Review of The Life of John Ruskin by W. G. Collingwood

This as an authoritative biography of John Ruskin unveils the life, works and time of the influential nineteenth century art critic and literary figure. Drawing immensely from Ruskin’s diaries and a mighty volume of unpublished letters and several other insightful documents it offers the reader fresh portrait of the personality in its totality. Besides offering lively insight in the backdrop of Ruskin’s life the volume also provides key for a better understanding of Ruskin’s works published in several volumes. The beautiful account of his early life and upbringing apart, the book on The Life of John Ruskin by W. G. Collingwood also unveils the influence of Victorian household in shaping his artistic spirit. From his travels around continents to closer look at his friends, acquaintances and relations to the development of his aesthetic values and refinement of his tastes, the biography portrays each and every aspect of this artist-prodigy’s life.

Introducing John Ruskin

Understanding the present biography and its significance requires having some basic information on the importance of John Ruskin as the invaluable art critic who to this day is respected world over for introducing his contemporary artists to the wider audience and his critical writings on art and society. Ruskin’s complete works consist of total 38 volumes which is by its sheer length and size alone is enough indicative of Ruskin’s expanding career as an author and influence over his time and beyond. Ruskin’s writings besides influencing his contemporaries and political as well as social institutions and personalities garnered praise from figures such as Oscar Wilde, Gandhi and Proust.

The famous association that led to this volume

W.G. Collingwood ( is likely to have best insights on Ruskin’s life as he was one of his close associates and friend. After meeting Ruskin in 1872 for the first time in University College, Oxford, in the later years he became a close associate of Ruskin and their friendship continued for the rest of their life. Ruskin expressed admiration for Collingwood’s draughtsmanship. Collingwood is credited to edit a number of texts by Ruskin as well. This long association and close relationship naturally granted him more freedom and ease in formulating the biographical account of Ruskin.

In depth exploration of the life, time and work of Ruskin

In his time he has been one of the most dominating figures in the world of art and art criticism and this biographical account went into the depth of his stature as an art critic, author and influential figure. Withstanding the fluctuations of reputation and the unpredictable tumult of events John Ruskin left his unmistakable mark on his contemporary time making him an admired figure by eminent world personalities of his time. The present biography focused on various sides of his personality besides offering insights on Ruskin’s time and major socio political upheavals and events. While till the first half of twentieth century his influence over the world of art and social strata was evident, this biography will continue to introduce his personality and thought to the readers of present and future.

A Brief Review of the Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim

The Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim, a somewhat fairy tale story begins like this:

When Anna Estcourt was twenty-five, and had begun to wonder whether the pleasure extractable from life at all counterbalanced the bother of it, a wonderful thing happened.

Though The Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim is one of the earlier novels of the author as the book first published way back in 1901, it nevertheless fails to portray the quintessential preoccupations and spirits of the author. Von Arnim clearly took a lot from her own experiences for inspiration in this novel as well.

A Brief Review of the Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim

The literary trademarks of Elizabeth Von Arnim

Elizabeth Von Arnim as an author of considerable reputation and grit published a total of 21 novels spanning across her life that ended at the age of 74 in 1941. The variety of her subjects is really bewildering ad really make them difficult for the reader and critics to encapsulate. Ranging from the flamboyantly escapist portrait in The Enchanted April to the nerve raking thriller Vera to the witty classic The Pastor’s Wife, you cannot come to a quick and straightforward decision about this gifted author of Nineteenth century.

Interestingly enough, though now the entire literary world knows her as Elizabeth von Arnim (, she never published in her own lifetime under this name. Her husband was a well known German aristocrat named Graf Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin did not approve his wife’s writing career and so to evade public embarrassment Elizabeth continued to write novels publishing anonymously.

One recurrent theme that linked all her work is the garden and the plants and flowers occupying them. To take the famous Virginia Woolf quotation that every woman needs a room of her own, we can as well misquote Von Arnim having said that every woman needs a garden.

