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Men and Wives

(1931)
A novel by

 
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.

Compton-Burnett was encouraged by her liberal and unorthodox father, homeopath Dr Burnett, to prepare to read classics at London university (neither Oxford nor Cambridge gave degrees to women at this time). She had dearly loved her father, who died without warning from a heart attack in 1901 when she was sixteen. Her closest brother died three years later, and Ivy Compton-Burnett went on to lose three more of her younger siblings and her mother by the time she was 35, something she could hardly bear to speak about, but constantly explored in her novels. Compton-Burnett published twenty novels, the first while she was in her twenties, in 1911. However, the first of her works to use her mature and startlingly original style was published when she was forty, in 1925. Compton-Burnett's fiction deals with domestic situations in large households which, to all intents and purposes, invariably seem Edwardian. She was named a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1967.

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


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

March 2000 : UK Hardback
Title: Men and Wives
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 CA   

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

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

Kindle Editions

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



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