the time. In spite of my ignorance of those ''classics'' references, I was able to ''get'' Isabell in my own way.For the MINOR characters in the book, where those references were used; again, in my own way, I was able to ''get'' them well enough, too.So for those of you who are on roughly the same knowledge level (of those classics) as I am, this is fair warning.For those of you who are by far more well-read than I, this book might very well be right up your ally! And you will understand why it is impossible for me to give it a bad rating. I respect Braddon very much for giving those nods to the classics, giving an in-the-know reader of those MUCH more depth to the characters in THIS book than I was capable of having. And I envy you that. Not enough to READ them, though! I'm too lazy to go THAT far! I did ''make do,'' though, in being able to enjoy this book very much.

  • By CT on June 13, 2012

    Contrary to the previous reviewer's assessment, this is no Flaubert's Madame Bovary. From her satirical portrayal of the "sensational" penny-novel writer Mr. Smith to the ridiculous notions of Isabel contrived from her reading of sentimental fiction and poetry, Braddon is following in the footsteps of literary greats such as Austen and Charlotte Lennox. In fact, this novel is a combination of Austen's Northanger Abbey and Lennox's The Female Quixote. One could make a strong argument that the character of Isabel Gilbert is lifted directly from Lennox's lead character Arabella in The Female Quixote. Both characters have educations that have been sorely neglected by their parents and both live in relative isolation from the rest of the world; drawing their ideas of life and love from the sentimental fiction they immerse themselves in.The primary difference between the two works is that Lennox adopts a more satirical, humorous approach to her work. Her character (Arabella) finds herself in all sorts of embarrassing and foolish situations and almost ruins her life, but thankfully falls short of it. On the other hand, Braddon's novel takes on a more serious tone. Unfortunately, Isabel Gilbert's foolish notions draw her into marrying a man she does not love. Though, ironically those same notions keep her faithful to him. There is no true happy ending for Isabel, though Braddon wisely does not punitively make it so. After all, Isabel throughout is as innocent and naive in her heart, even when making the worst of decisions. Things are the way they are, as a result of Isabel's decisions.Braddon does not decry the Romantics of the age (Tennyson, Byron, etc) as terrible authors (though she is unmerciful to the "sensation" novels of her day). Like Austen did with her Romantic contemporaries, she gives credit to their talent while strongly warning against emulating their fiction or adopting their idealogy in real life. Though not quite as good as Northanger Abbey or The Female Quixote, Braddon does a credible job of making her point in The Doctor's Wife.

  • By Jerrie S. Scott on August 10, 2014

    If I were giving the rating based on how much I empathized and sympathized with Isabel, the doctor's wife, I would have to find a way to give negative stars. I disliked her intensely, but in saying that, I would say that Braddon did her job if that were her intention, thus three stars. I have read several of Braddon's novels, and have always found a character that had my affection, but my dislike for Isabel colored all of the other characters for me. The doctor started out as a "nice guy," but on marrying Isabel slipped into the dull man she thought him to be. And the aristocrat who fell so madly in love with an uneducated, foolish woman became sillier and sillier himself as he pursued this woman with her fascinating black eyes.Perhaps Braddon channeled Madame Bovary; if so, you should stick to your own ideas, Mary! Madame Bovary fit her time and place and mood, and although she was not the most sympathetic of characters, at least she had dimension. Isabel was too shallow to be allowed to walk around by herself. Please see maryelizabethbraddon.blogspot.com if you wish to discuss any of Braddon's books.

  • By Paul in L.A. on May 16, 2017

    Not deep, but not quite a simple potboiler either: it offers enough bits and moments of real observation and expression to repay your reading efforts, if this is a genre and a period you tend to enjoy. Wouldn't purchase it; did finish it. It would do, in a pinch.

  • By Barry V. Qualls on March 18, 2014

    Mary E. Braddon wrote "sensation novels"--and a lot of them. These books did what she intended: they sold; they created scandal; and they sold more copies. When she decided to write an "art" novel, she chose Flaubert's Madame Bovary for her work. This is not a translation; it is a reconception of Madame Bovary from a contemporary English point of view--and it is one of the most culturally significant productions in all of 19th-Century British fiction. To watch the English imagination "English" a French novel is to understand cultural difference as it was articulated throughout Victoria's England. Brilliant!


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