The compelling as well as sensitive storyline and storytelling

Anna Estcourt, beautiful girl at her twenty-five, still unmarried, has been raised under the guardianship of her elder brother and his whimsical, socially ambitious wife, Susie. He had no money and consequently no independence for her. Anna even when grown up is to live like a child under the Susie’s domination. This torment of the protagonist makes up the main backdrop of the storyline. While Susie continues exercise her unjust command over Anna almost captivating her from the life outside, Anna, an idealistic and tender soul, refuses to break apart the bond just because of her moral and idealistic views on life.

In another chapter of the novel, when Uncle Joachim, the brother of Anna’s German mother comes to visit, they two quickly become affectionate friends. But, both of them fail to understand each other completely as they belong to two complete worlds of upbringing and moral subjection. Though, her uncle understands her gnawing cry inside, her in-depth will for an independent life. So, at the time of his death just a few months later, Anna suddenly finds herself an heiress, inheritor of a the property of her uncle.

Until this time, Anna had no intention of marrying a good gentleman whether he is a German or not, particularly because of the generous annual income that she has now she considers leading an independent life is her ideal choice. This is the life she dreamed for so long that even living in the obscure rural Germany did not repelled her. Anna went there with Susie and her brother. Now blessed that she is with such a huge property, she readily decided to spend her fortune to accommodate the distressed gentlewomen, to offer them independence and comforting residence so that they like her do not need to rely on relatives. Though it was readily recognized as a noble plan everyone commented on the impracticality of it as well. The following storyline deals the drama that ensues from her dream benevolent project and the challenges overpowering her from all sides.

Von Arnim’s trademark feminism is explicit in this novel but in referring to the tyranny of men and desire of women for independence, the book undoubtedly expressed the generous side of some open hearted men and actually made a male hero, her departed uncle without whom she could not have got the freedom from tormenting bondage. Though it is not typical of her works, this burst of feminism through the depiction of men’s ignorance towards women and tyrannical attitude towards their freedom has been a recurring theme in many of her novels. The love that awaits Anna in her Uncle’s estate is repressed silently in the heart of a thoughtful young bachelor responsible for looking after the estate beside Anna. Avoiding of the much awaited outcome of their meeting in a relationship and loving bond was deliberately side-passed by the author only to give vent to her real sensitive project and constant preoccupation, the distressed women reeling under the domination of men.

Why You Should Use an Airpot Flask on a Boat

When they need to keep water or coffee hot many boaters prefer an airpot flask instead of a thermos bottle. This is because although thermos bottles are more versatile airpots are extremely convenient especially when you are on the move. Often people wonder whether a bottle is better at keeping hot compared to an airpot, but there is no difference between airpots and bottles of the same quality. Now the question is what exactly is an airpot? Essentially airpots are the pump style dispensers which can be found in coffee shops. They are most often used for coffee but they are also useful for storing hot water, hot chocolate, hot cider, and most cold drinks.

Convenience and Ease

In order to serve the beverage all you have to do is hold a glass or cup under the spigot and press the pump which is either a lever or button. It is quite convenient to make a large pot of coffee and then store it in the airpot or simply store boiling water which allows you to make your choice of instant drinks. The same is true for cold drinks as you can make lemonade, iced tea or any other drink in the airpot itself or store cold water in it for making any kind of cold drinks. This is great when you are on passage and all travelers have different schedules or if their preference for hot and cold beverages are different. All you have to do is carry some instant coffee, tea bags and hot chocolate and you are all set.

Main Advantages

The biggest advantage of an airpot over a thermos is that there is very less chance of spilling hot water and causing burns. On the other hand you don’t have to open the refrigerator for getting cold drinks in hot weather. It is also a good idea to wedge an airpot in a sink so that any accidental spills will go right down the drain.


