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  1. What happens to the White Whale at the end of Moby Dick ?

    I feel a bit of a thicko asking this but I’m honestly confused. I was expecting Ahab and the whale to both perish together but that isn’t at all clear.


    Ahab pierces the whale with a harpoon –...
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    They did indeed kev and the town museum at Derby...

    They did indeed kev and the town museum at Derby used to have a lot about them (as well canvases by Joseph Wright of Derby).
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    Scots is the name of the language of Burns and...

    Scots is the name of the language of Burns and the Scots characters in Walter Scott, sometimes called Lallans (ie Lowlands). It is mutually comprehensible with English English, and many English...
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    Even in the children's book Reward and Fairies...

    Even in the children's book Reward and Fairies the constant refrain of the historical characters they meet is "I had no choice. What else could I have done?"
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    Scott did two sorts of heroine. The drippy one...

    Scott did two sorts of heroine. The drippy one (Rose, Rowena) and the feisty one (Flora, Rebecca). I'll leave you to guess which one the hero ends up with.

    Do keep me posted how you go.
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    Glad you like it. Things get going once you meet...

    Glad you like it. Things get going once you meet a man in a kilt.

    I’m fascinated by an author who was once compared to Shakespeare and has virtually now sunk without a trace.

    Incidentally,...
  7. View Post

    I wouldn’t be in a hurry. Dr Johnson said “Why Sir if you were to read Richardson for the story your impatience would be so much fretted that you would hang yourself. But you must read him for the...
  8. Just finished reading it on Project Gutenburg. I...

    Just finished reading it on Project Gutenburg. I can see why it was admired and loved as the Great C18 Novel - it isn't coy about sex unlike every other mainline novel until the C20.

    I agree...
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    The Whigs were the very grand aristocrats like...

    The Whigs were the very grand aristocrats like the Duke of Omnium - they were the successors to the grandees who had ousted James II. They would be allied politically to the rising merchant class....
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    Miss Dunstable. Apparently the most popular of...

    Miss Dunstable.

    Apparently the most popular of Trollope's novels during his lifetime. But it lacks the slightly grotesque caricature of Barchester Towers.
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    It was Trollope's favourite. It does not have...

    It was Trollope's favourite. It does not have the broad comic aspect of Barchester Towers and sets the tone for his following novels.

    There's a splendid older, single, wealthy woman whose name...
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    I realised that I got all the references to...

    I realised that I got all the references to Gilbert and Sullivan. And then thought how many other references to contemporary popular Dublin culture am I missing?
  13. William Hazlitt, not Henry. He was a great...

    William Hazlitt, not Henry. He was a great enthusiast for painting and very knowledgeable on the subject. He was a leading literary critic of the time and wrote a lot about Shakespeare, often with...
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    I was thinking of the comparison as well. They...

    I was thinking of the comparison as well. They are both working class women. But Lizzie is a character in her own right, whereas Little Em'ly is only seen through the sentimental eyes of David and...
  15. Why does there only have to be one? There is...

    Why does there only have to be one? There is more than one contender of the Great British, French or Russian novel?

    Great implies a wide range of society or historical or cultural background,...
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    The two Dickens heroines admired by kev's critic...

    The two Dickens heroines admired by kev's critic are Bella Wilfer in Our Mutual Friend and Florence Dombey in Dombey and Son.

    Bella starts of as a brat and is almost a comic version of Estella,...
  17. I think he was a deist rather than an atheist. ...

    I think he was a deist rather than an atheist. He certainly has great contempt for women, monks, non-Europeans and the vulgar. But I have to say that I do enjoy reading someone with such a sense of...
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    As regards Amy and Fanny, it is noticeable that...

    As regards Amy and Fanny, it is noticeable that they both in very different ways have energy whereas their father, brother and uncle certainly do not. Indeed William Dorrit is a good example of...
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    It is indeed a mark of social class and that's...

    It is indeed a mark of social class and that's why I find it patronising and sentimental. The middle class characters speech is not rendered phonetically because of course they speak normally.
  20. Love’s Labours Lost and the Merry Wives of...

    Love’s Labours Lost and the Merry Wives of Windsor, I believe, were original plots and in the case of LLL not gripping IMHO
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    I get the impression that Othello going on about...

    I get the impression that Othello going on about how it was a very special handkerchief is all rot, just trying to give himself an excuse for being so angry and hurt.
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    Surely the triviality of the handkerchief shows...

    Surely the triviality of the handkerchief shows the depth of Othello's jealousy?
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    I think that is a typo for Fanny Dorrit. As I...

    I think that is a typo for Fanny Dorrit. As I remember she is not a sympathetic character at all until, after having captured the brainless Edmund Sparkler to score off his ghastly mother (bird be...
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    William Dorrit is profoundly selfish particularly...

    William Dorrit is profoundly selfish particularly toward his brother and youngest daughter, and yet tragic in his selfishness.

    There are two dreadful parents in the book. Amy has her father. ...
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    I haven't read her for some time, but I would...

    I haven't read her for some time, but I would agree. Although her chief strength is she doesn't have the negative points of other Victorian novelists, eg George Eliot's worthiness, Dickens'...
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