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Great Granny Webster [Anglais] [Broché]

Caroline Blackwood , Honor Moore

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Description de l'ouvrage

30 juin 2002
Great Granny Webster is Caroline Blackwood's masterpiece. Heiress to the Guinness fortune, Blackwood was celebrated as a great beauty and dazzling raconteur long before she made her name as a strikingly original writer. This macabre, mordantly funny, partly auto-biographical novel reveals the gothic craziness behind the scenes in the great houses of the aristocracy, as witnessed through the unsparing eyes of an orphaned teenage girl. Great Granny Webster herself is a fabulous monster, the chilliest of matriarchs, presiding with steely self-regard over a landscape of ruined lives.

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Revue de presse

"Shocking, brilliant, and wickedly funny, Great Granny Webster is Caroline Blackwood’s best book. In the monstrous old dowager of Hove, and the ruling class she represents, Blackwood found a subject grandly commensurate with her own extraordinary style of aghast relish." — Jonathan Raban

"None of us will forget Caroline Blackwood’s Great Granny Webster, a matter-of-fact account—and all the grimmer for this matter-of-factness—of the temperamental and circumstantial misfortunes of an Ulster family. Although it’s deceptively concise, it evokes the spirits of no less than four ages—Victorian, Edwardian, pre- and postwar—in exact and resonant prose…A unique literary experience." — Philip Larkin

"Blackwood loves monsters. No character in modern literature is more obdurately monstrous than Great Granny Webster. An Edwardian relic, this utterly pleasureless, stingy, censorious, ossified banshee, forever ensconced in her painfully stiff chair before a fireplace laid but never lit, is the stuffed and essentially powerless dragon of a musty castle, the remnant of hidebound and pointless traditional values, someone who has never in her life given anyone a reason to like her." — Gary Indiana, Bookforum

"Great Granny Webster feels more like a memoir than a novel…but it is as gripping as a whodunit. There are passages like passages in a strange house: when they turn a corner, something unexpectedly shocking comes into sight. It is also very funny, and the characters are vividly eccentric—or just plain vivid: Blackwood’s writing never merely trundles along." — Gabriele Annan, The Times Literary Supplement

Biographie de l'auteur

Caroline Blackwood (1931-1996) was born into a rich Anglo-Irish aristocratic family. She rebelled against her background at an early age and led a hectic and bohemian life, which included marriages to the painter Lucian Freud, the pianist and composer Israel Citkowitz, and the poet Robert Lowell. In the 1970s Blackwood began to write. Among her books are several novels, including Great Granny Webster and Corrigan (both available asNYRB Classics); On the Perimeter, an account of the women’s anti-nuclear protest at Greenham Common; and The Last of the Duchess, about the old age of the Duchess of Windsor.

Honor Moore’s collections of poems are Red Shoes, Darling,and Memoir. She edited Amy Lowell: Selected Poems for the Library of America and is author of The White Blackbird, a life of her grandmother, the painter Margarett Sargent.

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I WAS SENT to stay with her two years after the war had ended, but in her house it seemed to be war-time. Lire la première page
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  6 commentaires
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Dark, grimly funny novella 2 décembre 2003
Par Cynthia S. Froning - Publié sur
Great Granny Webster is a short, pointed look at three generations of eccentric, damaged women from the point of view of their descendant, a young girl. The portraits of the rigid, determinedly unhappy Great Granny Webster, her flighty, insane daughter, and the outwardly frivolous but suicidal granddaughter are classic black comedy, amusing and depressing together. The women dominate the story; the men are either dead (the narrator's father), absent (her brother), or ineffectual (her grandfather). The book is short, but the characters are affecting and vividly portrayed.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "A behind-the-scenes look at a wacky aristocratic family" 31 août 2004
Par William T. Keith - Publié sur
Blackwood was the heir to the Guinness beer fortune, and she was quite the bohemian rebelling against her wealthy family. Great Granny Webster is a partly autobiographical novel and a behind-the-scenes look at a great, wacky aristocratic family.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Caroline Blackwood was brilliant 6 novembre 2012
Par JAK - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I finally got around to this after reading CORRIGAN and I concluded that Caroline Blackwood was an absolutely brilliant writer.She is overshadowed by her life and died way too young but this sharp , concise novel is a gem.Great Granny Webster is a monster of a kind that many will not be able to relate to or even believe in .A rich hair shirt shrew who never met a pleasure she could deny or pervert.I do suspect that if you don't know the territory this may seem , unbelievable .It is all too true.Nothing can beat the description of Granny sitting around all day in discomfort waiting for a bad meal and non conversation and feeling , let's face it , quite proud of herself while she sneers at lesser mortals .Everything should be most proper !What's it about--Great Granny Webster--glorious Victorian Monster.They're gone now , more or less and unfortunately that's not entirely good.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Poor little rich girl and her weird relatives 19 février 2014
Par Lauree Gable - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Caroline Blackwood recounts her unloved childhood, living for a time after an illness, with her stiff necked great grandmother who put up with no nonsense from anyone including her hapless 8 year old great grandaughter. It was an experience she never forgot and she entertains her readers greatly with her tales.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good weekend read 8 février 2014
Par Laurie A. Sheridan - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I am surprised there aren't more reviews of this book. It holds your interest beginning to end, and is short, well written, and easily read.

Unlike another reviewer who finds the Granny character almost unreal or hard to believe, I think the cold, stoic woman might seem disturbingly too familiar to anyone from a strictly Irish/Anglo Catholic/Christian background. Granny is peculiar, but does not seem fictional.

In fact, the author does such an excellent job in depicting her that I might have guessed, had I not known, that the book is autobiographical in nature.

Another interesting character is Granny Webster's adult, fun loving, grandiose grand daughter, Lavinia, who avoids Granny like the plague. By being everything Great Granny is not, the author poignantly wonders whether Lavinia is tragically over-reacting to some inner terror that she is more like her Granny than her conscience will allow?

Since I enjoyed this book, I am now starting "The Stepdaughter," another book by the same author, Caroline Blackwood.
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