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A Wife's Duty A Tale   By: (1769-1853)

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In "A Wife's Duty: A Tale" by Amelia Alderson Opie, readers are transported to a time where the societal expectations of marriage and duty are explored with great depth and nuance. Opie's writing style is gripping and her ability to craft complex characters is truly remarkable.

The story revolves around the life of a young protagonist named Emily, who finds herself thrust into an arranged marriage with a man she barely knows. Through Emily's experiences, Opie adeptly examines the themes of duty, love, and personal fulfillment in a patriarchal society.

Opie's writing beautifully captures the challenges faced by women during this era and portrays the internal struggle faced by Emily as she grapples with the societal pressures placed upon her. The author's ability to delve into the emotional complexities of her characters makes them incredibly relatable and their journeys compelling.

One of the notable strengths of this book lies in Opie's meticulous attention to detail. Through her vivid descriptions, she brings the setting and time period to life. The reader is transported back in time, immersing themselves in the social norms and expectations of the era. This attention to detail adds an extra layer of authenticity to the narrative.

Furthermore, Opie skillfully explores the complexities of marriage, highlighting the nuances of power dynamics and the limitations placed on women. Through Emily's perspective, Opie challenges the reader's perception of duty and the sacrifices women were expected to make in order to fulfill their societal obligations.

While the book shines in its exploration of societal expectations and gender roles, some readers may find the pacing to be slower than expected. Opie's deliberate approach to story development allows for a more profound examination of the themes at play, but it may test the patience of those seeking a faster-paced narrative.

Overall, "A Wife's Duty: A Tale" is a thought-provoking and beautifully crafted novel that delves into the struggles faced by women in a patriarchal society. Opie's ability to create compelling characters and her attention to historical detail make this book a captivating read. For those seeking a deeper exploration of societal norms and the complexities of duty and personal fulfillment, this book delivers an engaging and introspective experience.

First Page:


[Illustration: Country House scene by A H Payne ] ["Dearest Helen! why should we ever leave this paradise of sweets?"]


by Mrs. Opie

[Illustration: A view between Paris and Marseilles]

"There is no killing like that which kills the heart." SHAKSPEARE.





I am only too painfully aware, my dear friend, that in my history of a "Woman's Love," I have related none but very common occurrences and situations, and entered into minute, nay, perhaps, uninteresting details. Still, however common an event may be, it is susceptible of variety in description, because endlessly various is the manner in which the same event affects different persons. Perhaps no occurrence ever affected two human beings exactly in the same manner; but as the rays of light call forth different hues and gradations of colour, according to the peculiar surfaces of the objects on which they fall, so common circumstances vary in their results and their effects, according to the different natures and minds of those to whom they occur.

My trials have been, and will no doubt continue to be, the trials of thousands of my sex; but the manner in which I acted under them, and their effect on my feelings and my character, must be peculiar to myself... Continue reading book >>

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