Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy

Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy

by Rebecca West

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Overview

In this modern fairy tale, Rebecca West transports her reader with a tale of the polar opposites of mind and spirit, love and power
 Harriet Hume’s unchanging beauty and commitment to her art stand in stark contrast to Arnold Condorex’s more worldly goals. After a romantic tryst, she discovers that she can read his mind, but Arnold, with his sights set on moving up in the world, quickly parts from the mysterious lady. As they encounter each other over the years, Harriet’s intuitive powers continue to unsettle Arnold, opening his eyes to the darker elements of his political and financial aspirations, even as he remains drawn to her. Beautifully drawn and filled with magical touches, West’s fantasy explores innate and learned gender roles, as her characters uncover the mystery surrounding their otherworldly connection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453207420
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 12/21/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 287
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dame Rebecca West (1892–1983) is one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists, journalists, and literary critics of the twentieth century. Uniquely wide-ranging in subject matter and breathtakingly intelligent in her ability to take on the oldest and knottiest problems of human relations, West was a thoroughly entertaining public intellectual. In her eleven novels, beginning with The Return of the Soldier, she explored topics including feminism, socialism, love, betrayal, and identity. West’s prolific journalistic works include her coverage of the Nuremberg trials for the New Yorker, published as A Train of Powder, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, her epic study of Yugoslavia. She had a son with H.G. Wells, and later married banker Henry Maxwell Andrews, continuing to write, and publish, until she died in London at age ninety.


Dame Rebecca West (1892–1983) is one of the most critically acclaimed and bestselling English novelists, journalists, and literary critics of the twentieth century. In her eleven novels, beginning with The Return of the Soldier, she delved into the psychological landscape of her characters and explored topics including feminism, socialism, love, betrayal, and identity. She was lauded for her wit and intellectual acuity, evident in her prolific journalistic works such as her coverage of the Nuremberg trials for the New Yorker, published as A Train of Powder, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, her epic study of Yugoslavia and its people. She had a child with H.G. Wells, but married banker Henry Maxwell Andrews later in life and continued writing until she died in London at age ninety.

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Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Man, this is a weird one, one I don¿t quite know how to describe; and maybe it went over my head a bit too much! This novel tells the story of the relationship between two people: the free-spirited musician Harriet, who lives in a lopsided house in London, and her lover, Arnold, a politician The story takes their relationship/friendship through many years, at which they meet up periodically.This was a very, very slow read for me, and one I didn¿t enjoy very much. Part of my problem with this book was Rebecca West¿s writing style; the only way I can describe it is bizarre! For example: ¿But the governess had turned her gaze on them, and had on seeing the marks of deep emotion on the faces made a long leap through the ether to some universe thickly upholstered with seductions.¿ (p. 106). At times, West¿s prose style makes no sense, so much so that I had to go back and re-read bits and pieces here and there.I enjoyed West¿s characters; part of the charm of this odd couple is that they are so different. But Arnold is so clinical and detached that I really didn¿t like him after a while; and Harriet was so flaky that I got frustrated with her. Also, the dialogue isn¿t all that believable; these characters talk as though they come from a different time period, which makes this book quirky and charming, but I got tired of it quickly. I get the whole allegory bit about this novel, but it was a little too deep for me. This is the first book by Rebecca West I¿ve read, and it might just be my last; I just didn¿t care for this novel.
janeajones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a rather odd little book about an ambitious politician who rises from obscure beginnings and his "opposite," an intuitive pianist who reads his mind. I have mixed feelings about the book. It strikes me as an allegorical parable of the struggle of the Mind vs. the Spirit. It started out quite delightfully, and as I was reading it, I thought it would take on more Jungian aspects rather like Hesse's Steppenwolf, but it never got much beyond the self-involved internal rantings of the protagonist, Arnold Condorex, whom I really disliked by the end of the book. It's the first book by West that I have read, and I'm not sure I'll seek out others any time soon.