By Iris Murdoch
A robust novel of a family’s look for love amid the wreckage of failed relationships An Unofficial Rose is a narrative of a father and son, either upset with their lives, and either in love with somebody except their better halves. whereas the daddy, a widower, regrets by no means leaving his spouse for his mistress, the son seeks any chance to flee his uninteresting marriage. Written with Murdoch’s masterful mix of comedy and tragedy, An Unofficial Rose is a compelling tale of affection, remorse, and the complexity of human relationships.
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Additional resources for An Unofficial Rose
Nineteenth-century writers were well aware of the importance of beauty, including slenderness, in women’s lives, so discussions of the existence of a Victorian “beauty myth” do not merely impose a twenty-ﬁrst-century concept upon the nineteenth century. Beauty has, of course, concerned both men and women throughout history, but Ellis’s statement alludes to a speciﬁc body type that many women cultivated in order to conform to a fashionable Victorian silhouette, “to wear precisely the same kind of dress” as their neighbors.
I then analyze the work of three of the Victorian era’s most popular authors, John Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, and Kate Greenaway, examining the ways that all three authors validate the body of the pre-pubescent girl over that of the adult woman. By symbolically arresting the development of their heroines, these authors parallel the behavior of the anorexic woman, who starves her body in order to forestall sexual maturation. My third chapter resumes chapter ’s analysis of the control and denial of female appetite, and the representation of female body size, through readings of Charlotte Bront¨e.
CHAPTER Waisted women: reading Victorian slenderness The extraordinary variety that is woman’s body is systematically ignored in our culture. The richness of our different shapes is reduced to the overriding image of slimness. Susie Orbach, Fat is a Feminist Issue It has always appeared to me to be one of the greatest existing absurdities, that a whole community of people, differing in complexion, form, and feature, as widely as the same species can differ, should . . desire to wear precisely the same kind of dress.