Most Romantic Quote BiographySource (Google.com.pk)
This turn-of-the-century extravaganza is excessively silly. I've never heard of Stanley V. Makower, but he must have been a best-selling author in his day. While I was hunting for Perdita, I stumbled over a copy of the first edition which came with crushed Morocco leather binding, gilt edging, raised bands, and forty additional plates (normally there are seventeen), ten of them in color. (No, I didn't buy it. It was worth nearly as much as my car.)
As you can tell from the title, this is a fictionalized biography of Mary Robinson, and it is written in the grand, over-the-top style of its day. It adheres to the romanticized interpretation of her life which was fashionable with late-19th/early-20th century literary critics, i.e. presenting her as a "fallen" woman who redeemed herself with repentance and reformation in later years. Makower carries that concept to its ultimate heights. His Mary is a delicate and noble-minded creature, far more sinned against than sinning, and remarkably chaste, all things considered. Charles James Fox, for one, never gets more from her than tea and conversation. Which is just as well, I suppose, since Makower is of the opinion that "Such ethereal beauty as hers almost frightened him."1
Unlike other novels about Mary which focus on her relationship with George, Prince of Wales, this one fictionalizes her entire life, with Ban Tarleton featuring peripherally in a three or four chapter segment. Having received the same sort of spruce-up as Mary, he bounces through his role in an adorable if unconvincing manner. For instance, until I read this book I did not know the true reason for his post-war financial difficulties:
Those American campaigns had fostered in him a dangerous indifference to the orderly control of money. He was reckless rather than extravagant, and in him the instinct to give, rose easily superior to the lust to possess. Although he had been but a year in the metropolis, people had borrowed large sums of money from him, as honest in their intentions of repaying him in full as they were incapable of fulfilling them.2
Silly me, I thought a chronic addiction to gambling -- dating back at least as far as his university days -- might have had a little something to do with it.
Still, there are times when Makower's Tarleton closely echoes the tone of the gossip columns of the day. In the process of winning Mary's attentions away from Fox, he "sigh[ed] and languish[ed] with comic frankness under the influence of the lady's beauty" and "loved to expatiate in his whimsical way upon the historical association of Mars with Venus." So if he is presented as rather over-noble (not to mention over-virtuous and a tad overwrought), at least Makower catches his sense of humor and fun. That side of his personality emerges far too rarely in fiction.3
Mary's relationship with Tarleton is surprisingly peripheral to the story line. (Actually, one gets the feeling that Makower would have preferred not to mention any of the men in her life, period.) Still, what there is of it follows the pattern found in contemporary public sources, except that it has been stripped of any hint of negativity. (In fact, there are times when this novel follows contemporary sources so closely that you can recognize exact passages. One chapter is essentially lifted from Mary's obituary in Scots Magazine, with dialogue added.)
Even their eventual break-up gets a tragic-but-forgivable spin. After all, how could Mary expect "that upright, vigorous man of action, in whom the blood still flowed merrily, to pass the rest of his life with the loadstone of her affection, the affection of a woman dying by inches, round his neck?" In this universe, if not the real one, Mary sends Ban on his way with a tender and understanding farewell.4
Well, what the heck. Given a choice between "terminally silly" and "terminally hateful" I'll select the former for entertainment value or most anything else. Best of all would be a third choice, "vaguely akin to reality," but that just isn't forthcoming. Can't imagine why -- their real story (or, rather, the bit of it which can be extracted from the shadows of history) has everything needed to make a darned good novel.
Having not yet managed to find a copy I can afford, I've only had a brief look through Perdita, and have read only the Tarleton chapters and a couple of others. But I suspect that's enough to give a good feel for the overall book. It's a product of its times, and would only be of interest to readers who enjoy late-Victorian/Edwardian pot-boilers.
Originally Posted by Mickiel View Post
Oh I have been aware of you for years, just not aware of you being female. I can't look at your name and tell that. And your probally right, I don't pay much attention to you. Only when you approach me.
Also I agree with using facts, evidence and common sense in our acceptence of ideas and ways of thinking. Those are three proofs of God; Evidence- tons of biblical archaeology unearthed and confirmed by professionals to validate the bible- thus validating the God it records. Facts- consciousness is real and is not a result of random sclection, science or any theory of evolution; there is no evolution of Consciousness - it is constant. Common sense - my favorite proof of God - it figures to me that nothing can come from nothing; so all that we know and experience has to have come from a very powerful something; that fits God perfectly.
Its common sense; its Academnic!
It is utterly clear that your proof of God is interpreting everything you see as coming from God - similarities, differences, reasonable Theophany, loopy Theophany, people who believe, people who don't believe and every crafty fallacious rhetorical trick in the book. Everything is seen through the rose - coloured spectacles of faith.
If we point out poor reasoning, ignored refutation (such as mine of your Bible archaeology claims - not that they are untrue but irrelevant) and plonking and pretty irrelevant statements about consciousness and Cosmic origins, you swipe us with accusations of a superiority complex and plaster the God - label on that, too.
I don't know why I need to say it, I'm sure everyone can see it clear other than other extreme theists who think just the same way.