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25 votes
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How did contemporary readers respond to coincidence in 19th century novels?

This is a vast subject; entire books have been written on the subject of coincidence in fiction. So I’ll attempt a very brief survey. Were coincidence plots popular? Charles Dickens was the most ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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6 votes

Why do readers dislike Vronsky in the early part of the novel?

Because Levin appears first. Levin/Lyovin is the main character of the novel: it is not just about Anna and Vronsky! See LitCharts, for example: Levin, the other main protagonist of the novel (...
b4rtr's user avatar
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6 votes
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How was "A Passage to India" received in Britain and India?

It's difficult to try and judge a reception of a novel that's nearly 100 years old. Especially as reviews seem to be 'nicer' in those days than some of the scathing remarks you see in the present day. ...
Pat Dobson's user avatar
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5 votes

What was the public's initial reaction to Virginia Woolf's Orlando?

In literary reviews, the novel was usually praised, and reviewers accepted the conceit of changing gender. I'll bold the portions of the following excerpts that mention sex. The English Journal ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
5 votes
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Is there a commonly accepted way to measure the relative "popularity" of Shakespeare plays?

Shakespeare scholars use various criteria when discussing the popularity of specific Shakespeare plays. They do this mainly to increase understanding of how the reception of a specific play evolved ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes

How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Une répétition?

There was a brief notice in Le Livre of the book Saynètes et Monologues, sixième serie, an anthology of sketches and dramatic monologues by eighteen writers. The anonymous reviewer saves Maupassant ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes

How to measure the reception of a literary work

When literature people talk about reception of a work, how do they measure this, how do they compare receptions of different work? Typically literary scholars look at all of the published reviews to ...
Philly's user avatar
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3 votes

How did Maupassant's contemporaries respond to his play Musotte?

There was a production of Musotte in March 1891 at the Théâtre du Gymnase Marie-Bell in Paris, which received a brief but glowing review in the Revue illustrée: Si le rire règne à la Renaissance, l’...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes

How did contemporary readers respond to coincidence in 19th century novels?

It should be remembered that not only did most Victorians believe in the hand of God or Providence acting in everyday life but authors of the time were steeped in Classical Culture where Fate was ...
Gordon Clarkson's user avatar
3 votes
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How does the trans community view Gore Vidal's 'Myra Breckinridge'?

The response from the trans community contemporary to the publication of the novel seems to be largely negative, although there aren't many sources available. Many of the sources that mention Myra ...
Mithical's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why isn't Arthur Conan Doyle considered a first-rate writer?

I'm going to answer by taking issue with the question itself. I think we can demonstrate that while Conan-Doyle might not be truly considered "first-rate", his work is taken seriously by ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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3 votes
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Euripides - Were his Argonautical works considered canon?

In the story of the Argonauts, yes, Euripides' Medea did indeed influence later writers. As Andrew Zissos puts it in his commentary of Argonautica I (Oxford, 2008), "Euripides' focus on Jason's ...
cmw's user avatar
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3 votes
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When and where did Thomas Mann say that Effi Briest is one of the six best novels in his library?

Thomas Mann's article "To Theodor Fontane's 100th Birthday" was published in Berliner Tageblatt on 25-Dec-1919. There you can find the quote: Eine Romanbibliothek der rigorosesten Auswahl, ...
Andra's user avatar
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2 votes
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What did the students at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind think of "Redwall"?

Yes, it seems that Jacques did read drafts of the Redwall novels to the children in the school, using them as testers to check the pacing of the story and so on. Later on, when he had become a ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
1 vote
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Was Thomas Hardy's "Unkept Good Fridays" negatively received in its time?

No contemporary response As far as I can tell, there was no contemporary response to ‘Unkept Good Fridays’, and certainly no negative reaction of the kind suggested in the questions. As for the ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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