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Diana of the Crossways

George Meredith

Book Overview: 

Inspired by the real life story of Caroline Norton, a friend of the author's, this book tells about a lively woman who is trapped in a miserable marriage. Yet Diana is not one to give up in her quest for love, happiness and fulfillment.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A turning to the right was taken, one to the left, and through the churchyard, out of the gate, round to the right, and on. By this route, after an hour, he found himself passing beneath the bare chestnuts of the churchyard wall of Storling, and the sparkle of the edges of the dead chestnut-leaves at his feet reminded him of the very ideas he had entertained when treading them. The loss of an hour strung him to pursue the chase in earnest, and he had a beating of the heart as he thought that it might be serious. He recollected thinking it so at Copsley. The long ride, and nightfall, with nothing in view, had obscured his mind to the possible behind the thick obstruction of the probable; again the possible waved its marsh-light. To help in saving her from a fatal step, supposing a dozen combinations of the conditional mood, became his fixed object, since here he was—of that there was no doubt; and he was not here to play the fool, though the errand were foolish. He entered . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Critics are always trying to rescuscitate George Meredith, explaining with patience, learning, and obdurate fortitude that his novels are unfairly neglected. They may be neglected (well, they are neglected), but "unfairly" is a matter of opinion. I have begun many volumes of Meredith, but I have...more

This is a wonderful yet neglected novel; those who enjoy fiction by George Eliot or Charles Dickens would like it.

Reading the first 150 pages was like swimming in jelly. Then suddenly the novel came to life and I couldn't put it down. Don't be put off by Meredith's having based it on a real person - he may have used Caroline Norton as inspiration, but of course there is no actual affair, no children involved...more

Even though the book's more than a century old, this's some of the most beautiful, sophisticated and original prose that one can encounter. Content doesn't matter when it is art for art's sake.

A pretty dull read. The characters are not interesting, and Meredith's style is very hard to get into and overly ornate.

Lo stile dell'autore è decisamente maschile: serioso,intricato, fastidiosamente elusivo nei passaggi cruciali; e il primo capitolo sembra addirittura scritto con l'intento di scoraggiare i potenziali lettori. Ma i personaggi sono affascinanti, e la storia è di quelle che appassionano: una giovane...more

It took a while to get through Meredith's slow, fussy, didactic and sometimes turgid prose, especially the first chapter. But what a story, when you finally get to it! Diana of the Crossways is a unique heroine, impetuous, headstrong, vibrant, passionate and in every way in trouble in a Victorian...more

This is one of the greatest early feminist novels [so is Meredith's THE EGOIST:], and Meredith's witty, satirical style is among the greatest [along with Hugo and Faulkner:].

The book was a gift from my father before I went to college. I ended up reading it at long last while sitting in a laundry mat in Alhambra. It made the rather dull chore go by quickly.

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