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Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy af L.P. Hartley
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Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy (udgave 2001)

af L.P. Hartley, Anita Brookner (Introduktion)

Serier: Eustace and Hilda (omnibus)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
272374,301 (3.85)21
The three books gathered together as Eustace and Hilda explore a brother and sister's lifelong relationship. Hilda, the older child, is both self-sacrificing and domineering, as puritanical as she is gorgeous; Eustace is a gentle, dreamy, pleasure-loving boy: the two siblings could hardly be more different, but they are also deeply devoted. And yet as Eustace and Hilda grow up and seek to go their separate ways in a world of power and position, money and love, their relationship is marked by increasing pain. L. P. Hartley's much-loved novel, the magnum opus of one of twentieth-century England's best writers, is a complex and spellbinding work: a comedy of upper-class manners; a study in the subtlest nuances of feeling; a poignant reckoning with the ironies of character and fate. Above all, it is about two people who cannot live together or apart, about the ties that bind--and break.… (mere)
Medlem:inkforest
Titel:Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy
Forfattere:L.P. Hartley
Andre forfattere:Anita Brookner (Introduktion)
Info:NYRB Classics (2001), Paperback, 876 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Eustace and Hilda: A Trilogy af L. P. Hartley

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Eustace and Hilda was originally published as three separate novels between 1944 and 1947 but in 1958 was published in one volume titled Eustace and Hilda.

In the first novel, The Shrimp and the Anemone we are introduced to Eustace and Hilda as children playing on the beach. Eustace has a heart condition that prevents him from vigorous activity and causes Hilda, who is four years his senior, to become a rather dominating chaperone. He is persuaded to befriend an elderly neighbour in a wheelchair, and although his timidity proves almost overwhelming, the relationship proves to be rewarding.

When the second novel The Sixth Heaven resumes the story, Eustace is enjoying life as an undergraduate at Oxford and Hilda running a clinic for "crippled" children, mostly funded by money Eustace gave to her. They are invited to a weekend visit with the upper-crust Stavely family who awed Eustace, the impressionable child, on the beach of Anchorstone. Hartley conveys the delicate class distinctions that fill the weekend with anxiety. Eustace is willing to see it through if it means a liaison between Hilda and Dick Stavely. Eustace receives a casual invitation from Dick's aunt, Lady Nelly Stavely, to be her guest in Venice. The simple yet subtle story is captivating yet essentially sad.

As the final volume of the trilogy resumes in Eustace and Hilda, Eustace is in Venice where it appears Lady Nelly has manipulated dates so that he will not be able to attend Dick Stavely's birthday party with Hilda. The party doesn't go well for Hilda but Eustace is not completely aware of what has happened until he receives a letter from his old nurse urging him to come home where Hilda has been paralyzed with shock. For Lady Nelly, it couldn't have been timed better as the novelty of hosting Eustace has worn off. He rushes off to his old home where he finds Hilda unable to move or speak. He willingly takes care of her and when the doctor suggests a shock might bring her out of the debility, alarmingly, Eustace forms a plan.

Of the trilogy, this section is the most moving and poignant. A fine end to a beautifully literary book. ( )
1 stem VivienneR | Feb 7, 2020 |
The first of the Eustace and Hilda trilogy, The Shrimp and the Anemone, which references the siblings' attempt at saving a shrimp from being eaten by an anemone to the demise of both - led me to believe that it was going to be a dysfunctional posh British family relationship with a dominating Hilda and a flighty Eustace. Despite a very clear goal, the structure of each of the three books, and the entire trilogy as a whole, was uneven - leaning heavier on the set-up than on the more-interesting actual event/resolution.

My favourite aspect of the trilogy is how realistic it was that the true antagonist of the whole story turns out to be the inevitable clash of everybody's personality. Everybody believes they're actually doing good, and that's a bit of villainy that rings true most of all. Hartley's true talent lies in writing character flaws that make eyes roll and mouths blurt out ohmygawdcmon! in frustration on public transport, sustaining it AND maintaining the reader's attention over seven hundred pages with the breadth of vocabulary. As the story progressed, I was rewarded tenfold by the psychological foundation this book is laying for its sequels. Hilda and Eustace's personalities, in particular Eustace's fanciful imagination and hedonistic introspections - Gah, Eustace the moronic dreamer, the weak-willed people-pleaser, the absolute bloody meddler; how unpleasant it is to be confronted by your own flaws in a terrible protagonist - , are true to a childish mind and fully realised, reminding me of Somerset Maugham's astute psychological insights into Phillip's character development in Of Human Bondage.

The omnibus includes a bonus novella, Hilda's Letter (before the second book The Sixth Heaven), which gives a rare look inside Hilda's mind of which there is really too little of. Her motivation for that relationship - to that utter creep who so insistently coveted a girl for over a decade and whom she consistently rebuffed for over a decade - was never made clear. It is very unfortunate that despite the clear-minded and strong-willed woman that Hilda is, this sudden reversal of her heart was clearly just to catalyse Eustace - her Achilles' heel - 's evolution. There was sort of an explanation near the end of how such similar and stubborn personalities would have induced and also suffocated a relationship but I would have really loved more insights into Hilda's mind as well as more growth of her character.

Aside: I really could have done with less of Eustace's Venice adventure. It echoed too much of The Parasites' miniplot of "young man living it up in foreign country on rich older woman's dime". ( )
  kitzyl | Jul 15, 2019 |
A middle class young man wastes a summer dancing attendence on a wealthy older woman in Venice but does produce a short novel. In the meantime his sister is being courted by the son of a landed family. He returns to England suddenly when infomred that she is ill. She is suffering from hysterical paralysis after having been jilted by the lover. Told that some sort of shock might bright her out of it, Eustace plans to push her bathchair too close to the edge of the cliff near which they live. The plan works despite near disaster as he faints at the last minute, but he seems to lose initiative as she regains hers. Rather an odd little novel with stream of consciousness passages and deams and a general vagueness about what is happening.
  ritaer | Jan 15, 2012 |
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L. P. Hartleyprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Brookner, AnitaIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Scott, LizzieDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The three books gathered together as Eustace and Hilda explore a brother and sister's lifelong relationship. Hilda, the older child, is both self-sacrificing and domineering, as puritanical as she is gorgeous; Eustace is a gentle, dreamy, pleasure-loving boy: the two siblings could hardly be more different, but they are also deeply devoted. And yet as Eustace and Hilda grow up and seek to go their separate ways in a world of power and position, money and love, their relationship is marked by increasing pain. L. P. Hartley's much-loved novel, the magnum opus of one of twentieth-century England's best writers, is a complex and spellbinding work: a comedy of upper-class manners; a study in the subtlest nuances of feeling; a poignant reckoning with the ironies of character and fate. Above all, it is about two people who cannot live together or apart, about the ties that bind--and break.

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