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The Head of the House of Coombe   By: (1849-1924)

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The Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a compelling and engaging novel that delves into the lives of the British aristocracy during the early 20th century. Set against the backdrop of a changing society, the book offers a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of class, gender, and power.

The story primarily revolves around the character of Sir Nigel Coombe, the formidable head of the influential Coombe family. Burnett masterfully portrays him as a character torn between his sense of duty and his desire for personal freedom. Sir Nigel's struggles with societal expectations, as well as his internal conflicts, make him a multidimensional and relatable character.

The author also introduces us to other members of the Coombe family and their circle, each with their unique challenges and aspirations. Lady Joan, Sir Nigel's wife, embodies a seemingly unattainable ideal of beauty and elegance but yearns for genuine love and connection. Cecil, their young son, possesses a vibrant spirit and represents the hope for a brighter future amidst the darkness of tradition.

Frances Hodgson Burnett's writing style is enchanting, filled with vivid descriptions that transport readers to the opulent world of aristocracy. She effortlessly weaves together intricate narratives, exploring themes of love, sacrifice, and the consequences of one's choices. The pacing of the book keeps readers hooked, with unexpected twists and turns adding to the overall suspense.

However, the author's portrayal of characters from differing social classes sometimes relies on stereotypes. The working-class characters, for instance, are often depicted as lesser than their aristocratic counterparts. While this might be characteristic of the time period the novel is set in, some readers may find it a bit disconcerting.

Nevertheless, The Head of the House of Coombe is a captivating novel that transports readers to a bygone era. Whether you're intrigued by the intricacies of British aristocracy or fascinated by the timeless themes of personal growth and societal expectations, this book will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. Hodgson Burnett's masterful storytelling and memorable characters make this a must-read for fans of historical fiction and social commentary alike.

First Page:






The history of the circumstances about to be related began many years ago or so it seems in these days. It began, at least, years before the world being rocked to and fro revealed in the pause between each of its heavings some startling suggestion of a new arrangement of its kaleidoscopic particles, and then immediately a re arrangement, and another and another until all belief in a permanency of design seemed lost, and the inhabitants of the earth waited, helplessly gazing at changing stars and colours in a degree of mental chaos.

Its opening incidents may be dated from a period when people still had reason to believe in permanency and had indeed many of them sometimes through ingenuousness, sometimes through stupidity of type acquired a singular confidence in the importance and stability of their possessions, desires, ambitions and forms of conviction.

London at the time, in common with other great capitals, felt itself rather final though priding itself on being much more fluid and adaptable than it had been fifty years previously. In speaking of itself it at least dealt with fixed customs, and conditions and established facts connected with them which gave rise to brilliant or dull witticisms... Continue reading book >>

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