Buy Used
$10.78
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by Orion LLC
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: .
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Electricity Hardcover – October, 1995


See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.57 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$15.00

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (October 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316301590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316301596
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,426,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Whitbread Award-winning biographer Glendinning (Trollope) sets her pensive second novel (after The Grown-Ups) in late-Victorian England, where 18-year-old Charlotte Mortimer escapes from her parents' suffocatingly genteel home and her father's semi-incestuous attentions by marrying Peter Fisher, a proponent of the new science of electrical engineering. In the summer of 1885, the couple leaves London for Hertfordshire, where the poor but ambitious Peter hopes to make his reputation installing a complete electrical lighting system in the mansion of Lord Godwin. Though fond of her serious, intellectual husband, Charlotte finds his lectures on the modern, rational world that electricity will create less compelling than the attractive Godwin's lighthearted enumeration of the natural wonders found on "the inexhaustibly lovely face of the earth." She embarks on an affair with the nobleman, but the disastrous aftermath of the New Year's Eve debut of the electrical system reveals that Godwin is still bound by ancient prejudices; the bold future Peter envisaged-and Charlotte hoped for with somewhat less conviction-has not yet arrived. After an interlude in London, during which Charlotte dabbles in spiritualism but fails to find a viable means to support herself, she ends her painful odyssey towards maturity on an ambiguous note: the reader has no idea what she will decide to do, and it seems likely that Charlotte herself doesn't know. However true to life this uncertainty is, it typifies an artistic flaw that weakens the whole of Glendinning's thoughtful but rather bloodless text. Charlotte's narration is so restrained that we never become emotionally engaged by her plight, though her keen observations on everything from Victorian class prejudice to sexual hypocrisy ensure that the novel makes provocative, if never terribly compelling, reading.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The contradictions and dark corners of late-Victorian Britain are illuminated in the new novel by the author of The Grown-ups (1990). Charlotte Mortimer tests the limits of conventional behavior during and after her marriage to Peter Fisher, a serious young electrical engineer. When Peter is hired to bring electricity to a country house, Charlotte is magnetically drawn to Godwin, the lord of the manor, a handsome and unreliable rake. Peter's accidental death leaves Charlotte penniless; she attempts to earn her living by becoming a medium. At the end of the novel, she must choose between an uncertain future with Godwin and the possibility of a second marriage and children. Glendinning's occasional veering toward soap opera is corrected by the sympathetic presentation of Charlotte, an engaging and intelligent heroine whose struggles not only to survive but to know herself reveal the vicissitudes of a woman's life in the 1880s. Glendinning's historical and biographical skills (she is the author of Anthony Trollope and other well-received biographies) are clearly shown in her sure-handed evocation of a period when scientific discoveries by men such as Darwin and Faraday challenged fundamental British beliefs and behaviors. Nancy Pearl

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1997
Format: Paperback
This beautifully written novel lingered in my imagaination long after finishing.
It is the story of a young women in Victorian England who marries an expert in the then burgeoning field of electricity. His work takes them from a life of lower class drudgery in London to a large country estate.
This novel may be read on many different levels. While the surface storyline alone is enthralling the author's deeper insights into the beginnings of modern life and the victorian mindset is incredible. This novel, like no other, made me feel what it must have been like to live in this era.
I would especially recommend to women who are interested in history or historical fiction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "iluvds9" on November 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This interesting novel contrasts strength and timidity, old and
new, happiness and pain, and of course darkness and light.
I was intrigued by Charlotte's strong, strange Aunt Susannah,
her creepy, reactive father, stoic, attractive Peter Fisher,
and the rich and appealing George Godwin.
Charlotte eagerly tastes life and love, and learns and is
taught all sorts of new, interesting ideas and considerations,
some quite ahead of their time.
The narration of this story is well-descibed and evocative,
and Charlotte was a believable character. Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Rosenberg on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
What I liked about this book is that I really felt immersed in Victorian life as I read it, yet I didn't feel like the author was trying to "tell" me about Victorian life. She simply portrayed a character who lived that life and "showed" what it was like. I thought Charlotte a very interesting character with some unusual insights into life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Once again I have to say I think the review from Publisher's Weekly gives away too much of the story and at the same time I whole heartedly agree with their criticism that as a reader it is difficult to feel emotionally connected with Charlotte the narrator.

A lot of interesting issues are woven into the story of Charlotte Mortimer's life. Set in Victorian, London, Charlotte marries Peter Fisher a brilliant young man passionate about electricity. The two of them travel to Morrow Hall, the home of Lord Godwin, who has hired Peter to convert the home to electrical lighting. Charlotte finds herself drawn to the handsome and charismatic Lord Godwin.

The events that unfold and the family history that is only ever really alluded to are all very interesting but I never felt a real connection with Charlotte. I understood her limited choices in life and sympathized with her plight but I wish that Glendinning had allowed Charlotte to explain to us why she made the choices she did. Maybe it was that she had grown up with secrets around her and thought that's how adults operate?

And while I'm not one to enjoy being left hanging, I did like the untidy ending and I think that it's part of what would make this a good book club choice. The ending is completely open for discussion.

There are also plenty of issues to discuss, fidelity always seems like an interesting topic. And what about the quiet of the country before the high voltage lines were installed? What about responsibility? What about mad men running asylums? There's a whole bunch of juicy stuff thrown in here that would be great for a group discussion. But for me I didn't love the main character and so in my opinion this book was good not great.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
This is a novel, a story that carries the reader from page to page with the brilliance of an electric lightbulb. The author plays with the image of electricity from the interest of the main character in the new phenomenon to her infatuation with the engineer who comes to stay in her home and their ensuing marriage, to her affair with his boss and the historical fascination with spiritism at the time. The characters are so well drawn that you can feel the power between them - the electricity. I loved this book. Great for a day at the beach!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.