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Elsie Venner

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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About the Author

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) served as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court and as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nick-named the "Great Dissenter" because of his many dissenting opinions. Holmes is also the author of Kent's Commentaries on the Law (1873) and "The Path of the Law" (1897). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: North Books (January 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582872341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582872346
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Weiser on June 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is Oliver Wendel Holmes Sr's first novel - not exactly a page-turner IMHO, but a charming artifact of its time. It has a quasi-medical theme, but is mainly a fictionalized extension of Holmes' essays and dissertations on what people are like (specifically, into what classes they fall and what can be expected of them) through the eyes of an experienced medical doctor. From the time when MDs didn't know a lot, partly knew what they didn't know, and filled in with profound (as it seemed to them, and maybe to us) experience of human nature. Holmes talks horses the way we talk cars.

The romance element is a bit purple (Victorian, after all) and the "action" element a bit implausible (OWH Jr saw the elephant, not sure Sr ever did). On the whole one was happy to get through it, though there were some pleasant - even memorable - passages.

This specific free edition is, unfortunately, marred by typos. They are limited to what cannot be controlled by a spell-checker, specifically proper names; it is quite annoying that about half the times it appears, the name "Venner" is misspelled "Veener" - sometimes in the same sentence as a correct spelling. Perhaps worst is, at the very end, a final poignant detail is rendered puzzling by rendering "E.V." as "E.Y." - watch out for it, it's on the last page. If someone has the ability to correct this free edition, search-and-replace "Veener" with "Venner" and fix that last puzzler!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elsie Venner is an important but sadly neglected novel that I am now pleased to have the chance to read. Sadly, however, this edition has little to recommend it. It is riddled with typos and utterly unreliable if one intends to use it for scholarly purposes. In places, it looks as if someone went crazy with an Auto-Correct program. You would think that an edition of Elsie Venner would refrain from writing the character's last name as "Veneer," but that error arises countless times. I can't understand why anyone would go to the trouble of creating this disaster, when a facsimile edition would have been so much better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is definitely a novel from a different time and way of speaking. What put me off the most was the constant long winded diversions and the convoluted action line! I read it because it was written by Holmes, but I really didn't care for it! Anyone studying literature of the time might enjoy reading it.
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