Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages

Parallel Lives Five Victorian Marriages In her study of the married couple as the smallest political unit Phyllis Rose uses as examples the marriages of five Victorian writers who wrote about their own lives with unusual candor The couples

  • Title: Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages
  • Author: Phyllis Rose
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Paperback
  • In her study of the married couple as the smallest political unit, Phyllis Rose uses as examples the marriages of five Victorian writers who wrote about their own lives with unusual candor.The couples are John Ruskin and Effie Gray Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor George Eliot and G H Lewes Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth.

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      Published :2020-03-19T20:28:21+00:00

    656 Comment

    (Update May 2013)Hi book. I am five-starring you after all, because I think about you all the time and I learned so much, and I've recommended you to everyone and thumbed through countless times to cite things. And I think my tolerance for academic-speak was raised a little bit in the last year, too, which was really the only relationship problem we had. How love can change, indeed! XO!!(Feb. 2012)Oh hello, now is when I catch up on all my at once!This is such a great plan for a book. IT IS AWE [...]

    This is a brilliant and insightful academic study of five marriages in Victorian England; well, to be more precise, four marriages and one partnership. On one hand, the author Phyllis Rose is examining marriage as a patriarchal institution which favoured men and reinforced their own power; but on the other, she shows that marriage is a delicate and complex negotiation, and that women have had various means of strengthening their own roles - or, in the case of Jane Carlyle, exacting their revenge [...]

    What a great social history of personal relationships - whether they were larger-than-life literary figures or not, these well documented couples present variations on a theme of women's role in Victorian England. Fantastic read - well written, very enjoyable.Sadly, I loaned my copy to someone and it hasn't returned. It seems like a re-read is in order with all the celebratory fluff around Charles Dickens. The section on Charles Dickens relationship with his wife in this book merits more attenti [...]

    Fascinating journey into the mostly failed marriages of famous people in the Victorian era and how the institution of marriage was and probably is much better for men than women. The best coupling in the book is between George Elliot and George Henry Lewes who were actually never married, but lived together after his marriage went sour, because his wife had 4 children with another man! The worst marriage depicted is between Charles Dickens and Catharine Hogarth. He was very cruel to his wife aft [...]

    This was a perceptive exploration of marriage written from a feminist viewpoint, but with considerable compassion for both the men and women involved. The five marriages were of literary couples, including Charles Dickens and his first wife. One of the relationships described (and the only successful one, really) wasn't a marriage at all -- that of George Eliot and George Henry Lewes. Here the author builds a case that these two creative individuals were freer to build a solid relationship outsi [...]

    I just read this a second time and loved it as much as the first. I'm thinking it's probably because 1) She's so freaking smart 2) You get to see inside 5 relationships. So intimate! So much dirt! 3) George Elliot's my hero 4) Author links personal to political, role of women in relationships to role of disempowered in society 5) All about power! 6) Get to compare then and now 7) Victorians and their sex habits, always fascinating 8) Ah, the footnotes

    Phyllis Rose is doing something important in this book. I wanted to read it because I'm interested in Victorians and in the history of marriage, and if you're interested in those things you'll automatically love it. But her subject matter turns out to be much bigger than expected.It's not really possible to summarize Parallel Lives. A central part of Rose's argument is that details matter, that complex narratives are usually better and more real than simplistic ones. The body chapters are full o [...]

    This book was fantastic. And it made me mad, and if Charles Dickens were still alive, I would picket in front of house about what a bad guy he was. Dickens marries Catherine Hogarth--her father is a publisher and Dickens like that. He seems to be in love with her, too. She has four children--he even takes her to the US of A when he goes on tour. But then when he come home, she just keeps having babies. He doesn't like that, and blames EVERYTHING on her. He boards up the door between his room and [...]

    Interesting details about five Victorian marriages. The book lacks a strong analytical lens, which makes it an engaging read for lay readers interested in these person's lives. I really enjoyed reading about the trials of marriage and courtship among these very famous Victorians. Sadly, marriage does not hold up as an institution worth sanctifying as the law and social custom limited its enjoyment. My main dispute with Rose's analysis was in her section on the relationship between John Stuart Mi [...]