One thing that you should keep in mind is that the insulating ability of different airpots varies a lot just like with thermos bottles. The best choices are the ones which have a vacuum liner and the second best are the ones with foam insulation. However, make sure that you completely stay away from the ones which simply have a double walled construction. Also bear in mind that it is rare to find cheap models that are good although buying an expensive one is also not a guarantee that you will get good quality. It is quite common to find thermos bottles ( which have a stainless steel vacuum liner, airpots usually have a glass liner. This poses a breakage risk but if you keep it wedged in a sink this will completely eliminate the chances that it will be thrown across the boat and break when being used.

When you are using a glass lined Why You Should Use an Airpot Flask on a Boatairpot flask or thermos bottle make sure that you warm it with some warm water before you pour any hot liquid into it. This will reduce the chances of the glass cracking due to the sudden change in temperature and will also heat the interior. Airpot exteriors are usually made of stainless steel or plastic. The plastic ones are more susceptible to breakage or cracks especially when they are stored. The problem of the seal on the vacuum breaking also occurs most with these and this causes the loss of the insulating ability.

Choice of Features

The other feature to choose is a push button pump or lever and the latter are less likely to develop problems and are also more convenient. Apart from this a user may also end up getting fingers pinched if not careful. Of course you need to bear in mind that airpots with levers are slightly more expensive. The final choice is size with most airpots able to hold around 2 liters which means approximately 6 mugs of coffee. It is also possible to find an airpot flask that can hold 3 liters of liquid while gallon airpots are also available for heavy usage. It is also important to fill the airpot to the brim if you want the liquids to really stay close to their original temperature.

How a Thermos Jug Can Keep Liquids Hot or Cold for a Long Time

A thermos jug becomes quite handy when you want to keep things at a constant temperature. This means that if you put a hot beverage into a thermos bottle or jug it will remain hot and similarly cold drinks will stay cold for a long time. Now we need to understand the working of a thermos flask and for this we need to understand how heat travels.

How Heat Travels

Heat is an energy that travels through three phenomenon known as conduction, convection and radiation.

•  Conduction – This causes the transfer of heat from one mass to another when they touch just like heat flows into our body when we touch something that is hot.

•  Convection – This phenomenon happens without direct touch for instance if you turn on a fan heater it will blow hot air into the room. Hot air is lighter than cold air so it will rise upwards. In doing so it pushes the cold air out of the way so the cool air near the ceiling travels downwards towards the floor while the heater again lets out hot air and the cycle goes on warming the room. When heat moves in this manner with the help of a mobile liquid or gas it is called convection. An example of convection heating is when you heat soup in a saucepan.

•  Radiation – This phenomenon is slightly different from both convection as well as conduction. When objects are heated they radiate light which is why camp fires have red, orange and yellow flames. This is because the heat energy from the fire excites the atoms in the objects and makes them unstable. As they are unstable these atoms quickly return to their normal state and give off the energy in the form of light. Sometimes the light from the unstable atoms may even be invisible and if the light produced by them is too intense it is known as infrared radiation which cannot be seen by the eyes but felt as heat instead. This is why old fashioned incandescent lamps are hot to the touch even though they have glass and vacuum surrounding them. This process of heat transfer is called radiation.

Why Coffee Gets Cold

The temperature of boiling water is 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degree Fahrenheit while the room temperature on a moderate day should be somewhere around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. Due to the fact that the water that you have heated, is much hotter compared to the room, the heat from the coffee pot flows rapidly into the surroundings. Some heat is also lost due to conduction because the coffee mug or pot will be placed on a worktop or table and the heat will directly flow downwards. The heat emanating from the coffee pot or mug will heat the air around it which will start moving which causes more heat loss due to convection and some heat is also lost due to radiation. All these three factors of conduction, convection and radiation will cause even piping hot coffee to become completely cold within an hour. Hence it can be said that if you want your coffee to stay hot you need to stop conduction, convection and radiation and this can be done by pouring the coffee into a thermos jug or flask.

thermos jug

How a Vacuum Flask Works

A vacuum flask is essentially a highly insulated jug. Most versions of this product have an outer plastic or metal case and an inner lining chamber which have two layers of glass between them. What’s more these glass layers are also separated by a vacuum and the glass is coated with a reflective layer of metal. Flasks which are unbreakable do not contain glass and instead there are two layers of stainless steel with a reflecting layer and a vacuum between them. To add to the insulation there is a screw down lid on the top.

