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Another Study of Woman   By:

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In "Another Study of Woman," Ellen Marriage delivers an engaging and thought-provoking exploration of female identity within the constraints of the Victorian era. Set against the backdrop of societal expectations and the battle for women's liberation in the late 19th century, Marriage introduces us to the complex heroine, Honor O'Reilly.

Throughout the novel, Honor defies traditional gender norms, challenging the prevailing attitudes towards women's roles and aspirations. Her exceptional intellect and unwavering determination serve as catalysts for her individual growth and struggle against a patriarchal society that seeks to confine her to the domestic sphere.

Marriage exhibits remarkable skill in portraying Honor's multifaceted character. We witness her relentless pursuit of knowledge, as she becomes a respected scholar, diving headfirst into academic pursuits despite societal disapproval. Her passion for education and intellectual freedom resonates strongly, highlighting the importance of education as a means of empowerment for women.

As the plot unfolds, Marriage expertly weaves personal relationships into the narrative, exposing the often turbulent nature of love and marriage for women during this era. The author touches upon the complexities of romantic entanglements, societal expectations of women's behavior, and the limitations imposed on female agency within marriage. These themes are masterfully intertwined, shedding light on the restrictive and often oppressive nature of the Victorian marriage institution.

Moreover, Marriage's vivid descriptions transport the reader back in time, immersing them in the richness of the era. From the opulent drawing rooms to the bustling streets of London, the detailed settings add depth and authenticity to the story. The author's meticulous attention to historical accuracy further enhances the overall reading experience and allows for a deeper understanding of the societal context in which the characters navigate.

However, there are instances when the pacing feels slightly uneven, especially in the middle section of the novel. Certain plot developments and subplots seem to lose focus, diluting the impact of Honor's captivating journey. While these minor detractions can momentarily disrupt the narrative flow, they do not overshadow the overall appeal of the story.

In "Another Study of Woman," Ellen Marriage presents a compelling examination of the struggles faced by women in the Victorian era, while simultaneously offering a rallying cry for equality and self-determination. Honor's journey resonates with readers, capturing the essence of the feminist spirit that endured and ultimately paved the way for women's rights movements to come. Marriage's evocative prose, well-drawn characters, and astute social commentary make this novel a worthy addition to the canon of feminist literature.

First Page:


By Honore De Balzac

Translated by Ellen Marriage and Clara Bell


To Leon Gozlan as a Token of Literary Good fellowship.


At Paris there are almost always two separate parties going on at every ball and rout. First, an official party, composed of the persons invited, a fashionable and much bored circle. Each one grimaces for his neighbor's eye; most of the younger women are there for one person only; when each woman has assured herself that for that one she is the handsomest woman in the room, and that the opinion is perhaps shared by a few others, a few insignificant phrases are exchanged, as: "Do you think of going away soon to La Crampade?" "How well Madame de Portenduere sang!" "Who is that little woman with such a load of diamonds?" Or, after firing off some smart epigrams, which give transient pleasure, and leave wounds that rankle long, the groups thin out, the mere lookers on go away, and the waxlights burn down to the sconces.

The mistress of the house then waylays a few artists, amusing people or intimate friends, saying, "Do not go yet; we will have a snug little supper." These collect in some small room. The second, the real party, now begins; a party where, as of old, every one can hear what is said, conversation is general, each one is bound to be witty and to contribute to the amusement of all... Continue reading book >>

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