- Series: Everyman's Library
- Paperback: 832 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, Ltd. (December 15, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0460874950
- ISBN-13: 978-0460874953
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 2 x 5.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,234,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Newcomes, The (Everyman's Library)
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From the Publisher
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.
About the Author
William M Thackeray is the author of VANITY FAIR and other titles.
Top customer reviews
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The philosophical aspects and enjoying the overall story definitely can be enjoyed with out reading the roughly 800 page Pendennis but i do not recommend this.
What i love about Thackeray is each of the books i have read have seem to be written in different styles.
It almost seems like his works (especially his major works) are meant to be read in order. While there are continuing characters from Esmond there is also constant references to some of the main characters in Vanity Fair mainly Rebecca, Dobbins and more frequently Lord Styne--and in this book we meet his sister, who comically resembles in appearance.
I will not give away much of the story other than this is a book for adults and is a serious work. Pendennis was like 50% lighter and had a lot more humor. I was amazed at the difference in tone and was curious as to why Pendennis seemed to be almost overly commercial seemingly to water down the seriousness of his previous 2 novels before it. Remember as satirical and over the top as Vanity Fair was is was super heavy and serious while Esmond was written in Queen Ann style making it a standout just for structural reasons.
The recurring characters in The Newcomes from Pendennis are 1. Laura 2. Mr. Warrington 3. mentions of Col Costigan. 4. Arthur Pendennis 5. Major Penndennis. (who narrates as well as stars in it. This story is chock full of Thackerays signature wit and i laughed out loud many times, as i always do no matter how serious the story gets.
The Newcomes centers around the class divide sub culture of the time and the rules that govern that sort of social scene. Most importantly the effects it has physically and psychologically of people caught up in it. This is also about the changing of the times in relation to the extravagance of the Gothic or queen Ann days. Thackeray is constantly referring to the rich being holed up in massive Gothic mansions and the creep/desolate feeling especially when out of season. He also mentions how people who live in normal setting when invited to certain mansions can't wait to get out due to the changing of the times.
One of the main issue is Clive and Ethel and their relationship.
Ethel has been molded from birth to marry a well to do gentlemen thereby propagating the status of the Newcome family who are bankers.
Being a banker is a title that by itself does not always mean acclimation into the upper class. It has to be earned and the Newcomes are an example of a family that has earned their respect.
The villain character in the story is Barnes Newcome as well as his dowager overseer that dictates how he should represent the family.
This story is super relevant to today i that it is also about public hangings as well the weakness of the human condition.(Meaning even the best and most compassionate people are subject to errors as epitomized in the col Newcome character When i say public hangings i do not mean that in a literal sense. I mean what happens when an individual is in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
This story is also about Col Newcome - Clives father- who is one of the main heros of the story--we get to see him appear as a perfect compassionate gentlemen only to fall into traps himself that as important moral and ethical questions that is appropriate more for an advanced philosophy class rather than an English Literature class. I will continue this review later-- as i am strapped for time--
The Newcomes was serialized over a period of two years, and it shows. Characters are established and then abandoned; some return 500 pages later, others never do. One woman is killed off on one page, and is alive again later. There are some ideas developed that are dropped or seemingly saved for later, a later which never comes as the story takes a different direction. The author acknowledges as much in a two page coda to the final chapter.
The main themes of the work, however, are there throughout. In rigidly class-obsessed England there are ways to move up if one has money. New-money wants to be noble. The nobility allows itself to be courted and flattered. Those not rich have, in some ways, more options for self-expression through work and socially than those who are bound by societal expectations. Thackeray gives us characters from every station in life, many of them looking at their particular status in very different ways.
New money families invent myths of their past glory to cover their insecurities, tracing family histories fabulously back to the Conquest. The most upright people of character make gross mistakes in judgement, bringing grief to many innocents. Debutantes revel in making their splash in society, only finally coming to realize the emptiness at its heart. Some of the heirs of good and not-to-good men struggle with their identities and future roles in life; others plunge into their assigned roles at once and in full. Money and position do not necessarily lead to happiness or contentment; some of the perpetually financially under water are among the most jolly, hearty and loyal. The role of religion is important; but some of the religious are humbugs. Battleaxes dominate some households, beating the weakened into submission by temper and anger; cruel husbands in loveless marriages abuse their wives emotionally and physically, and abandon their heirs. Some families are bound by respect and love, others torn apart by fear, mistrust, and greed. Some lovers find one another young, and are happy together; other lovers are separated for a half century by decisions made for practical, financial reasons.
Does the trade make the man? What is character about? Is marriage about love? Or about building alliances between families (and nations) for the betterment of each? Can it be both? What is one's duty to one's family and one's elders? And on and on.
The Newcomes is not as biting or satirical as was Vanity Fair, these days the only Thackeray occasionally read. But the author's gentle (but persistent) criticism of Victorian society is there throughout: its pretensions, its hypocricies, its worldliness. It's not all negative: there is a great deal of culture, of learning, of genuine friendship, and industry and opportunity. Most people are forces, in general, for good. Thackeray can make his various points, raise his innumerable questions, without becoming sarcastic or grating...and all the while, inviting us to spend quite a number of hours with a cast of deeply human characters in a sweeping story that is well worth the investment of time it requires.