With the help of these simple features almost all heat transfer due to conduction, convection and radiation is prevented. The conduction is prevented by vacuum, the tight lid ensures that no air can leave or enter the flask eliminating convection and radiation is prevented by the reflective inner lining of chamber. In this manner virtually no heat can escape the flask keeping the liquids hot for a long time. Just like heat cannot escape the flask it cannot penetrate into the flask either, which ensures that cold items remain cold in the thermos jug.

Exploring the Gothic Story – Afterward by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton was an acclaimed American author who in her writing career won many international accolades including Pulitzer Prize in 1920 and nomination for Nobel Prize in Literature consecutively in 1927, 1928 and 1930. ‘Afterward’ is one of the finest works in Wharton’s oeuvre displaying all her characteristic literary elements and conceptions in full force. If she is today known for her brilliant novels and short stories that portray her natural wit coupled up with grave psychological and social insights into the privileged class of America, the Afterward by Edith Wharton has all these traits in the finest manner possible.

Following the great tradition of ghost story with social themes

For years telling a suspense filled ghost story with psychological and social overtones had created a volume of writing representing different types of prose and literary styles. The gothic horror and ghostly elements of Victorian era had been incorporated in many famous stories of that era. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is a great example of this evolving genre of fiction. Wharton knowing that this idiom of suspense can be useful to portray her characters in the light of psychological focus, she had written several such stories and even published a complete book comprising them. While these stories on the surface level are sure to give you an experience ridden with suspense for the unpredictable, their underlying preoccupation with socially ridiculous characters had made the storyline equally significant as a literary commentary on society.

Development of the storyline and suspense

The suspense takes over the story as Mary and the interchangeable narrator voice in her place, continues to describe a story concerning a person named Ned until she realizes that something unexpected is at stake because the ghost of the story arrived in the doorstep. In spite of the ridiculousness of the tale to our matured ears, the literary skills never broke the suspense loose and easily purport us to the world of unexpected and unknown. The character of Mary with her ignorance of the husband’s business helps weaving the plot and corresponding suspense even better. Though there is not a straightforward moral that one can draw from the storyline, at least we can sense that the author is suggesting against our long held misconception about our so called knowledge of people around us. Anyone loved and wanted too much may ultimately bring us sadness. This has been exemplified with a gritty storytelling and development of the thrilling plot so characteristic of Edith Wharton ghost stories.

Exploring the Gothic Story - Afterward by Edith Wharton

A fantastic gothic story but with a difference

‘Afterward’ carries an array of elements reminiscent of American Gothic style of writing. Numerous characteristic Gothic elements like incorporation of a supernatural theme and addressing a ghost in all familiarity, a dark and shadowed settings, the main character is often taking refuge in oblivion and reference to architectural elements like missing passages and above all suppressed secrets or truths from the yester years, all these perfectly gave the settings of a typical Gothic horror story, though Wharton carefully avoided the extravaganza of horror and rather concentrated on vivid development on the suspense that ultimately would reveal the denied secret to the readers and everyone. As explained by the scholars on Gothic fiction (, a typical strange relationship with the very familiar one is the quintessential trait of them and in that respect the present story perfectly fits in this category.

