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The thirteen magnificent novels that comprise Pilgrimage are the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson The thirteen magnificent novels that comprise Pilgrimage are the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity.


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The thirteen magnificent novels that comprise Pilgrimage are the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson The thirteen magnificent novels that comprise Pilgrimage are the first expression in English of what it is to be called 'stream of conciousness' technique, predating the work of both Joyce and Woolf, echoing that of Proust with whom Dorothy Richardson stands as one of the great innovatory figures of our time. These four volumes record in detail the life of Miriam Henderson. Through her experience - personal, spiritual, intellectual - Dorothy Richardson explores intensely what it means to be a woman, presenting feminine conciousness with a new voice, a new identity.

30 review for Pointed Roofs, Backwater, Honeycomb

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    A work of genius from an unjustly buried and shamefully neglected modernist. Fans of Woolf or Proust will love it, and should get hold of a copy as soon as they can. Her writing is unique, and the extraordinary window it provides into the development, the growth, of a young proto-feminist mind is simply unparalleled. The drama and the "plot" here is that of growing slowly older, experiencing the world - whilst there are some "dramatic" events, one should not read this text expecting fireworks (t A work of genius from an unjustly buried and shamefully neglected modernist. Fans of Woolf or Proust will love it, and should get hold of a copy as soon as they can. Her writing is unique, and the extraordinary window it provides into the development, the growth, of a young proto-feminist mind is simply unparalleled. The drama and the "plot" here is that of growing slowly older, experiencing the world - whilst there are some "dramatic" events, one should not read this text expecting fireworks (though there are some real fireworks - which Miriam hates because they are too damn noisy) A group collating resources about her and her work, and providing a place for discussion, can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/... From Honeycomb "She knew at once that she did not want to read the book through; that it was what people called a tragedy, that the author had deliberately made it a tragedy; something black and twisted and painful, painful came to her out of every page; but seriously to read it right through and be excited about the tragic story seemed silly and pitiful. The thought of Mrs. Corrie and Joey doing this annoyed her and impatiently she wanted to tell them that there was nothing in it, nothing in the things the author wanted to make them believe; that was fraud, humbug. .. they missed everything. They could not see through it, they read through to the happy ending or the sad ending and took it all seriously. She struggled in thought to discover why it was she felt that these people did not read books and that she herself did. She felt that she could look at the end, and read here and there a little and know; know something, something they did not know. People thought it was silly, almost wrong to look at the end of a book. But if it spoilt a book, there was something wrong about the book. If it was finished and the interest gone when you know who married who, what was the good of reading at all? It was a sort of trick, a sell. Like a puzzle that was no more fun when you had found it out. There was something more in books than that. . even Rosa Nouchette Carey and Mrs. Hungerford, something that came to you out of the book, any bit of it, a page, even a sentence - and the "stronger" the author was the more came. That was why Ouida put those others in the shade, not, not, not because her books were improper. It was her, herself somehow. Then you read books to find the author! That was it. That was the difference. . that was how one was different from most people.. . Dear Eve; I have just discovered that I don't read books for the story, but as a psychological study of the author. . she must write that to Eve at once; to-morrow. It was rather awful and strange. It meant never being able to agree with people about books, never liking them for the same reasons as other people…But it was true and exciting. It meant…things coming to you out of books, people, not the people in the books, but knowing, absolutely, everything about the author. She clung to the volume in her hand with a sense of wealth. Its very binding, the feeling of it, the sight of the slender serried edges of the closed leaves came to her as having a sacredness. . and the world was full of books. .. It did not matter that people went about talking about nice books, interesting books, sad books, " stories " - they would never be that to her. They were people. More real than actual people. They came nearer. In life everything was so scrappy and mixed up. In a book the author was there in every word. Why did this strange book come so near, nearer than any others, so that you felt the writing, felt the sentences as if you were writing them yourself? He was a sad pained man, all wrong; bothered and tragic about things, believing in sad black horror. Then why did he come so near? Perhaps because life was sad. Perhaps life was really sad. No; it was somehow the writing, the clearness. That was the thing. He himself must be all right, if he was so clear. Then it was dangerous, dangerous to people like Mrs. Corrie and Joey who would attend only to what he said, and not to him…sadness or gladness, saying things were sad or glad did not matter; there was something behind all the time, something inside people. That was why it was impossible to pretend to sympathise with people. You don't have to sympathise with authors; you just get at them, neither happy nor sad; like talking, more than talking. Then that was why the people who wrote moral stories were so awful. They were standing behind the pages preaching at you with smarmy voices…Bunyan?...No…He preached to himself too…crying out his sins…He did not get between you and himself and point at a moral. An author must show himself. Anyhow, he can't help showing himself. A moral writer only sees the mote in his brother's eye. And you see him seeing it. "

