A Pin To See The Peepshow
EPUB EBook by F. Tennyson Jesse
EBook DescriptionThis novel by F. A Pin To See The Peepshow EPUB EBookTennysonn Jesse ,, grand niece of Alfred Lord Ten nysonis a Virago classic and was televised by the BBCin 1972. I chose to revisit it in preparation for reading Sarah Water^s novel The Paying Guests. Both novelsinvolve a fictional reworking of the notorious Thompson Bywaters case.. The unconventional, at times positively unlovable heroine of the novel Julia Almond finds herself caught in the mores of early 20th century England where rules for upper class women were very different from rules governing lower class women both in terms of money and morals. The device of the peep show a cardboard model made by the schoolboy Leonard Carr with whom Julia later becomes fatally enthralled gives Julia a glimpse into a different fairytale world and from then on she is forever waiting for something lovely to happen. A reader of romance novels she views herself as set apart from the common herd. This feeling is reinforced when she enters the glamourous world og high couture and is surrounded by women who are governed by much freer morals and not corseted by convention. The novel is set in a time of massive social cvhange when men are flocking to the front and women find themselves able to move more freely through the strata of society.
Julias emerging sexuality is explored frankly by Jesse in a manner uncommon for female novelists of the period. She moves from a crush on her school teacher, to ashort passionate dalliance with a young soldier who dies at the front. He awakens her desire and fuels her imagination as to what a love affair is actually about. Her awakening sexuality however is brutally subdued when she marries an older friend of the family to escape the confines of her restrictive home. Paradoxically the price Julia has to pay for her escape is soul crushingly high and the stage is et for the doomed love affair that follows.
In many ways Julia could be viewed as a silly women, she has no intellectual gravitas, unlike her friend Anne who becomes a doctor . She is a creature of the body and prone to flights of fancy, entranced by looking through other peoples windows,trespassing on the lives of others. The essential short sightedness of this view is constantly reinforced by the real fact of Julias astigmatism as a result of which she rarely sees things clearly. But how dearly she pays for her afternoon in the sun.
The last part of the novel based on some of the actual transcripts of the Thompson Bywaters case is a terrifying indictmentof the criminal justice system, and the way it dealt and still deals with women who dare to transcend their appointed roles.
Well worth a read, as well as a fascinating insight into social history in and around The First World War Like this book? Read online this: Miss Julia Stands Her Ground (Miss Julia, #7), Socialist History Journal Issue 16.
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