Pick a Paperback for Pure Pleasure with the Deluxe-Book Season Past, Serious Readers May Wish to Reach for Any Number of Quality New Softcovers, Ranging from English Novels and Agatha Christie Mysteries to a History of the Rio Grande

By Merle Rubin. Merle Rubin regularly reviews literature and contemporary fiction . | The Christian Science Monitor, January 1, 1992 | Go to article overview

Pick a Paperback for Pure Pleasure with the Deluxe-Book Season Past, Serious Readers May Wish to Reach for Any Number of Quality New Softcovers, Ranging from English Novels and Agatha Christie Mysteries to a History of the Rio Grande


Merle Rubin. Merle Rubin regularly reviews literature and contemporary fiction ., The Christian Science Monitor


NOW that the gifts have been given, the friends and family visited or entertained, it's time perhaps to entertain ourselves by settling down with a good book for the pure pleasure of reading. Bypassing the big-budget books and deluxe boxed editions, shopped-out readers can find just what they may be looking for among the paperbacks.

Penguin Classics publishes a fine selection of 19th-century English novelists, including Jane Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Hardy, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell. They've recently come out with paperback editions of Anthony Trollope.

For years, I avoided Trollope because I'd seen his picture: a bearded, bespectacled 19th-century man of letters whom I mistakenly assumed to be either a minor Russian novelist (a kind of cut-rate Tolstoy) or Marxist thinker. (He did look a bit like Trotsky, and critical blurbs kept commending his sense of social realism!)

It was thanks to a course in graduate school on the English novel that I finally made the acquaintance of this funny and delightful English novelist. Almost no one I know of who has read Trollope has been anything but charmed by the experience. Penguin Classics currently offers Phineas Finn (746 pp., $6.95) from Trollope's Palliser series (serialized some years ago on PBS), and the first four novels in the Barsetshire series, including his fresh and engaging Dr. Thorne (566 pp., $7.95), edited and introduced by mystery writer Ruth Rendell, a self-sufficient story that is an excellent example of Trollope at his best. For those who may prefer handsome hardcover editions of both the Barsetshire and Palliser series, these are available from Oxford University Press for $16.95 and $14.95, respectively.

The Oxford University Press World's Classics series offers an eclectic and international selection, from Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country (128 pp., $4.95), the tragicomic story of a married woman's infatuation with her son's tutor, newly translated and edited by Richard Freeborn, to perhaps the most moving of Theodore Dreiser's novels, Jennie Gerhardt (378 pp., $5.95), the story of a poor, sweet-natured Midwestern girl struggling to find love and a decent life in the cynical and hypocritical society of America in the 1880s and 1890s, the so-called Gilded Age. This edition of Dreiser's second novel, originally published in 1911, is edited by Lee Clark Mitchell, who informs us that a scholarly edition of Dreiser's works now in progress will supply the author's longer first version of this novel. That had a happy ending, which Dreiser's friends found improbable - even though Dreiser had based the happy ending on the real-life experiences of one of his sisters, who was the model for Jennie. Another in this series, Charlotte Bronts first novel, The Professor (292 pp., $4.95), also has a happy ending, one of the reasons it has been less esteemed than her subsequent treatment of the student-mentor love theme in "Villette." Margaret Smith's introduction to the World's Classics edition makes the case that "The Professor," like Bronts later works, is admirably modern and realistic: an honest portrait of women and men who have to earn their living and work out their relationships without relying on the old-fashioned fictional devices of surprise legacies or gallant, rich fiances riding to the rescue.

The appearance earlier this year of David Gilmour's biography "The Last Leopard: A Life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa" (Pantheon), focused new attention on the aristocratic Sicilian whose only novel, "The Leopard," published just after his death in 1957, has come to be regarded as a masterpiece of Italian literature. Pantheon has issued a paperback edition of The Leopard (312 pp.) selling for $12. For $15, however, you can buy an elegant little hardcover edition (300 pp.) - the same translation by Archibald Colquhoun - which also includes Lampedusa's "Two Stories and a Memory. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pick a Paperback for Pure Pleasure with the Deluxe-Book Season Past, Serious Readers May Wish to Reach for Any Number of Quality New Softcovers, Ranging from English Novels and Agatha Christie Mysteries to a History of the Rio Grande
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.