Tag Archives: both novellas awesome

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.


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.