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Fuel of Fire

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By: (1860-1929)

Fuel of Fire by Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler is a captivating novel that dives deep into the complexities of human relationships and societal expectations. The story follows the lives of two sisters, one rebellious and free-spirited, the other conventional and duty-bound, as they navigate love, family, and personal fulfillment.

Fowler's writing is lyrical and evocative, drawing readers into the lush English countryside where the novel is set. The characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional, each with their own desires, flaws, and motivations. The dynamics between the sisters are particularly compelling, as they struggle to balance their individual desires with the expectations placed upon them by society and their family.

Throughout the novel, Fowler explores themes of independence, self-discovery, and the constraints of societal norms with sensitivity and insight. The story unfolds at a leisurely pace, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the world she has created.

Overall, Fuel of Fire is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant novel that will stay with readers long after they have finished the last page. Fowler's skillful storytelling and rich characterizations make this a book that is not easily forgotten.

Book Description:
"Then was there war in the house of Baxendale. Guy had made up his mind to wed the fair daughter of the forester; while Sir Stephen and Dame Alice his wife had made up their minds — with equal firmness — that no son of their noble name should mate with a daughter of the people". A rumor started that the girl was a witch and so she was burned. However before she was burned she cursed the family who condemned her:
"First by the King, and then by the State,
And thirdly by that which is thrice as great
As these, and a thousandfold stronger and higher
Shall Baxendale Hall be made fuel of fire".
Ever since, the Baxendales cannot be truly happy, for they cannot have true love. What is life without love? They do their duty, rule over the land, but cannot be happy. Can the curse be lifted? Can a Baxendale experience true love?
This book is a protest against the prominent view of marriage at the time. Against the values of ambition and duty, and of course against social class. It offers a new way to look at marriage, the modern way of true love. A year after publishing this novel, the author, a daughter of a viscount, would marry a senior teacher at a navy school. Not someone from her own class. However the marriage was described as very happy. - Summary from the book's prolog with additions by Stav Nisser.

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