Multifaceted conflicts of interests among characters

Any major work of fiction invariably has several conflicting characters incorporating their individual flavor, point of view and contradictions. The present story is no different in this regard. While exploring the memories gradually by the central character it explores several characters along with their conflicts of interest, personal attributes and conflicts and contradictions that exist not only among men or women but on a larger plane between man and the society. This shows Wharton’s infallible preoccupation with the social criticism that she elaborately stressed across almost all her works. The setting is perfect and the mood of the storytelling had been created with extreme care and moving back and forth in capturing the memory by the protagonist had been done with astute clarity except the fact that for a twenty first century reader using the third person narration along with the protagonist seems to be a cliché literary style.

With a rich, dark, mystery ridden setting in the countryside of Nineteenth century England and with a remoteness and historical aura and secretive atmosphere surrounding it, the reader gets more than what is required to get mentally delivered in a different time-space and this is one of the biggest praiseworthy attribute of this story. Ghost in this story served a significant symbolic role as well. When bringing ghosts with them the residents of the house do not have knowledge of it until much later when the damage is done. Thus ghosts actually work towards shattering the dull aristocratic idyllic life and make it stand on its tiptoe.

Literary Exploration of the Social Critic in The Patrician by John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy as a Nobel laureate English novelist and playwright had been known worldwide for his exceptionally vivid and critical style of writings. His quintessential trait has been the criticism and a sympathetic portrayal of upper middle class Britons but in doing so he never missed the humanist footing and wit in shaping his characters and plots. The Patrician John Galsworthy Literary Exploration of the Social Critic in The Patrician by John Galsworthy, much like his unequalled masterpiece The Forsyte Saga displays all these elements with ultimate depth, lucidity and vividness. Reading John Galsworthy is a revealing experience, but reading The Patrician can be more revealing about the harmony, melancholy and critical depth author can achieve with his fluid and powerful writing style.

Galsworthy’s major preoccupation continues

As an author of an array of acclaimed literary works, Galsworthy in his lifetime gained an astounding readership that even his crudest critics would hardly disagree with and his readers always had an idea of his taste and quintessential preoccupation about the critical exploration of middle class social values. In novels and plays his characters always displayed this critical demeanor with a kind of fervor that the authorship behind them can be unmistakably recognized. In that respect The Patrician follows the same lineage and all intimate signs of his literary style and preoccupation. So while taking this volume you can actually be sure of reading Galsworthy novel as important as his so called masterpiece The Forsyte Saga.

Challenging or championing Edwardian values

From the last quarter of nineteenth century England, Edwardian values continued to face the rising intellectual challenges across every social sphere, but even the harshest critics of the snobbish high culture reminiscent of the old British hierarchy and aristocracy could not make themselves entirely distanced from it. In that sense John Galsworthy ( is a fine example of an intellectual suffering from this dichotomy. His critical notion of the upper middle class of the era apart, his apathetic relation with the ideology and values of the era can be traced in the way he put things in the literary frame. His plot, his literary edifice and his choice of words for the characters residing inside his literary castle is no different from the majority of people living with that eroding value. So, rather than portraying his characters from a contrary position his criticism actually serves the edifice of that value structure in the way of a reformatory voice. Thus in the final analysis Galsworthy is only pushing the boundary of impending change that is supposed to come and offer strong stand against the pretentious upper class value.

A storyline with no psychological exploration

For a writer of Galsworthy’s status hardly a storyline matters, because quintessential writing exists beyond the so called obligatory frameworks of plot and storyline. As literature developed and continued to encompass all social, intellectual and personal aspects, novels became more autobiographical, personally fetishistic to the author, more psychologically drawn to the inner recesses of the characters and less predestined to follow the plot or storyline. This psychological turn sometimes became self-deciphering, sometimes took a narcissistic turn. From Nabokov to Kafka to Borges to Camus, we can see a long tradition of twentieth century fictions that made this stress on author’s personal journey apparent. The question is where we can put John Galsworthy and his literary creations in this respect? To answer this we must point out to his writing serving as a social critic to a decadent social value. Naturally, he took the individual sufferings and question of destiny from an outward point of view rather than taking an insider’s stand or to be more precise, a psychological point of view.