  2. 5 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    Although this is volume 1 in the Virago edition, it actually comprises the first three novels (novellas?) in Richardson's Pilgrimage series. I'm pausing at the end of the first novella and so will add to this review as I finish the other two. Pointed Roofs In this first book, Miriam takes her first post as a governess in a school in Germany. There are definite shades of Villette both in the situation and in Miriam's personality which has some of the uncompromising aspects of Lucy Snowe, though Mir Although this is volume 1 in the Virago edition, it actually comprises the first three novels (novellas?) in Richardson's Pilgrimage series. I'm pausing at the end of the first novella and so will add to this review as I finish the other two. Pointed Roofs In this first book, Miriam takes her first post as a governess in a school in Germany. There are definite shades of Villette both in the situation and in Miriam's personality which has some of the uncompromising aspects of Lucy Snowe, though Miriam feels like a subjectivity in the process of being formed. I'm somewhat confused at seeing this described as stream of consciousness - it's not (though perhaps the later volumes are). It is, though, very interior with everything filtered through Miriam's experience. In this early book we see her slight awkwardness, her refusal to act like a 'nice' girl as prescribed by society, and her questioning of other cultural norms. Little happens but Miriam's striking independence of thought and action makes this an intriguing journey to watch. Backwater and Honeycomb Disappointingly, I found these novels more interesting than enjoyable: they're striking for the independence of their young protagonist, Miriam, who, despite her solid middle-class upbringing and family, takes herself off to work in Germany, then back in England as a governess, when she is just 18. We experience her impressions of the settings she finds herself in, the people and students amongst whom she lives, the young men she meets and the changes in her family home. Oddly, though, Miriam rarely seems to engage emotionally and while the technical articulation of her stream of experiences (not yet really stream of consciousness) may push the development of the novel forward, I too often found myself a slightly bored bystander to the book rather than experiencing it via Miriam's perceptions. She's an interesting mix of quiet questioning: she doesn't subscribe to conventional religious feeling, she's rather nicely scathing about men's privileged positions, she's socially awkward and insecure, thinking, for example, that her pupils don't like her and then being stunned as they sob at her leaving. She wants something that isn't just marriage or a filler, amateur, governess job but she doesn't yet know what that is. There's a marked step-up in writing technique at the end of Honeycomb which moves closer to stream of consciousness, focusing on Miriam's feelings rather than the event, which we have to intuit, which causes them. Which is slightly frustrating as I was ready to pause on the Pilgrimage sequence but now wonder if I should push on... Based on this volume alone, it's clear why Woolf was both intrigued by Richardson's work and yet also found Pointed Roofs (I don't know about the other books) an interesting failure. Their innovation stems from their minute detailing of a female consciousness taking its first steps into a wider world and thinking deliberately about how to use language to capture and articulate that experience. In that sense, we can place Richardson in a female writing tradition somewhere between Charlotte Bronte (I'm thinking especially of Villette) and Woolf herself. But that very relationship also foregrounds Richardson's inadequacies: the subjective self she is creating is, for me frustratingly boring, something which Woolf never is. 3 stars for pushing forward the development of the novel away from Victorian stylistics and towards literary modernism... but I'm unsure whether I'll push on with Miriam's journey.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I can't believe I deserted this the first time I attempted it. I can't believe it sat on my shelf for so long when it has everything I love: reverie, poignant simplicity, rustling leaves and hearthside warmth. This is a book like moonlight. From now on, I only want to read books just like this one. *nods* I did have some trouble with all the untranslated French and German. But, again, that's really more a criticism of me... I can't believe I deserted this the first time I attempted it. I can't believe it sat on my shelf for so long when it has everything I love: reverie, poignant simplicity, rustling leaves and hearthside warmth. This is a book like moonlight. From now on, I only want to read books just like this one. *nods* I did have some trouble with all the untranslated French and German. But, again, that's really more a criticism of me...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Juliana

