In a few short pages,” writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, “May Sinclair succeeds in rendering the oppressive weight and strength. This short book charts the life of Harriett Frean, from birth to death. She is born into a well to do Victorian tradesman’s family in a London suburb. Life and Death of Harriett Frean: English literature: The literature of World War I and the interwar period: Olivier: A Life () and Life and Death of Harriett.

Author: Gagami Brajind
Country: Great Britain
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Spiritual
Published (Last): 23 June 2004
Pages: 210
PDF File Size: 9.91 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.72 Mb
ISBN: 529-9-73755-450-6
Downloads: 56399
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zulkijin

May Sinclair’s Modernist Masterpiece: The Life and Death of Harriett Frean | Interesting Literature

He stooped and she leapt up into his arms. Her father dies after ruining his forture and his friend’s one as well, and his perfect image in harriett’s mind is ruined.

An hour or so is all what you need to finish reading this book, but it may take you one lifetime to forget it. It’s a circus act for the rest of us.

Retrieved 7 March Not in the same league, but interesting nonetheless — and also interesting that she has been the topic of critical reappraisal. In her life story, one thing stands out: This novel also reminded me a lot of Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour, which also centered around a self-deluding spinster whose life was narrowed and impoverished by too much dependence on parents and too much devotion to a moribund notion of proper and beautiful behavior.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: I am sure it would be a book you would find fascinating Penny!

Needless to say, Harriet behaves beautifully and retains her view of herself. The Life and Death of Harriett Frean is the story of Harriett Frean, a woman so afraid of life that she will eventually talk herself out of living it. Harriett seemed to deatj that she hadn’t developed a personality of her own in her entire life, the book began with Harriett the childand she ha Who is Harriett Frean?


Understand, Hatty, nothing lifd forbidden. Ironic, brief and intensely realised, The Life and Death of Harriett Frean is a brilliant study of female virtue seen as vice, and stands with the work of Virgina Woolf and Dorothy Richardson as one of the great innovative novels of the century.

Life and Death of Harriett Frean Reader’s Guide

The Awakening kf like a smoking gun forgery by English teachers, or a long form Jeopardy question: This action makes Harriett feel morally superior and gives her great pleasure; that is, until her actions are called into question later in life by a younger friend, and Harriett starts to realise that perhaps her life has not been one of beautiful self sacrifice after all, but instead a catalogue of wasted opportunities and a lack of courage. And when she had gone Harriett lay still again, waiting.

Either the operation or the pain, going on and on, stabbing with sharper and sharper knives; cutting in deeper; all their care, the antiseptics, the restoratives, dragging it out, giving it more time to torture her. As she grows older, she starts to think highly of herself.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I mentioned it the other day as being a good companion to Stones in a Landslide — in terms of whole-lives-in-short-books — so, completely coincidentally, you have the opportunity of noting similarities! Such a sad existence, and even the most simplest choices turned out deahh be the wrong ones.

Consequently all three parts of the triangle are made miserable. The idea is that you live a life of private misery because you do nothing to make your parents or anyone else the least bit upset ever.


It does, however enable the reader to see how Harriet supresses her own feelings and desires. It’s hard to ‘like’ a novel that so ruthlessly and efficiently constructs a woman’s cage of self-deprivation and extreme self-effacement to the point of near disappearance.

Her parents wonder what it is here which their baby finds funny. She was afraid of what they were thinking. It is, in its own quiet and understated way, one of the most disturbing novels I have ever read.

This started as a 3-rating; then moved to 4; and is teetering dangerously on the edge of 5, because while it took me an hour to read, it’s been eating away at my heart for the better part of 48; worming its insidious little thoughts into my heart and brain, while I reflect on the nothing-life of Harriet Frean.

But boarders come and go, so she really does not have deep relationships with anyone in her household.

Life and Death of Harriett Frean

While Sinclair’s female characters aren’t as much fun as Agatha Christie’s unapologetic, spunky Tuppence, they’re still so important in a feminist context. No breath of wind. Interesting Literature is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.