The last chronicler of a self-important social class

John Galsworthy in The Patrician had focused more on the ambition and folly of some upper middle class characters in astute details and in doing so the decadence of this high minded society that is already taking root in the then England becomes apparent to us. His criticism of this social class and their aspiration seems more like a chronicle that is already feted to reach the road’s end. It is the end of the road for a social value and its own critic, because the decadence is complete and the gigantic wheel of progress in twentieth century already began its toil and so, no longer such accounts will be written. So, with Galsworthy a generation of literature came to its feted terminal point and The Patrician can as well be commented as one of the last chronicles of this eroding era.

Travel Mug Adds Expediency to Travel

Travel Mug – Unavoidable Household Appliance in Today’s World

Traveling has become part and parcel of the modern-day human life, and it is a fact that the bulk of the population in all civilized countries is always on the move, for attending their routine jobs. Insulated Travel mugs are highly useful during traveling; one will be able to taste fresh and tasteful coffee, tea, or such other beverages while traveling. It will not be an overstatement to say that in our time travel mugs have become one of the unavoidable household appliances.

Travel Mug Adds Expediency to TravelTravel Mugs Are Good as Promotional Pieces

Because of the high demand, this item has become a valuable promotional product. Companies can gift this product to their clientele and thus gain their support; this is a practical way to establish a workable rapport with all existing and potential clients. Besides, some of the top thermoses manufacturing companies that operate strictly in accordance with the modern-day standards offer customization. Clients will really appreciate customization, which will automatically enhance the goodwill and reputation of the company concerned. Organizations can order customization in tune with their exact marketing requirements; the manufacturing companies will take care and execute the demand in a professional manner.

Dealers Must Properly Display the Details in the Website

Dealers must give straight information in their websites regarding the diverse models of China travel mugs they sell. In general, customers prefer to buy dazzling colored flasks that will add more preciseness and cuteness to the occasion or the situation. The commonly opted color ranges are ‘blue’, ‘silver’, ‘black’, ‘green’, ‘purple’, ‘yellow’, etc. Dealers must consider this point while storing travel mugs. Moreover, they must mention the relevant details clearly in the website. Buyers must come to know that there are plenty of choices, at the first look itself; only then, they will stay in the website to see more of the offered options. If you miss to describe the details of the available models, or fail to display the items as it should be, customers will just jump to other websites in order to find out better options.

Points Dealers Must Consider While Storing Travel Mugs

•  Dealers must take care to store travel mugs of different sizes for giving better options to the clients; the requirements of the customers will vary, and so, sellers must provide them varied types and sizes of travel mugs (

•  They must store only advanced thermoses; this significant matter will decide the popularity of the traders concerned. The products that they sell must have high quality and must be very much durable. Buyers always look for tough and long-lasting travel mugs; a hit or a fall must not damage the item. Inexpensive nature is another point that will tempt the buyers to give the item a try. To make sure of these aspects, dealers must purchase the required stock only from reputed manufacturing companies, which control a specialized marketing department.

•  People usually prefer to have stainless steel travel mugs, albeit other varieties such as glass, plastic, ceramic thermoses are also available. This is because of the overall capacity to hold the stored item without any kind of quality drop for lengthy periods.

•  Of course, customers will have a special tendency to buy travel mugs that have an attractive appearance; this is quite natural. However, they also take the quality of the item into consideration, before settling on one particular model. It is a fact that double walled stainless steel vacuum flasks have great demand, due to the capacity to maintain the original property and the taste of the item stored. As many of the modern-day travel mugs come with safe caps, it will be a good move on the part of the sellers to store such well-accepted items; customers will be glad about it.

•  The thermos manufacturing process consists of two major sections, designing, and execution. Both these functions are highly significant; the designing must be innovative, and the production process must be precise. Only when the same company carries out these two processes, the product will become authentic and superb. Therefore, dealers must make certain that the company from which they plan to purchase their travel mugs supports both these functions. That is to say, the company must be an ‘Original Design Manufacturer (ODM)’ and at the same time, an ‘Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)’ also.

