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Evan Harrington   By: (1828-1909)

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Evan Harrington by George Meredith is a captivating and entertaining novel that explores themes of social class, identity, and the pursuit of true love. Set in the small town of Lymport, the story follows the eponymous protagonist, a young man born into a lower social class, as he navigates the challenges and obstacles that come with rising above his station.

The novel begins with a charming and humorous depiction of Evan's family, the Harringtons, who run a small tailor shop. They are a close-knit and lively bunch, with their eccentricities and quirks adding depth to the narrative. Evan, although talented and possessing innate qualities of charm and charisma, is often disregarded and dismissed by the upper class, leading him to feel a constant sense of inadequacy.

As the story progresses, Evan becomes determined to break free from the constraints of his background and yearns to be accepted in the upper echelons of society. In doing so, he adopts several ill-advised schemes and disguises, leading to amusing and sometimes downright farcical situations. George Meredith portrays these events with wit and satire, offering a sharp commentary on societal norms and pretensions.

One of the most interesting aspects of Evan Harrington is the exploration of identity. Evan's attempts to secure a higher social standing force him to grapple with questions of authenticity and self-acceptance. Throughout the novel, the reader witnesses his personal growth as he discovers the importance of staying true to oneself, despite societal pressures and expectations.

The novel also delves into the complexities and pitfalls of romantic relationships. Evan's encounters with various female characters, including the enigmatic Rose Jocelyn, highlight the challenges that arise when love intersects with societal stratification. Meredith paints a vivid and often heartbreaking picture of the sacrifices and compromises that individuals make when faced with the clash between class and emotion.

Meredith's prose is eloquent and evocative, immersing the reader in the vivid landscapes and rich descriptions of 19th-century England. The author's keen understanding of human nature shines through in his portrayal of the diverse cast of characters, each with their own flaws and strengths. The dialogues are witty and sharp, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the narrative.

While Evan Harrington may not be as widely recognized as some of George Meredith's other works, it is undoubtedly a hidden gem deserving of greater recognition. With its engaging plot, memorable characters, and insightful exploration of societal conventions, this novel offers a delightful and thought-provoking reading experience. Whether you're a fan of classic literature or simply enjoy stories that challenge societal norms, Evan Harrington is well worth your attention.

First Page:

EVAN HARRINGTON

By George Meredith

CONTENTS:

BOOK 1. I. ABOVE BUTTONS II. THE HERITAGE OR THE SOY III. THE DAUGHTERS OR THE SHEARS IV. ON BOARD THE JOCASTA V. THE FAMILY AND THE FUNERAL VI. MY GENTLEMAN ON THE ROAD VII. MOTHER AND SON

BOOK 2. VIII. INTRODUCES AN ECCENTRIC IX. THE COUNTESS IN LOW SOCIETY X. MY GENTLEMAN ON THE ROAD AGAIN XI. DOINGS AT AN INN XII. IN WHICH ALE IS SHOWN TO HAVE ONE QUALITY OF WINE XIII. THE MATCH OF FALLOWFIELD AGAINST BECKLEY

BOOK 3. XIV. THE COUNTESS DESCRIBES THE FIELD OF ACTION XV. A CAPTURE XVI. LEADS TO A SMALL SKIRMISH BETWEEN ROSE AND EVAN XVII. IN WHICH EVAN WRITES HIMSELF TAILOR XVIII. IN WHICH EVAN CALLS HIMSELF GENTLEMAN

BOOK 4. XIX. SECOND DESPATCH OF THE COUNTESS XX. BREAK NECK LEAP XXI. TRIBULATIONS AND TACTICS OF THE COUNTESS XXII. IN WHICH THE DAUGHTERS OF THE GREAT MEL HAVE TO DIGEST HIM AT DINNER XXIII. TREATS OF A HANDKERCHIEF XXIV. THE COUNTESS MAKES HERSELF FELT XXV. IN WHICH THE STREAM FLOWS MUDDY AND CLEAR

BOOK 5. XXVI. MRS. MEL MAKES A BED FOR HERSELF AND FAMILY XXVII. EXHIBITS ROSE'S GENERALSHIP; EVAN'S PERFORMANCE ON THE SECOND FIDDLE; AND THE WRETCHEDNESS OF THE COUNTESS XXVIII... Continue reading book >>




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