On a mild winter's evening in 1850, Isabella Robinson set out for a party. Her carriage bumped across the wide cobbled streets of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town and drew up at 8 Royal Circus, a grand sandstone house lit by gas lamps. This was the home of the rich widow Lady Drysdale. When Mrs Robinson joined the guests she was introduced to Lady Drysdale's daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Edward Lane.
She was at once enchanted by the handsome Mr Lane, a medical student 10 years her junior. He was 'fascinating', she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man's charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, which she was to find hard to shake....
A compelling story of romance and fidelity, insanity, fantasy, and the boundaries of privacy in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality, Mrs Robinson's Disgrace brings vividly to life a complex, frustrated Victorian wife.
©2012 Kate Summerscale (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
I loved The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and thought Mrs Robinson's Disgrace would enthrall me as well. I was a bit disappointed. At times it held my attention, but then it went off on a tangent and there was too much padding. Still, it gave me an insight into victorian family matters and divorces of the time.
This book gives a real insight into how Victorian society treated married women and the hypocrisy of their attitudes. It mixes the details of the Robinsons' marital problems and subsequent court case with information about marriage in society generally and how that was gradually changing at the time of the Robinsons' case. It made me really glad to live in the modern day! I agree that there was a bit too much padding - hence only 4 stars - but that does not spoil the book overall.
I am a regular busy 50 something woman who really loves being able to listen to great stories while I am walking the dog or working at home.
Dispite the voice of Jenny Aguter who is the best thing about the book, I gave up half way through bored to tears.
Not for me I am afraid.
It sounds saucy and interesting but felt like dates and facts being listed, I felt like I should be writing it down to keep up. Not enjoyable and couldn't finish
After a great first book (The suspicions of Mr Whicher) I found 'Mrs Robinson's Disgrace' a very heavy going book and not very easy to follow.
A very interesting story but packed with too much background information which seemed to distract from the storyline.
I've only managed to get to chapter 3 in this 'book' and have found it very dull and don't think I can bother to listen to any more. What a waste of a credit. I'm very surprised that Jenny Agutter seems to sound as bored with her narration as I was with the story! May be I'm being too hard but this book certainly isn't for me!
A wonderful story. Maybe rather complicated and difficult to get in to, but well worth the effort.
It is beautifully narrated and I thoroughly recommend it.
Tried but couldnt make it through to the finish.I found it dull, boring and uninteresting. If you are tempted, make sure that you listen to the preview before buying - I wish i had.
Well researched and written, but too long. Eight hours of the minutiae of Victorian middle class lives and unrequited pining was a bit too much for me. The unfairness of the law and double-standards of morals that worked against women was interesting but no surprise. The audio track sounded quite badly edited in parts, and Jenny Agutter's Scottish accent was unintentionally hilarious!
My expectations from the build-up to the release of this book were not met. Interesting but not gripping. The delivery is very good, though, hence 3 stars.
"Sometimes, truth is better than fiction!"
As a historical book, it's my best so far. It's quick pace and unexpected turns made it a non-stop listen for me.
Mrs Robinson herself, what a complicated lady! Whilst I can't agree with all her actions, I can't judge her either, I am grateful I live in our century and not hers!
Jenny brought an air of elegance and compassion to a sordid and complicated tale. Her phrasing and life made it all the easier to enjoy
The court case moments were particularly interesting for me, I can only imagine the horror of having your personal diary read aloud for all and sundry!
Well worth the listen, but not for the faint hearted
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