Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Female Quixote

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By Charlotte Lennoxarabella
Go, go! Get it!
Read: February 2007
Rating: Treasured

I truly don’t know how this book fell so completely out of favor. The Female Quixote was written in mid 1700s, about a young woman who, like Don Quixote, lives in her fantasies. Arabella reads romances, all of which are set in the ancient Greco-Roman classic era, when society operated very differently. She has been raised largely in pampered isolation on her father’s estate, but upon his death she begins to enter the real world.

Sort of.

Arabella believes that it is an offense for a man to confess his love for a woman without her permission. That he must then remove himself either to pine and die, or put himself in mortal danger to prove his love. That lovers must be rebuffed at all costs, for they are simply everywhere! The gardener is surely a lord in disguise come to watch her and sigh from afar. Essentially, she believes that life is a romance novel and it’s her turn to be the heroine.

Of course, everyone thinks she’s nuts. It’s very rewarding to see Ye Olde nobility get exasperated with her and call her various insults like dimwit. She takes it all wonderfully in stride, and believes she is the heroine of her own life story.

How can you not love that?

The end is somewhat controversial, and raises all sorts of issues about cultural norms and gender. If she giving up, or growing up? GO READ IT.


Written by Shen

April 19, 2007 at 1:42 pm

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