    My review: https://theblankgarden.com/2018/12/05... My review: https://theblankgarden.com/2018/12/05...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Morton

    (I had taken some notes while reading this first volume, and layered in some retroactive thoughts while reading the second. I had planned on reading and reviewing all volumes together, but 2000 pages is a lot, especially when I was out of town bar hopping a lot. I'll need to come back to the series later. I doubt I'll re-read this first volume though, so I'm going to post what I've got here, even though it's incomplete) Miriam left the gaslit hall and went slowly upstairs. The March twilight lay (I had taken some notes while reading this first volume, and layered in some retroactive thoughts while reading the second. I had planned on reading and reviewing all volumes together, but 2000 pages is a lot, especially when I was out of town bar hopping a lot. I'll need to come back to the series later. I doubt I'll re-read this first volume though, so I'm going to post what I've got here, even though it's incomplete) Miriam left the gaslit hall and went slowly upstairs. The March twilight lay upon the landings, but the staircase was almost dark. The top landing was quite dark and silent. There was no one about. It would be quiet in her room. She could sit by the fire and be quiet and think things over until Eve and Harriett came back with the parcels. She would have time to think about the journey and decide what she was going to say to the Fräulein. That's the paragraph that opens the entire Pilgrimage cycle. I point it out up front, as it - possibly unintentionally (it's difficult to ascribe intent to a series of books that would span decades) - hits some major themes of the novel (Richardson considered Pilgrimage to be one novel, and the thirteen books which compose it to be merely chapters). There are three points of repetition in this opening paragraph: darkness, silence/quiet; and internal thought. For a novel cycle that would focus so heavily on the internal monologue, on the singular focus of only one psyche, these opening repetitions would frame the focus of the following novel. Again, this could be intentional, or it could just be a byproduct of the internality of the single point of view as presented throughout the novels. These opening three books serve as a sort of prologue for Pilgrimage - they are more simplistic and orderly than the books about her move to London. This is not to take away from the novels here - they are all excellent in their own right, but these first three novels, with their focuses on the three governess jobs with which Miriam was employed all serve as lead up to her move to London (in book 4) and the independence that it offered. Much as her opportunities and horizons opened with that move, the narration and open streams of thought expand greatly after these books. Even that said, Miriam is a singular character, with a district, focused, point of view; from the first novel she brings a distinctly feminist viewpoint to the education of young women - especially when education is primarily focused less on the acquisition of knowledge and more on the making of a wife - as well as an atheistic viewpoint of religious practices in late 19th century Germany and England. An exceptional beginning to a (so far) rewarding "novel". Miriam seemed to gaze long at a pallid, rounded man with smiling eyes. She saw a garden and fields, a firelit interior, a little woman smiling and busy and agreeable moving quickly about .... and Pastor Lahmann--presiding. It filled her with fury to be regarded as one of a world of little tame things to be summoned by little man to be well-willed wives. She must make him see that she did not even recognize such a thing as ‘ a well-willed wife.’

