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Good Blood   By: (1845-1909)

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Good Blood by Ernst von Wildenbruch is a mesmerizing tale that delves deep into the complexities of family, honor, and societal expectations. Set against the backdrop of 19th century Germany, this historical novel weaves together a captivating narrative that explores the themes of love, betrayal, and the pursuit of one's true identity.

The story revolves around the life of Countess Irene, a strong-willed and independent woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage. As she navigates the intrigues of aristocratic society, she becomes entangled in a web of deceit, secrets, and forbidden passions. Her inner struggles and desires are skillfully portrayed, making her a relatable and compelling protagonist.

Von Wildenbruch's impeccable storytelling unveils a world where appearances mean everything, and societal conventions exert a suffocating influence. The author masterfully portrays the rigid class structure and the unwritten rules that dictate the lives of the characters, highlighting the stark divide between the upper and lower classes. Through Countess Irene's journey, he exposes the hypocrisy and fragility of the noble families, showing how their fa├žades often conceal deep-rooted flaws and hidden desires.

The author's command of historical detail is evident throughout the book, immersing the reader in the rich tapestry of 19th century Germany. From the exquisite descriptions of lavish ballrooms to the vivid portrayal of societal norms, von Wildenbruch paints a vivid picture of the era, transporting readers back in time. His nuanced exploration of the characters' emotions and motivations further adds depth and authenticity to the narrative.

One of the most compelling aspects of Good Blood is its exploration of identity and the consequences of breaking societal molds. Countess Irene's struggle to reconcile her loyalty to her family and her own desire for fulfillment mirrors a timeless conflict, making her journey universally relatable. Additionally, the novel's deft examination of the limitations imposed on women during the era serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by those who dared to challenge the status quo.

While Good Blood is not without its flaws, with occasional instances of overly descriptive passages that slow down the pacing, the strength of von Wildenbruch's writing and the gripping storyline more than compensate for these minor shortcomings. The author's ability to create multi-dimensional characters and to seamlessly intertwine their intertwined fates makes for a truly immersive reading experience.

In conclusion, Good Blood is a captivating historical novel that skillfully weaves together elements of romance, family drama, and societal critique. Ernst von Wildenbruch's intricate storytelling and richly drawn characters transport readers to a bygone era, while exploring timeless themes that resonate deeply. Perfect for fans of historical fiction, this novel is a must-read for anyone seeking a compelling journey into the complexities of love, duty, and self-discovery.

First Page:


By Ernst Von Wildenbruch

Is it possible that there are people quite free from curiosity? People who can pass on behind any one they see gazing earnestly and intently toward some unknown object without feeling an impulse to stop, to follow the direction of the other's eyes, to discover what odd thing he may be looking at?

For my part, if I were asked whether I counted myself among that class of cold natures, I do not know that I could honestly answer "Yes." At any rate, there was once a moment in my life when I was not only goaded by such an impulse, but when I actually yielded to the temptation and fell into the way of any mere curiosity seeker.

The place in which it happened was in a wine room in the old town where as Referendar {1} I was practising at court; the time was an afternoon in summer.

1 The title conferred in Prussia on the candidate who has passed the first of the two examinations held before appointment as judge.

The wine room, situated on the ground floor of a house in the great square which from the window one could look out upon in every direction, was at this hour nearly empty. To me this was all the more agreeable, for I have ever been a lover of solitude.

There were three of us: the fat waiter, who from a gray, dust covered bottle was pouring out the golden yellow Muscatel into my glass; then myself, who sat in a nook of the cozy, odd cornered room and smacked the fragrant wine; and still another guest, who had taken his place at one of the two open windows, a tumbler of red wine lying before him on the window sill, in his mouth a long brown, smoke seasoned meerschaum cigar holder, out of which he wrapped himself in a cloud of smoke... Continue reading book >>

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