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A Modern Idyll   By: (1855-1931)

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In "A Modern Idyll" by Frank Harris, readers are transported into a vivid and enchanting world that challenges societal norms and explores the complexities of love, hope, and identity. Set in the early 20th century, the story follows a group of individuals who find themselves entangled in a web of enthralling relationships, each struggling to navigate the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in their time.

One of the captivating aspects of this novel is Harris' ability to craft detailed and multilayered characters. The protagonist, Jennifer, is a remarkable woman who defies the constraints imposed on her gender and seeks to forge her own path. Her determination, independence, and progressive mindset make her an incredibly relatable and inspiring character.

The supporting cast is equally well-developed, each with their distinct personalities and motivations. Harris masterfully presents their perspectives, enabling readers to empathize with their struggles and understand the choices they make. Whether it is the brooding poet John, the tormented artist David, or the arrogant socialite Diana, their stories intertwine and create a captivating tapestry of desires and frustrations.

Harris's writing style is evocative and rich, immersing readers in the vivid landscapes and emotional depths of the characters. His descriptive prose transports readers to both vibrant cosmopolitan cityscapes and idyllic countryside settings. The attention to detail in these settings adds another layer of depth to the story, making the reader feel fully present in the world being portrayed.

At its core, "A Modern Idyll" invites readers to question societal norms and conventions. The exploration of unconventional relationships, taboo love affairs, and the search for personal freedom challenges the readers' own beliefs and biases. Harris deftly raises thought-provoking questions about happiness, social expectations, and the pursuit of personal fulfillment. In doing so, he encourages readers to consider what truly matters in life and the consequences of adhering strictly to societal expectations.

While some may find the occasional languorous pace of the narrative daunting, those who appreciate character-driven stories will delight in the carefully woven relationships and emotional depth that unfolds. "A Modern Idyll" is a poignant exploration of the complexities of human nature, leaving readers with much to ponder long after turning the final page. Harris's unique blend of compelling characters, beautiful prose, and thought-provoking themes makes this novel a must-read for anyone seeking a captivating and introspective literary experience.

First Page:


By Frank Harris

"I call it real good of you, Mr. Letgood, to come and see me. Won't you be seated?"

"Thank you. It's very warm to day; and as I didn't feel like reading or writing, I thought I'd come round."

"You're just too kind for anythin'! To come an' pay me a visit when you must be tired out with yesterday's preachin'. An' what a sermon you gave us in the mornin' it was too sweet. I had to wink my eyes pretty hard, an' pull the tears down the back way, or I should have cried right out and Mrs. Jones watchin' me all the time under that dreadful bonnet."

Mrs. Hooper had begun with a shade of nervousness in the hurried words; but the emotion disappeared as she took up a comfortable pose in the corner of the small sofa.

The Rev. John Letgood, having seated himself in an armchair, looked at her intently before replying. She was well worth looking at, this Mrs. Hooper, as she leaned back on the cushions in her cool white dress, which was so thin and soft and well fitting that her form could be seen through it almost as clearly as through water. She appeared to be about eighteen years old, and in reality was not yet twenty. At first sight one would have said of her, "a pretty girl;" but an observant eye on the second glance would have noticed those contradictions in face and in form which bear witness to a certain complexity of nature... Continue reading book >>

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