The Royal Holloway Victorian MA Blog

The Quickening Maze

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I’d like to reiterate the general greeting, and say hello to everybody: good to see you all at this afternoon’s meeting! And in the spirit of interdisciplinarity, I’d also to direct you to a review I’ve written of Adam Foulds’ new novel, The Quickening Maze (2009) … it has been shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, and has accordingly been in the news a little bit.  This is not coursework, of course; but it’s an example of contemporary Victoriana that might be of interest to you nevertheless: John Clare, the poet, and Alfred Tennyson, also a poet, are both characters; and the mileu of the 1840s is well-captured.  I’ve reviewed it over at The Valve; the same review, but with different readers’ comments, is also at my own reviews blog.  I’d be interested to know your opinion, if you’ve read it.  Feel free, indeed feel actively encouraged, to put your thoughts in the comments to the post below.

This year’s Booker has a couple of Victorian-y titles on the shortlist, actually: I’m in the middle of A S Byatt’s The Children’s Book right now, and will blog about it when I’ve finished.  [Adam Roberts]

[7th October, update; I finished the Byatt, but didn’t think overmuch of it: you can read my thoughts here. But neither it nor the Foulds won the prize in the end … the 2009 Man Booker went, as I’m sure you know, to Hilary Mantel’s excellent Wolf Hall. I’ve a review of that too, here.]

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