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey

    4.5/5 That was feminine worldliness, pretending to be interested so that pleasant things might go on. Masculine worldliness was refusing to be interested so that it might go on doing things. Feminine worldliness then meant perpetual hard work and cheating and pretence at the door of a hidden garden, a lovely hidden garden. Masculine worldliness meant never really being there; always talking about things that had happened or making plans for things that might happen. There was nothing that coul 4.5/5 That was feminine worldliness, pretending to be interested so that pleasant things might go on. Masculine worldliness was refusing to be interested so that it might go on doing things. Feminine worldliness then meant perpetual hard work and cheating and pretence at the door of a hidden garden, a lovely hidden garden. Masculine worldliness meant never really being there; always talking about things that had happened or making plans for things that might happen. There was nothing that could happen that was not in some way the same as anything else. Nobody was ever quite there, realizing. This work is the first of four to thirteen volumes, depending on your edition, encompassing a total of more than 2000 pages detailing a bookish, largely reserved English white girl/woman doing bookish, largely reserved English white girl/woman things in a manner of writing that, a century later, doesn't seem all that impressive to folks who complacently take their literature history as dictated by the Powers That Be for granted. This means that, for all its purported difficulties and (rightful) place in (Anglo) writing history, a reader's appreciation of it boils down as much to their personal engagement with the story as it does to their appreciation of the more dry cut mores of of prose, characterization, vernacular, narrative structure, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's true that, if Austen came out with free indirect discourse, Richardson came out with stream of consciousness around a century later, but that latter writer lacks the sacrosanct buffer composed of both actual readers and those who are satisfied that they have the one (1) woman writer they can include and thus escape that niggling feeling of personal shame for the most part. As a result, in this corner of the reading landscape, we get certain kinds of folks: believers that Dickens and Shakespeare is all one needs of the world, drawn by the promise of 1001 BBYD and other hoity toity lists of esteemed clout, and ultimately disappointed when it's not war, or politics, or difficult reading for difficult readings sake. Now, I personally didn't truly start getting into this until the first section/chapter/something was there and gone with its German (a rare occasion when my learned language of choice was the one going untranslated), and there are a portion of pages where the n-word is dropped in some of the most jarring ways imaginable that you understand why there were 'dear looking grannies' among the rioters at the US White House a few weeks back. Still, there is something there that is continually building upon itself in riotously glorious ways at times, and I can't remember the last book where I was able to sit back and just enjoy the borderline hedonism of a spring-field day, a lovely turn of dress, an interior decoration or a spot of human connection with another human soul. I may have started this work as much for reading cred, but now I'm hellbent on finishing it for the sake of seeing its potentials fulfilled. Perhaps that self, leaving others to do the practical things, erecting a little wall of unapproachability between herself and her family that she might be free to dream alone in corners, had always been wrong. But it was herself, the nearest most intimate self she had known. And the discovery that it was not dead [...] brought her warm moments of reassurance. It was not perhaps a 'good' self, but it was herself, her own familiar secretly happy and rejoicing self—not dead. The complete set of 'Pilgrimage' in my possession is most likely the cheapest and ill put together edition on the market. Supplemental material is limited to less than twenty pages of introduction + foreword at the beginning, there's nary a footnote or endnote in sight, and the very last page contains an advertisement for a collection of self-help books on such vaunted topics as better vocabulary, better writing, and speed reading. If it were in translation, I would probably never bother with it, as my penchant for not worrying about fluency and original language and all that (if you have a problem with that, come talk to me once you've achieved mastery over the 120+ languages logged thus far in my library) doesn't mean I disregard adequate preparation. As it stands, I more than likely still missed bevies upon bevies of references suited to late 19th chunks of England and to a lesser extent Germany as viewed through the eyes of seventeen going on twenty(? time is a mystery in this work) Anglo white woman taking on the role of teacher/governess with no romanticism plot waiting in the wings to sweep her away. So, what do you get instead? Mediations on music and religion, increasingly burgeoning awareness of gender roles and the associated patriarchy, delights in the everyday when the light is clear and the colors shine through, moroseness when