Other than the aforementioned features, the company must also have a functional R&D wing. In fact, ‘Research & Development’ holds the key to modernism, and the functional nature of this department assures the quality of the product.

The Adventure of the Black Lady – Aphra Behn – A Light Read

Fair Jilt & Oroonoko or the royal slave is amongst many of the works of Aphra Behn who is a well-known fiction author. British playwright, poet, translator & fiction writer, Aphra Behn produced one of the greatest fiction marvels -The Adventure of the Black Lady. She was the first to earn her living from her literary marvels. This book is a story of about a young damsel called Bellamora, who was bearing the consequences of her un-thoughtful & ignorant behavior and stupid decisions towards her admirer Mr. Fondlove. During her courtship with her beau Mr. Fondlove, she gets pregnant and tries to run away without realizing and making any intelligent choices for herself & her unborn child. The insecurity & insensibility leads her to run away, lie and escape to an obscure future, without realizing the depth of the consequences & the gravity of the situation.

Self-pity and un-thoughtfulness

The ambiguity further increased when she was not able to find her cousin, who she was strongly counting upon for help during the critical time period of her life. She left her native land and moved to the town of Covent-Garden, where she thought she would find Madam Brightly, a cousin whom she could not find. She was strangely surprised that she could not learn anything of her; nor so much as meet with any one that had ever heard of her Cousin’s Name. In this anxiety & perplexity she quite forgot her Trunk and Money, which shows her highly ignorant behavior and her inability to maintain calm in such situations. The victim mentality of Bellamora I brought forth when she self-pities herself, for calling her shamed, ruined, and damned & forever lost. Instead of marrying and maintaining her good sense and exercising intelligence further stepping into a stable future, with Mr. Fondlove, she chooses to foolishly maintain a weird notion & unreal projection of looing her love & Mr. Fondlove ceasing to love her post delivering the baby.

A dramatic display of thoughts & actions

The story here speaks of greater extravagance of grief which was so extreme, until she was rescued by Fondlove’s sister who removes her doubt that Fondlove would not marry her after she has delivered the baby. She assured Bellamora and added the child was her own Brothers. Convincing Bellamora to marry her brother and spend life peacefully & happily. It is a light humored fiction story, meant for a light read. The whole dramatic display of thoughts, actions and consequences is highly engaging and full of surprises. Inspired by the ordinary and humane instances this book has much which one may easily relate to & come across during everyday life. From the tragic start to a romantic end, the book has much to do with the portrayal of the fickle mindedness & indecisive attitude of a young damsel. The Adventure of the Black Lady by Aphra Behn has a beautiful end where they both agree to marry each other. Very logical in approach she agrees to marry him even when she had delivered the baby; putting an end of the Dispute, towards a happy future.

Torn Between Aristocracy and Humanity – The Patrician by John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy was an English novelist and playwright and one of the most popular writers of the early 20th century. His work revolved around social history and themes, and often incorporated into them, the nuances of values, classes, and hierarchy; especially that of the Edwardian era. The Patrician by John Galsworthy, a novel first published in 1911, narrated the story of young Lord Miltoun and his life torn between the need to be in a position of power and the desire for true love.

The Author

John Galsworthy was born in 1867, in Surrey, studied at Harrow and New College, Oxford, and later got admitted to the bar in 1890. However, he discontinued his profession in law and took to writing full time, after the release of his first novel, Jocelyn. He then went on to publish many famous novels and plays, including the Forsyte series: Indian Summer of a Forsyte, In Chancery, Awakening, and To Let. Galsworthy was awarded the Order of Merit in 1929 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932. He breathed his last at Hampstead in 1933.