    This book was referenced in My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead and considers the lives of five Victorian couples, including George Eliot and George Henry Lewes. Fascinating, it looks at the different ways men and women were able to manage within the constraints of legal and social mores, before divorce became possible and at a time when people were welcome in society only if they conformed, no matter how superficially. Other couples considered were John Ruskin and Effie Gray; Thomas Carlyle [...]

    A fascinating account of five "literary" marriages - beautifully written and very provocative - read it when it first came out - read it in part because I was interested in Dicken's marriage (after seeing The Invisible Woman) and what a horror he was to his wife but what was really lovely is that of the five (John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, Ruskin and Effie Gray, the Carlyles and George Elliot and George Henry Lewes) that George Elliot's was, for Rose, the most successful of the lot - a mar [...]

    Rose focuses on five partnerships; the Ruskins', Dickens', Mills', Carlyles' and Eliot/Lewes. These are separate essays really and brilliantly written. She is perhaps best in describing and parsing the Carlyles and Lewes/Eliot. Here she has the advantage of writing from both halves of the marriage. Can Rose really know what Catherine Hogarth (Mrs. Dickens) felt or truly suffered? Or Harriet Taylor, JS Mill's paramour? There is naturally a lot of supposition to make up for the lack of letters, di [...]

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.—Elizabeth Barrett BrowningThis book is damn near perfection.1. In the prologue, Phyllis Rose has some astoundingly insightful and clear-eyed things to say about marriage. I will definitely be revisiting this piece of writing. She talks about shifting power dynamics (if you are one of those people who finds talking about power dynamics in relationships "unromantic," you might not want to risk the damage this will do to your naive, oppression-enabling b [...]

    Fascinating insight into five very different contemporaneous Victorian marriages. Two of these were probably unconsummated and one (George Eliot's to George Lewes) not a legal marriage at all - despite which it was the happiest of the lot. I have just written a long and detailed review but forgot to press save before posting and lost it (thanks GoodReads) so I'm not going to try to recreate it. Suffice to say that Ms Rose presents the facts (sourced mainly from the protagonists' own corresponden [...]

    Phyllis Rose examines the fictions and realities of Victorian marriages, through analyses of five famous couples: Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle, Effie Gray and John Ruskin, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, George Eliot and G.H. Lewes, and Catherine Hogarth and Charles Dickens. Rose does not attempt to provide a complete chronological portrait of each marriage, instead focusing on one period or issue per couple, with usually two chapters per couple (grouped together, except for the chapters o [...]

    This is a strange book, but definitely in a good way. It's part biography, part literary criticism, part historical analysis, part chick-lit romance novel all blended together seamlessly into something that feels natural and is a very easy read. The blurb here on really doesn't do it justice--it's not a "study of marriage as the smallest political unit" or whatever it says, but more like the story of the romantic lives of 5 famous Victorian writers and their spouses/lovers, told by a third pers [...]

    Not just any marriages mind you. But,Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle Effie Gray and John RuskinHarriet Taylor and John Stewart MillCatherine Hogarth and Charles DickensGeorge Elliot and George Henry Lewes.I mean LITERY AND ARTISTIC MARRIAGES, REALLY.Of course everyone looks horrendous in these hideously ugly portraits of the times but just overlook that. If you look too long at them you won't believe that any of them could possibly have had love and sex anyway.Delightfully written, wonderfully inf [...]

    I searched this out in conjunction with a novel I am writing, and my! What a thrilling work! Rose juggles five widely assorted couples of the early Victorian period, many of whom knew each other and all of whom were literary. What a great cross section of the human condition. I read this and realize we are so lucky in the modern age, to have decent laws for property and modern divorce. There were some powerfully unhappy Victorians, you betcha. Beautifully written, marvelously informative, and es [...]

