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At the centre of this novel stands Harriet Haslam, the epitome of the maternal power figure,whose genuine but overpowering love dominates the novel and whose self-knowledge drives her into insanity. Even after her death Harriet continues to dominate.

Surrounding this central figure are a host of marvelously realised characters - Sir Geoffrey Haslam, Harriet's husband, an innocent self-deluder; Dominic Spong, a hypocrite whose platitudes do not quite conceal his powerful self-interest; Agatha Calkin whose benevolent maternalism nearly hides the greediest of drives towards power; Lady Hardistry, the most outrageously witty of all sophisticates; Camilla Christy, a loose woman, dazzling, charming, and corrupt. Unlike Harriet Haslam, who will not spare herself the truth, the others are happier with their lies and can never achieve Harriet's grandeur.

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Used availability for Ivy Compton-Burnett's Men and Wives

Hardback Editions

March 2000 : UK Hardback

Title: Men and Wives (Serendipity)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-7531-6170-2 / 978-0-7531-6170-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1972 : UK Hardback

Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-575-01581-0 / 978-0-575-01581-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1966 : UK Hardback
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-575-01271-4 / 978-0-575-01271-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

September 2012 : UK Paperback
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Title: Men and Wives (Bloomsbury Reader)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 1-4482-0094-6 / 978-1-4482-0094-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2001 : UK Paperback
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-7531-6203-2 / 978-0-7531-6203-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: ISIS Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1984 : USA Paperback
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-8052-8215-7 / 978-0-8052-8215-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Schocken Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1984 : UK Paperback
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 0-85031-576-X / 978-0-85031-576-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

July 2016 : MP3 CD
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
ISBN: 1-5318-4219-4 / 978-1-5318-4219-2
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


May 2013 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


May 2013 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Men and Wives
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Men and Wives (Bloomsbury Reader)
Author(s): Ivy Compton-Burnett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA