Lady's Maid

Lady s Maid Young and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication Lily Wilson arrives in London in becoming a lady s maid to the fragile housebound Elizabeth Barrett Lily is quickly d

  • Title: Lady's Maid
  • Author: Margaret Forster
  • ISBN: 9780345497437
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Paperback
  • Young and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication, Lily Wilson arrives in London in 1844, becoming a lady s maid to the fragile, housebound Elizabeth Barrett Lily is quickly drawn to her mistress s gaiety and sharp intelligence, the power of her poetry, and her deep emotional need It is a strange intimacy that will last sixteen years.It is Lily wYoung and timid but full of sturdy good sense and awakening sophistication, Lily Wilson arrives in London in 1844, becoming a lady s maid to the fragile, housebound Elizabeth Barrett Lily is quickly drawn to her mistress s gaiety and sharp intelligence, the power of her poetry, and her deep emotional need It is a strange intimacy that will last sixteen years.It is Lily who smuggles Miss Barrett out of the gloomy Wimpole Street house, witnesses her secret wedding to Robert Browning in an empty church, and flees with them to threadbare lodgings and the heat, light, and colors of Italy As housekeeper, nursemaid, companion, and confidante, Lily is with Elizabeth in every crisis birth, bereavement, travel, literary triumph As her devotion turns almost to obsession, Lily forgets her own fleeting loneliness But when Lily s own affairs take a dramatic turn, she comes to expect the loyalty from Elizabeth that she herself has always given.

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      Published :2018-09-27T02:06:10+00:00

    1 thought on “Lady's Maid”

    1. This book did a good job portraying issues of class and privilege in Victorian society. It's also paints a vivid picture of servant life in that period--and I love servant tales. BUT it is relentlessly depressing. I just want to put that out there as a warning. The back of my book was covered with glowing blurbs, one of which said it had a happy ending. Well, maybe it does by lit fic standards. Certainly I'll admit that it ended better than say The Road. (Yay! She kept her limbs! Happy!) But it [...]

    2. Lady's Maid is the fictional life story of Lily Wilson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid. Since all I knew about either of the Browning poets before starting this book was the little bit I remember from high school English, I wasn't sure if this was the book for me; fortunately, it really is the story of Wilson (as she is called throughout the book), and background knowledge about her employers is not essential. In fact, being famous poets, I expected to see them romanticized, but they're not; [...]

    3. Lily Wilson is not in her first youth when she is hired in 1844 to be lady’s maid to Elizabeth Barrett. She finds a seriously dysfunctional family, under the complete control of the Barrett father, who forbids any of his children to marry. When Lily arrives Elizabeth Barrett is seriously neurotic, but also suffering from an unidentified lung condition and an addiction to opiates. With the help of Elizabeth’s sisters Lily slowly encourages EB to leave the house and eventually to take walks in [...]

    4. This was very interesting until about two-thirds of the way in, when the tone seemed to change and it became very slow going. It was as if all the characters just got tired of each other, and there wasn't anything compelling for me to stay engaged with them (except that I hate leaving a book unread).

    5. So many opportunities missed by the author in this book, what a shame!The first and glaring one - why isn't this in first person? The story is in Lily Wilson's point of view throughout, so why choose third person? And why, oh why, is Lily always referred to as "Wilson"? Sure, Wilson is what she's called by her employers - but we, as readers, don't want to know Wilson, the dehumanised servant - we want to know Lily, the real person. I felt the combination of the formal surname and the third perso [...]

    6. This was by far one of the best and most engrossing books I read this year. Actually I listened to it on audio. There's nothing better than a superb book with a very engaging, well-spoken narrator. This book is about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her husband, Robert Browning. But the story itself centers around Elizabeth's maid, Wilson. I can't honestly remember when a book evoked so much emotion in me: joy, happiness, resentment, anger, outrage. The writing was so beautiful, and so true to the [...]

    7. Slow. Very, very slow. When I took this book out, the premise sounded so promising--so interesting. The book crawled along, and about half way through, I asked myself why I was going to finish it, when, to be honest, I didn't like the characters, didn't appreciate their struggles.Well, I did read it all, and it started to pick up the pace a bit after I hit the half way point. Unfortunately, it didn't continue to move along. Maybe I just don't appreciate that there were such constraints on people [...]

    8. 5.5/6 -- Have you ever liked an actor in a movie and then seen them interviewed and wished that you had never seen the interview because your opinion of them changed (for the worse)? Well, now I am not sure I like Elizabeth Barrett Browning her selfish, self-centered personality was immense. Altho I did find the book sort of interesting, I would have difficulty in recommending it to many people: the writing is slow, so the reader must have a definite interest in period writing and an interest in [...]

    9. Glad for it to endThis book started out to be fairly interesting and promising reading. It became so long, slow moving and depressing that I was glad to get to the end.

    10. The story begins in London in 1844 when 23-year old Elizabeth Wilson becomes lady's maid to Elizabeth Barrett. A complex and, at times, difficult relationship develops, which only ends with the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1861. The story follows the courtship of the Brownings, the dramatic elopement and their lives abroad, all the while with Wilson, as she is called throughout the book, attending her mistress' every need through good times and bad. Yet the Browings only provide the ba [...]

    11. Lady's Maid also takes historical fact and expands it into a novel. It is the story of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning as told through the eyes of Barrett's maid, Lily Wilson. Wilson as Barrett called her, was instrumental in getting Barrett's correspondence to Browning during their romance. When the famous couple eloped to Italy Wilson accompanied them. Wilson lived her life through Barrett's. She was Barrett's maid, companion, confidante, nurse and support through every crisis and succes [...]

    12. Lady's Maid by Margaret ForsterChallenges read for: , Historical Fiction, Audio BookBook Cover: I love the simplicity of it.Narrator: Carol BoydA fictional account of the life of Lily Wilson, Lady's Maid to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I loved and hated this book at times--Wilson would seem whiny and spineless and sometimes the Barrett-Brownings were just down-right mean. I think if it hadn't been for the excellent narration by Carol Boyd, I would have put this book on the back burner. On the fli [...]

    13. Very many years ago I saw the musical "Robert and Elizabeth" in London and fell in love with their characters. Wilson and Flush just appeared on the periphery. However, the musical only went as far as their leaving for Italy. If I had read this book at the time I would have been devastated to find that two poets could be so selfish. Maybe I thought poets had more insight into life and its traumas than ordinary people. But of course they treated servants just as others of that period would - inva [...]

    14. A charity-shop discovery that I am truly glad to have made. It narrates the semi-fictional story of Elizabeth Browning's made, Wilson. But really, what it narrates is life. Life in its progressively increasing depth, sadness, and disillusionment. It has been a long time since a novel moved me thus, and I have found myself shedding more than a tear on the long bus journeys I undertake every day - or weeping, as Wilson would put it. Only a woman could have written something like this- and this is, [...]

    15. Lady's Maid is a fictional account of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid. It started out interesting, and I found myself truly enjoying the story of Barrett's strange home life and interaction with her father, and her courtship with Robert Browning. But it went downhill from there and became slow going until the end. It was interesting to learn about the Brownings' lives, but the story started to plod along, and I found it hard to finish. If you like historical fiction you'll probably enjoy this [...]

    16. Four stars or five stars? I couldn’t decide. I ended up given this book five stars because it’s stayed with me. Days after finishing, I keep thinking about Wilson—the protagonist. Plus, it’s given me a new perspective on life back in Victorian times—the 1840s or so until the turn of the century. For both those reasons, it merits five stars. This was a book I looked forward to reading each night and had a hard time putting down. I found myself wrapped in the world of the mid-19th centur [...]

    17. Valutazione 4,5Un romanzo dai ritmi lenti ma narrato in maniera magistrale. La storia di un rapporto dalle mille sfaccettature, due donne, due condizioni sociali diverse e sullo sfondo il ritratto di un'epoca, quella vittoriana, che dettava rigidamente regole e comportamenti anche in materia di sentimenti.La devozione di Lily, personaggio realmente esistito, verso la sua padrona, la grande poetessa Elizabeth Barrett Browning, è assoluta. Anche nei momenti più critici in cui la consapevolezza d [...]

    18. If you are a fan of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and want to remain one, you might want to skip this book. Although fictionalized, it is based on Browning's life story through the eyes of her maid, Lily Wilson. According to the book’s endnotes, Wilson (as Elizabeth and her husband, fellow poet Robert Browning, called her) was an actual person. Many years after leaving the service of the Brownings, Wilson was rescued from poverty and cared for by the Brownings’ son Pen, who adored and depended [...]

    19. Even though I was not overly impressed with Lady's Maid I was unable to put it down and stop reading it entirely. Wilson was not just a maid to Mrs. Barrett but a friend and a confidant. I really liked Wilson at times and other times I did not care for her much. She had a hard life and clearly struggled to make the most of her life. Worshiping her mistress she showed no hesitation in leaving all she knew to make Mrs. Barrette into Mrs. Browning. As for growth I am not really sure Wilson's person [...]

    20. There is a great to deal to like about this book.The lady's maid is Lily Wilson, (the real) maid to poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.In this fictionalized, but well-researched tale, the relationship between servant and served is well told. It is believable and poignant. However, the book is too long, and by the time I was 3/4 of the way through, it felt as if it should end. There is a great deal of narration, and the paragraphs are long. Author's notes and readers' guide questions are included.

    21. I rather liked this, though it does have some grim slow sections. I especially liked the examination of the relationship between mistress and servant - and how the main character was, from time to time, trapped by that. The Brownings are, in this telling, completely self-absorbed and focused on their own interests - sometimes very harshly so - and those sections were really the most wrenching. A really interesting book and very compelling.

    22. Compulsive reading.The language used by Margaret Forster feels entirely fitting and brings the reader to the period so well. The story is full of insights and reveals a set of characters with complete authenticity. Highly recommended.

    23. Lives of Servants in mid 1800'sI enjoyed this tale of Wilson, a Lady's maid. Lives of Servants were never their own it reminds me that throughout the generations people of means always find people to exploit.

    24. I found this story interesting but I did not care for either the lady or her maid. it was however a great discourse on the impossibility of a friendship of value between those in service and those they serve in th 19th century.

    25. Division between the upper and lower classesMy opinion of the Brownings was affected and changed by this novel. Elizabeth believes that she is fair to Wilson when,in fact,she is selfish and demanding, not caring about her lady's mail's needs.

    26. Rather lengthy book written re Elizabeth Barrett Browning's maid. Based on mostly true facts. I found it quite interesting.

    27. I really wanted to love this book but just couldn't. It was just okay. I think a hundred pages less with some tighter editing would have made it a four star rating. So many pages of repeated events.

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