    A great companion to books like William Houghton's 1972 book on the Victorians (Victorian Frame of Mind). Lots of great detail shoring up and illuminating insightful generalizations about the time and place: Sexless marriages, marriages broken up because the wife actually has opinions of her own, marriages that stayed strong because the involved parties failed to actually get married. . 's all here. Great historical perspective on that old truism: The personal is the political.

    If you like reading college dissertations you might find this book interesting. As hard as I tried to be open-minded about this book, I was never able to appreciate this writer's voice. It felt like a dull lecture with a lot of her personal opinions thrown into her research. I slogged through 220 pages of the 270 in the book, but I should have stopped sooner because I was really bitter about wasting my time on this stinker. Even giving this book one star is being generous.

    Come take a look at the marriages of five rather well known couples of Victorian England.The couples are:Jane Welsh and Thomas CarlyleEffie Gray and John RuskinHarriet Taylor and John Stuart MillCatherine Hogarth and Charles DickensGeorge Eliot and George Henry LewesIt is fascinating, amusing, appalling and just plain old really interesting. It has all sorts of points to make regarding culture, power, balance, sex, marriage. Cultural study packaged in a book that reads almost like a novel. It is [...]

    This is a very interesting examination of marriage through the lens of 5 marriages in Victorian England. Entertaining and thought-provoking.

    So, why did I read Parallel Lives? I saw something about it in an article in the New Yorker. I was curious because I had read and loved Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey when I was in college and reading everything I could by and about the Bloomsbury Group. I thought of this as sort of a companion to EV. (You'll have to get a review of Eminent Victorians elsewhere but anyone who is a Virginia Woolf fan should read it. I also recommend watching Desperate Romantics for a view of the art scene [...]

    The first couple discussed was Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle which was probably the most equal marriage according to the author. The tale was title "The Carlyles' Courtship" and I skipped ahead to read his final words about the couple. Interestingly, the marriage seemed to be based on intellectual stimulation. Letters between the two discussed writing. I found the discussion of movies about couple relationship inappropriate for the topic. Kept wondering why she did that.The second couple is Effi [...]

    I don't think it's an accident that the most insightful chapter is account of George Eliot's common-law marriage to George Henry Lewes - you get the impression that it would have been a little tiring to be their friend, but Rose admits that if this book has any heroes, it's Eliot and Lewes.The other chapters are not nearly so compellingly written nor so deftly portrayed. A group biography is necessarily going to be a little sketchy, I guess, but I think the book would have benefitted from a more [...]

    If you like this kind of topic and probably if you know some of the authors already, I predict you would rate this a 5. For me I wanted to rate it a 1 or 2 but can defend my 3 because of the unique way this set of collections were presented and interrelated. It was dry for me. Maybe some coloring pages or superhero powers would have helped. On a serious note, I appreciated the book regarding treatment of the balance of power. And the slices of history which reveal relationship issues may be some [...]

    Who would imagine that a brief book highlighting the marriages of five literary Victorian couples would be such a delightful read. In the capable hands of author Phyllis Rose it is, as she surveys the marriages of John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, and Marian Evans (George Eliot). The chapter on Evans focuses on her relationship with George Henry Lewes rather than her husband. The story of Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle bookends the narrative. The insights of the auth [...]

    This is a study of the marriages of five Victorian writers, including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Carlyle. Favorite lines:“What is love if it cannot make all rough places smooth” (42)!“The merely egotistical satisfactions of fame are easily nullified by a toothache” (227).“Loving someone is like an increase of property—at the same time that it brings joy, it brings fears about loss” (228).“The first condition of human goodness is something to love: the second someth [...]

    A very well-researched, well-written book. If I had quibbles, it would be that it suffers from an early-eighties feminist consciousness that reads dated now, and there are moments when the author makes guesses about the motivations of the husbands and wives in these relationships that one feels isn't totally supported by the record, but more by guesses. The weakness is that these often assume human interactions between men and women have motives, plans, and are not occasionally barely-thought ou [...]

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