Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $3.58 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 12 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Add to Cart
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 all 2 images

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages Paperback – October 12, 1984


See all 16 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.37
$6.74 $0.01




Frequently Bought Together

Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages + Dept. of Speculation
Price for both: $28.71

Buy the selected items together
  • Dept. of Speculation $17.34

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (October 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394725808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394725802
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In her study of the married couple as the smallest political unit, Phyllis Rose uses as examples the marriages of five Victorian writers who wrote about their own lives with unusual candor.

About the Author

Phyllis Rose is the author of Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf, and of the highly acclaimed Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages, which established her as a biographer of the first rank. Her most recent book is Jazz Cleopatra, a biography of Josephine Baker. She has taught literature at Wesleyan University since 1969, and has written essays, reviews, and articles for many publications. She lives in Middletown, Connecticut. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
4
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 14 customer reviews
My wife is the reader in our family and she loved this.
Asa Pace
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever read and enjoyed any of these authors or who is just interested in what their lives were all about.
James Henderson
This one is a keeper, if you are interested in the lives behind the words and behind the praise and adulation, in some instances.
Patricia P. Downing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Woodbury on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Phyllis Rose' Parellel Lives is an exploration of marriage: what makes a marriage, how marriages operate, the power struggles within marriage, the impact of patriarchy on marriage, sexuality within marriage and many, many other issues.
Ms Rose uses Victorian marriages to discuss these issues. This is a perceptive move. Our current culture, filled with self-help manuals and marriage classes, is in some ways less tolerate of eccentricity, more assured about how a successful marriage should operate. The tensions of sexuality, power and so on have been addressed, if not by individuals, within the culture and media at large. But Victorians did not have such an outlet. Dickens didn't know he was experiencing a well-documented male mid-life crisis when he engineered he and his wife's separation. This lack of self-knowledge makes the exploration of such marriages a fascinating study in human nature.
The book is split into the marriage biographies of five couples with two sections on Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle. A refreshing aspect of Ms Rose's Parallel Lives is that she is exploring these marriages from a feminist viewpoint that encompasses compassion for the man as well as for the woman. Her prose style is lively as she delves into the separate personal stories of her couples and how their personal stories influenced the marriage as a whole.
The book suffers a bit at the end. Ms Rose pulls back and attempts to apply general theory to her analysis. This is mostly unsuccessful. Ms Rose's gift lies in the personal--her ability to unravel this or that particular marriage and how this or that particular marriage was influenced by the problems of patricarchy--not in a general ideological stance that would supposedly solve those problems.
Recommendation: An intelligent and perceptive read. Buy it!
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
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lee on March 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
I loved this book when it was first published in the 80s for all the reasons put forth by the preceeding enthusiatic reviewers. So was startled to see it had only a 3 star rating when I visited Amazon a short while ago, searching for a second-hand copy.
Why this book has been out of print for so long is totally mystifying. For, you see, I'm not alone in my love of it. - every person I've loaned it to has had nothing but praise for it.
But most telling of all, each person has liked it so much that they've passed it on to a friend of theirs, who's evidently done the same, in a never-ending chain of handovers.
Hence my search for yet another second-hand copy earlier today, But, more to the point, isn't this the best recommendation any book can genuinely have: being handed on from person to person with the exhotation : "You'll really love this book. . . you've got to read it now!"
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
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Crowley on November 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Phyliss Rose has written a fascinating book on five notorious nineteenth-century couples: Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle, Effie Gray and John Ruskin, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth, George Elliot and George Henry Lewes. One union was happy. The rest were far from happy, but all were unconventional in their own way.

Jane Welsh was pretty, clever, and wealthy, but married Thomas Caryle without being in love with him. Yet, she couldn't imagine marrying anyone else. Years later, she grew to resent the husband who was so engrossed in his writing that hardly noticed her presence. Ironically, his writing and his encouraging Jane's writing is what induced her to marry him in the first place. After her death, Thomas Caryle found a journal where Jane vented about her husband's lack of appreciation for all she had given up for him. She also wrote extensively about her husband's attention to Lady Harriet Ashburton, which Jane became quite jealous of.

The marriage of Effie Gray and John Ruskin will seem especially bizarre to twenty-first century readers. This disastrous marriage was never consummated. The groom, who grew up lonely and sheltered by his parents, had a strong attachment to his parents that prevented him from assuming the role of a husband. Phyliss Rose also writes that the couple did attempt to consummate the marriage, but John was quite disgusted by Effie's naked body. Ruskin did his best to push his unwanted wife on another men, Painter John Everett Millais took the role that John Ruskin never wanted to begin with, The Gray/Ruskin marriage was annulled since it was proven that Effie was still a virgin.

Harriet Taylor's marriage to John Taylor fared no better.
Read more ›
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
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "observerite" on October 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully balanced and perceptive, this probing look at five unconventional Victorian marriages provides many insights into the sexual mores of that era. The section on the novelist George Eliot is especially haunting.
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
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Henderson on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Who would imagine that a brief book highlighting the marriages of five literary Victorian couples would be such a delightful read. In the capable hands of author Phyllis Rose it is, as she surveys the marriages of John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, and Marian Evans (George Eliot). The chapter on Evans focuses on her relationship with George Henry Lewes rather than her husband. The story of Jane Welsh and Thomas Carlyle bookends the narrative. The insights of the author into the incidents and foibles of these couples' lives portray their Victorian lives in a totally new perspective. This is a unique literary biography and her balanced and perceptive approach to each provides more insights than one might expect from such a slim volume. The analysis of their marriages and friendships is still relevant and speaks to our relationships more than a century later. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever read and enjoyed any of these authors or who is just interested in what their lives were all about.
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

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search