The Plot

Lord Miltoun, the eldest son of the Lord and Lady Valleys at the Caradocs, is a charismatic young leader who believes that the power to lead his fellow men is the greatest good. His eyes are set on London and his family sees in him, the power to be the next Prime Minister of England. Things take a turn when Miltoun falls in love with Audrey Noel, a sensitive yet beautiful young lady rumored to be a divorcee. Audrey, on the other hand leads a joyless life thanks to her husband, a bigoted clergyman, who refuses to divorce her. She reciprocates in full, the love that Miltoun has for her. With this relationship builds a conflict in the young patrician’s mind. He understands the need to remain immaculate in order to continue in a post of power and the doom an illicit relationship could bring to his leadership. In the meanwhile, another love affair blossoms in the background, between Barbara, the younger sister of Miltoun, and Charles Courtier, an altruistic friend of Mrs. Noel. Courtier also happens to be an idealist and an opponent of Miltoun. In spite of the love affair with Audrey, Miltoun wins the elections by a margin and occupies his seat of power. In London, he falls seriously ill and is nursed back to health by his lady love. Sensing impending danger, Lady Valleys summons her son and Barbara to their Uncle, Lord Dennis’ seaside residence, where Miltoun recovers fully. The turmoil still high, he writes back to Audrey thanking her and during his return to London, meets Courtier, who pleads with him not to disown her. However, Miltoun realizes his true need for leadership and Mrs. Noel helps him by sacrificing her feelings for him and goes away. Barbara and Courtier too weave hopes of marriage, but the latter’s pride stand in their way and she gets married to Lord Harbinger.

The Patrician, like other novels by John Galsworthy, received much critical acclaim for its deep characterization and portrayal of the ‘drying’ effect of aristocracy.

The Tale of Anna Estcourt – The Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim

A beautiful female protagonist, who even in her mid- twenties, refuses to get married in her deep desire to be free. A benign, indifferent brother with a philosophical bend of mind. A bossy, pretentious sister-in-law who is finding it difficult to comprehend why a young girl blessed with good looks, will not use them to her advantage to find a suitable match. A maternal uncle from Germany who in due course turns out to be an angel of wealth. A stable and responsible young gentleman who falls in love with the protagonist and desperately tries to conceal his love for her, for fear of being rejected. Set in London and Germany, The Benefactress by Elizabeth Von Arnim is the tale of Anna Estcourt and the people who play an influencing role in her life.

Raised by her nonchalant brother and overwhelming sister in law Susie, Anna dreams of breaking free from their clutches to lead an independent life that is truly hers. However, lack of money holds Anna back, till one day, her maternal uncle Joachim comes visiting the family. They strike a chord with each other and soon become good friends. Though differing in ideals, Uncle Joachim understands the situation that has given rise to Anna’s desire for independence and hopes that, she too, one day will agree with his ideology that “It is a woman’s pride to lean on a good husband. It is her happiness to be shielded and protected by him.” With this belief, Joachim leaves all his possessions to be inherited by Anna, including a sprawling Pomeranian Estate in Germany, and she becomes aware of her new found wealth after Joachim passes away a couple of months later.

Without second thoughts, Anna sets out to locate the property and with difficulty, shifts to her new home. She is initially unable to comprehend the social customs and hierarchy in her new place of dwelling and her relationship with the locals turns a rocky one. However, she falls in love with her new home pretty quickly and decides that the best way to put her good fortune to use is to throw its doors open to the gentlewomen of the locality. All of her energy gets devoted to these distressed ladies and the project takes a physical and emotional toll far greater than what she imagines. Her only respite among the group of unwelcoming neighbors is Axel Lohm, a young man in his early thirties. He owns an estate and all the independence that Anna dreams of, except that he leads a lonely life. He soon falls in love with her, but refrains from letting her know, very well aware that she would not reciprocate the feeling for him.

Anna’s troubles soon begin to pile up and she slowly begins to realize that true freedom is extremely demanding and isolating. In the absence of a companion to share her worries with, it finally dawns on Anna that her dream of absolute independence has its own limits.