This is the story of the three Cleveland siblings: Fanny, the innocent yet very sympathetic sister; Louisa, the strong willed sister whose miserable marriage to Sir William is the center of the novel; and Sir George who tries to get over the loss of his lover by touring the world. Louisa is not an amoral woman, she is beautiful and very lively, values which 18th century society promotes, yet she suffers only affliction from her «respectable» college educated husband. In the main plot, and all the sub plots (of which there are many), the book tests many prominent values of the time and brings to light their negative implications. It raises questions such as: is marriage always right for women? If a woman is miserable in her marriage, when is enough? Is a great tour to find yourself always a good idea, or should you consider it's implications on those around you? Does formal education matter or should inter personal communication skills be more important? Or, perhaps most importantly, is your family always there to protect you? This book is timeless in it's discourses on right and wrong, friendship, and of course love. It has everything for everyone, even the favorite gothic story for those who look for it. It is a must read for every 18th century lover. A book that will make you think and think again.
The novel is written in letters. It is my ideal that every letter writer would be read by a librivox reader. So when you come to claim, please look how many letters you are supposed to read and consider if you can complete the reading in a timely mannor. The letter writers are:
Lady Barton: formerly Louisa Cleveland, a strong willed woman who is abused from the start by her husband sir William. A smart, realistic and suffisticated lady.
Fanny Cleveland, later lady Hume: her sister, a compashenate, intelagent, and optimistic woman. She is Louisa's only real friend yet has much to offer in her own right.
Lord Hume: Fanny's love interest who takes a great tour during which many funny adventures befall him.
Lord Lucan: the only friend of Sir William's louisa likes. Intelligent and educated.
Harriette Westley: Sir William's young niece. wrote only one short letter.
( Stav Nisser.)