one is no more than a cog in the machine that is the lot of those whose assured place in high society has been irretrievably lost, bookishness, flirtations, pedagogy, deep seated anxiety, siblings, mother, father, and an insight into the singular facades that people present to each other to gain marriage, to gain power, to gain money, fame, and the kind of independence that Miriam, the main character, still cannot imagine outside of the constraints of being tied to some uninterested, unfeeling, unmitigated force of casual cruelty that will be totally responsible for one's finances and, thus, has a high chance of being totally responsible for one's doom. A certain joy in certain kind of aesthetics that is still classed as 'feminine' that certain folks see a single word of and throw up their hands in 'boredom.' Nothing new in this section of the world in the long run, then, especially if one's read anything of the Brontës and co. of 'Silly novels by Lady Novelists' of a particularly English repute, and yet...there's a great deal to relate to that is written in a prose that flows soft or hard when it needs to, as well as a certain hard won joy that strikes the narrative every so often, as well as certain conclusions drawn in a manner that one recognizes from having done the same in the process of building up the bedrock of their raison d'être. It won't be that way for all, and since this is no white boy work that inspires self-incrimination Catholic doublethink guilt in many a soul who tells itself it likes something because it's 'universal', readers of it will be more honest about such. Whether they're equally honest about everything else they take upon themselves cause whatever peer reading group does the same is the question. Their husbands grew to hate them because they had no thoughts. But if a woman had thoughts a man would not be 'silly' about her for five years. There was some awful meaning in the way English people missed the right sound; all the names in India, all the Eastern words. How could an English traveller hear hahreem, and speak it hairum, Aswan and say Ass-ou-ann? It made them miss other things and think wrongly about them. All in all, while this isn't an absolute favorite of mine, the writing melds so well with my brain in terms of prose, themes, and overall holisms that I'm more than willing to stick with it till the very end. It's not a work that I would recommend to anyone who hasn't already previously cut their teeth on reads running into the thousands of pages, or anyone who isn't likely to find themselves committing to a read such as Beauvoir's four volume autobiography, each tome of substantial weight in terms of both physical heft and ideological content. What certain folks who are likely to find themselves in this area of literature forget is that reading is a practice in and of itself, so to take something on that is past the 2000+ page mark and then blame it for its long term goals is petty at best and dishonest otherwise. Yeah, this work isn't concerned with a lot of the exciting stuff that readers are trained to appreciate one way or another, and if you're looking for a self-adulating treasure hunt that many a white boy of mo/pomo and co. have hurled across the pages (with various degrees of actual writing skill and serious literary intent), the most interesting thing to you will be the namedrop of 'The Anatomy of Melancholy'. However, if you're five to ten novels into the bibliography of Woolf and are wondering why the most popular quote on this site from this supposed 'novel of the female revolution' concerns a namedrop of some particular longwinded work by some long dead white dude, you're probably in the right place. It's not perfect, even in the politically correct sense of the word, but the burgeoning critical awareness that is as fully capable of being appreciative as it is deriding is a breath of fresh air for one such as me, and the fact that its 'stream of consciousness' (Richardson thought that term highly inadequate) really hits its stride at times makes me eager to discover how much more fully it develops when the author brings the main character to fuller fruition in terms of her grasp on both life and her self. Two millennia and counting worth of pages may seem a bit much to get just that, but I'll take that over the tens, even hundreds, of thousands of pages comprising the same old adulated 'classics' that many a critic uncritically swallows down and thinks themselves superhuman for it any day. What's the use of feeling like that if it doesn't stay? It doesn't change anything. Next time I'll make it stay. It might whisk me right away. There's something in me that can't be touched or altered. Me. If it comes again. If it's stronger every time...Perhaps it goes on getting stronger till you die. P.S. This edition has a few blurbs written in the front that are so off the mark that I doubt they went more than ten or twenty pages in at any given section. Guess that's what happens when marketers are looking for love and war while Richardson just wants to figure out how to fulfillingly live with herself to the full extent of her capabilities. In any case, I'll be returning to this in the form of the second volume at the beginning of the next month: one must take their time with works such as these if one expects to get anything out of it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Edward Butler

