A Fringe of Leaves - discussion

SnakPatrick White 100th Anniversary Challenge

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A Fringe of Leaves - discussion

Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.

feb 12, 2012, 4:02 am

The Austin and Ellen Roxburgh are sailing back to England from Van Diemen's Land. In the 1840's, when A Fringe of Leaves is set, sea voyages were perilous and people didn't undertake them lightly.

I'm 90 pages in and enjoying the book. The ship will be wrecked soon.

feb 12, 2012, 4:47 am

I read this excellent novel last year, here is a link to my short review http://www.librarything.com/work/85602

feb 12, 2012, 11:31 pm

Excellent review, Barry. I'm putting it out of my mind until I finish the book.

feb 17, 2012, 3:12 pm

A Fringe of Leaves by Patrick White

The Roxburghs are on their way back to England from Van Diemen’s land when their ship is wrecked off the coast of Queensland. The frail hypochondriac, Austin Roxburgh, had made the perilous journey to Tasmania to see his younger brother, the brutal Garnet, who had left England many years before to escape the consequences of his criminal activities. Roxburgh is accompanied by his wife Ellen, a farmer’s daughter. Ellen now has a ladylike veneer, the result both of her mother-in-law’s training, and living with her fastidious husband.

A Fringe of Leaves takes as its starting point the true story of Eliza Fraser who was shipwrecked then saved by aborigines. In A Fringe of Leaves, this is Ellen’s fate, and the first half of the book is taken up with establishing her background. What was it about Ellen that enabled her to survive the harsh existence with the aborigines then convince an escaped convict to accompany her hundreds of miles through the bus, living off the land?

Other reviews of White have mentioned his wordiness. A Fringe of Leaves is full of descriptions of people and places, but they contribute to the narrative and the language is beautiful.

Highly recommended.

Redigeret: feb 17, 2012, 3:15 pm

I've read reviews of White's novels that describe his prose as turgid. I certainly didn't find it so in this book, and many times stopped to admire a brilliant phrase that encapsulated a person or a place.

Redigeret: mar 29, 2012, 12:51 am

#5 I agree entirely.

I'm beginning to understand why Patrick White is not everybody's favourite author. He tends to look at the negatives of human behaviour and he's very good at it. Such perspicacity! I noticed that A Fringe of Leaves (which I recently finished) examines snobbery, malice, brutality, shame, and guilt, among other concepts.
The character of Ellen maintained my interest throughout because of the way she adapted to whatever situation she was in. (As Pam said, above.)

I loved A Fringe of Leaves.