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The Camomile: An Invention [Paperback]

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Item description for The Camomile: An Invention by Jan Pilditch Catherine Carswell...

Of my writing he said, 'I see. It is like the camomile - the more it is trodden on the faster it grows.' Ellen Carstairs is born to write. Orphaned at an early age, she and her brother are brought up in her aunt's evangelical and 'douce' Glasgow household at the turn of the century. Written in epistolary form, The Camomile, a semi-autobiographical novel, was first published in 1922. It records the mind of the aspiring female artist who struggles to carve out writing space when pressure is laid on her enlightened self to bow to more acceptable ideological patterns. Encouraged by the erudite and esoteric 'Don John', and also by her eccentric friend and English teacher, Ellen begins to break into the world of print. On becoming engaged however to a young doctor whose 'shoulders blot out the rest of the world', Ellen discovers that her fascination with the creative life is incompatible with the conventional trajectory mapped out for her. 'In how much am I to be myself, in how much assume a role laid down by him?' she questions. The answer comes to her as she is on the brink of marriage.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.83" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 8, 2007
Publisher   Kennedy & Boyd
ISBN  1904999441  
ISBN13  9781904999447  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about The Camomile: An Invention?

A rare gem  Jul 9, 2002
Although The Camomile is not a very well known novel, and one of only two novels written by Carswell, it reflects the tradition of Jane Austen with a bit of Kate Chopin's The Awakening thrown in.

Semi-autobiographical, the Camomile journals a young woman's battle against convention without the pomp and circumstance of other "feminist" authors. The protagonist, Ellen Carstairs, is well-balanced and through her journal entries to her friend Ruby, we see Ellen contend with ideas of matrimony, career and what it is to be a woman in the early part of this century.

Carswell's language is witty and Ellen is rather winsome and sympathetic as a protagonist. Highly recommended for lovers of Austen. Musicians, professional and amateur alike, will also empathize with Ellen.


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