Tag Archives: Angels and Insects

Angels and Insects; The Conjugial Angel

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“The Conjugial Angel” – novella the second

[Please click the previous post “Morpho Eugenia” for novella the first.]

The second novella will satisfy all of you who like ghost stories. And poetry. Or poetry. Set in Victorian-era London, we jump between various characters who have been brought together by sharing seances. Oh, and this could also fit my definition of Historical Fiction because it fictionalizes real people: Alfred Tennyson and his sister Emily.

Remember this for R.I.P!

We first meet Mrs. Papagay, my favorite character by the way, who isn’t quite sure she is a widow because her husband may or may not have been lost at sea. Then we meet a young lady who seems most susceptible to communications with the dead. Now that I type this and rethink the story, we never do get in the heads of the men…  Hmmmm. Anyway, we meet Tennyson’s sister (and must I be embarrassed and appalled that I have to describe her as such? Because Byatt doesn’t. It gets teased out in the story and I had to do my own Wiki studying but truly, she is one interesting (and dare I say, creepy) character in her own right. She just happens to be the sister of a famous poet.) So, we meet this sister, Emily Jesse, who was engaged to the best friend of her brother’s but he died before they got married. The brother, famous poet Alfred Tennyson, wrote a huge poem called In Memoriam to the best friend / dead fiance of sister and it is hinted in vague subtle ways that perhaps Alfred and his BFF could possibly have been MORE than friends (ifyouknowwhatImean). Emily wants to contact this long lost love.

It’s a ghost story! with SEANCES!! And communications with the DEAD!!! And quite a few little humorous asides and situations, I thought. It ends well, too. I liked how it ended.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Angels and Insects; Morpho Eugenia

Thoughts  Angels and Insects TWO NOVELLAS by A.S. Byatt, Vintage 1994, 337 pages

For Challenge:  What’s in a Name 5 – Creepy Crawly Category

“Morpho Eugenia” – novella the first

This SO satisfies the Creepy Crawly category of the What’s in a Name Challenge 5 that I am shocked that I am first to review it for that. In fact, given how smart all of you (you, all of you, my bright smart wonderful readers of this blog), I’m shocked I say, that not more of you have read this. I count only two reviews of this collection and we need it to be more. I just know many of you would LOVE these two stories even if creepy. Byatt is the bomb. I know why Eva has her in high regard.

Um, now is when I admit that I would have liked this collection more if I was smarter. So do forgive my inability to convey how great these are and forgive my 4 slice rating.

What’s this novella about? (I’ll talk about the other one in a later post.)

Consider those Victorian Brits. This one poor guy, William, wants to study bugs. He shipwrecks on return from a bug-study in South America but is rescued YAY!  But he doesn’t have his specimens BOO! so he is destitute. A wealthy dude who has been collecting dead bugs and other crazy artifacts from around the globe, hires him to classify his collection of crap and also be sounding board to bounce off theories of how to reconcile God and Darwin. Our poor bug boy, William, falls in love with daughter of patron. (Of course.) Her name is Eugenia. They marry, they have kids that look like Eugenia. Poor, poor William. William questions why he isn’t happy. He does get to set up ant colonies so the kiddies can learn about bugs but it’s not the same as exploring the tropics. Will I give it away if he falls into ‘friendship’ with Miss Matty, poor relation or something (relationship unclear) to Eugenia?  No, that doesn’t give it away AT ALL.  ha!

“For things are not what they seem, as you must always remember.”

Oh, you just have to read it.

Or?  You can check out the MOVIE!  

They made a flick of this!! I’m delighted and have sent my friend Holly in search of said DVD so we can watch it together. She’s the one who put this book into my hands – after I put The Children’s Book in HER hands (Another Byatt; I have yet to read that one but I own it.)

Do note that the title of the movie covers only the first novella. I call that misleading but whatever. Second novella “Thoughts” coming soon.

Fabulous reviews of Angels and Insects:  Eva at A Striped Armchair and JLS Hall at A Little Reading.

HIdeinWhitetoSkipLine

Copyright © 2007-2012. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.