Mariamne❴Download❵ ➵ Mariamne Author Glen Petrie – Penetrating the secrets concealed behind the decorous facade of Victorian society MARIAMNE probes into the lives and manners of that elegant era to reveal a world where propriety often yielded to pass Penetrating the secrets concealed behind the decorous facade of Victorian society Mariamne probes into the lives and manners of that elegant era to reveal a world where propriety often yielded to passion and men's baser instincts governed their habits Drawing part of his inspiration from the celebrated Madeleine Smith trial that shocked the prim Glasgow society of the s Glen Petrie has created in Mariamne a novel that richly evokes the flavor of the period while it explores in fascinating detail the complex psychological motivations of its charactersThe daughter of a well to do English family much loved and delicately nurtured a promising student at an exclusive ladies' finishing school Mariamne Jenkins seems secure in a comfortable future When her father abruptly summons her home to Cumbria to assume responsibility for the household in vew of her mother's protracted illness she looks forward to presiding at the dinner table and keeping her dear Papa company during the long and lonely evening hours The delights of domesticity soon begin to wane however and Mariamne becomes embroiled in a deeply sensual relationship with the handsome and alluring Simon Tufnell a clerk clearly beneath her social station of whose low birth her family would not approveBut even as Mariamne pursues her secret lover she encourages the honorable intentions of William Rowlands a childhood friend and neighbor While Mariamne keeps Simon permanently in her thrall through her passionate sensuous letters she at the same time lures the very proper Mr Rowlands into asking for her hand Deftly she courts alternately her lover and her fiance until with Simon threatening blackmail and a suitable marriage hanging in the balance Mariamne is forced to perform one last desperate act from which she will never be fully absolvedWith tremendous insight and skill Glen Petrie weaves the story of Mariamne's downfall against the background of Victorian rigidity and repression brilliantly evoking an era's standards its etiuette and above all its attitude toward women drawing upon his knowledge of its darker side to explore the ways in which the powers of evil can possess the soul Alive with the spirit of a bold and ruthless woman Mariamne is a powerful novel and a stunning portrait of an intriguing society and of a woman who dared defy it. Ah the secret perversions sexual hypocrisy of the Victorian era This particular novel is based on the criminal antics of one Madeleine Smith While the author's preface states that Mariamne Jenkins isn't intended to be a portrait of Madeleine herself the plot closely follows Madeleine's case SpoilersMariamne has been raised as a prim proper young lady but something in her rebels at coddling She's called home from boarding school to run the household in place of her ailing mother but uickly begins amusing herself with a clerk named Simon His lust is at first confined to letters but their flirtation escalates to clandestine sex until a childhood friend begins courting Mariamne at which point she tries to throw him over Simon of course threatens blackmail Desperate to be rid of him she slips arsenic into his food succeeds in killing the poor blighter until their letters are discovered on his deathbed A sensational trial ensues But Mariamne proves too cunning in her purchase of the arsenic; the prosecution's evidence is labeled circumstantial she is releasedI first read about this case in Victorian Murderesses that author offers a neutral interpretation of Madeleine's motives But despite Mr Petrie's opening remarks The fascination of Madeleine Smith is the fascination of the problem of evil he paints Mariamne with a gentle hand Yes she's selfish bratty spoiled She behaves carelessly has little thought for future conseuences But her frustrations with social convention are sympathetic The double standard of malefemale sexuality is a major underpinning of this novel foremost among the injustices being Simon's verbal berating of Mariamne's eager sexual response even while he encourages her body Mariamne herself is confused by her reaction to these advances; she wants to be dominated by Simon nothing titilates her than his anger at her wantonness yet she's disgusted by having to arouse him with groveling apologies This double standard is echoed in the development of Mariamne Simon's characters At the beginning Mariamne is the selfish child Simon is the noble knight But they arc in opposite directions Mariamne isn't 'good' by any means but she's a strong female who zealously guards her pure reputation You share her annoyance as Simon whinges clings flakes out every time she dances with another man She's right he really isn't a man capable of dominating her properly because Simon is an Alpha Male Fail He might shag rich widows nubile young Mariamne but the only woman he truly dominates is the mousy spinster landlady That said Mariamne is still a murderess Even as her lawyer rattles a dramatic 25 page speech on how she was wronged by Simon he knows she's a manipulative moo; he even feels guilty for winning the case And so the double standard is never resolvedwhich is only suitable given the controversial subject matter Also interesting is that this book though written third person by a male author is surprisingly successful in conveying the smothered life of a young unmarried Victorian ladyTechnically this book is very well written it's fashioned after the dense old school style albeit with graphic descriptions of sex The gothic undertones are great the creepy grinning invalid mother the father's unexplained visions of Simon in the clutch of arsenic poisoning etc There are hints of femmeslash with the maid who seems drawn to both Mariamne her mother glaring dashes of WTF covert incest Mariamne sits on her father's lap way too much for a 17 year old I love the pretty purple dustjacket on my copybut the trashy paperback cover is fitting to the subject matter None of the major characters have healthy sexual auras; it's only the peripheral cast that are normal45 stars The trial drags because it summarizes what's already happened but overall the pacing is good matches the scandalous subject matter This isn't a lighthearted good vs evil romantic romp it's meaty historical fiction with copious sketchy behavior a highly un PC view of the past I choose this book because of my interest in the Victorian Era In this it does not disappoint delving in to class stucture etiuette etc Also good character development with a few spicy sex scenes I would give the first two thirds a rating of a weak 3 stars just trotting along you don't walk away from it but neither do you loose any sleep However the last 3rd it started running then it ends up sprinting The last chapters of the book it jumps a fence Worth the read

Mariamne eBook ¿ Unknown Binding
  • Unknown Binding
  • 405 pages
  • Mariamne
  • Glen Petrie
  • English
  • 09 March 2014
  • 9780698107694