    Giving all these books five stars is a bit of an eccentricity, perhaps; few if any would regard all of them as being anything remotely like perfectly realized. The author herself probably would have conceded that the first novel has executed its intention more successfully than any of its successors. But Richardson is unfairly neglected, and reading her was one of the most enjoyable literary experiences I have had, so for that I am giving them all fives.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deanne

    Finished Pointed Roofs, which details Miriam's time in a german school. The attitude of the staff and the various groups of students is interesting, though at times things seemed to be hinted at, ie Mademoiselle and the letters. Backwater, Miriam now teaches in a school in London, but you get the idea that she sees herself as above the other teachers and pupils socially. Part of her dreads returning there, the other part looks forward to seeing the girls and teachers. Honeycomb, moves on Miriam's Finished Pointed Roofs, which details Miriam's time in a german school. The attitude of the staff and the various groups of students is interesting, though at times things seemed to be hinted at, ie Mademoiselle and the letters. Backwater, Miriam now teaches in a school in London, but you get the idea that she sees herself as above the other teachers and pupils socially. Part of her dreads returning there, the other part looks forward to seeing the girls and teachers. Honeycomb, moves on Miriam's life to a new situation as a governess, though her position within the house seems to hint that she's caught between the upstairs and downstairs. Miriam also keeps the reader informed as to her family position and the effect this has on her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina Dongowski

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Pilgrimage 1 contains three “chapters” as Richardson called the separate volumes of her epic multi-volume novel Pilgrimage: Pointed Roofs, Backwater & Honeycomb. It tracks, at times minutely, the thoughts, sensations, ideas, feelings that pass through the mind of Miriam Henderson or rather is a protocol / portrait of her consciousness and its development over three years, starting with 17-year Miriam leaving her family in England to work a an English teacher in a girl school in Hannover. Richard Pilgrimage 1 contains three “chapters” as Richardson called the separate volumes of her epic multi-volume novel Pilgrimage: Pointed Roofs, Backwater & Honeycomb. It tracks, at times minutely, the thoughts, sensations, ideas, feelings that pass through the mind of Miriam Henderson or rather is a protocol / portrait of her consciousness and its development over three years, starting with 17-year Miriam leaving her family in England to work a an English teacher in a girl school in Hannover. Richardson tracks how Miriam is working her way out of the constraints of her family (always living in fear that their financial difficulties ruin their ‘respectability’) And larger societal constraints regarding women of her class and women in general. Highly lyrical passages reflecting her perception of natural and musical phenomena and art alternate with often very caustic or aggressive musings about societal norms, class and especially gender issues - and her interactions with her sisters, friends, pupils, parents (especially her mother), her employers, servants etc. Being enclosed in the mind of a very intelligent and perceptive girl / young woman of around 1900 is not always an entertaining experience, at least for me, and you have to get used to it, but Richardson’s mastery of voice and coherent point of experience (so to speak) is absolutely marvellous - this really is the mother of all modernist stream of consciousness novels, even of the idea of trying to recreate this stream as a narrative form and a style of writing. Richardson should be up there with Woolf and Joyce in the modern canon. (If your History of Modern Literature Text books doesn’t contain Pilgrimage it’s crap, pure & simple.) The last 10 pages of Honeycomb tracking Miriam’s experience of her mother’s decent into madness and suicide are one of the marvels of modern prose - and very, very touching .

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Freeman

    Pointed Roofs is the first entry of Richardson's multi-volume work, Pilgrimage, and the only one available for download to my Kindle. Called, "...a prime example of modernism at its finest and most maddening," Painted Roofs reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where NBC offers Jerry a show and the idea that George comes up with is a show about "nothing." That's what Painted Roofs is about--nothing. What we get is a peek into the consciousness of Miriam Henderson, her thoughts and musings. Richardso Pointed Roofs is the first entry of Richardson's multi-volume work, Pilgrimage, and the only one available for download to my Kindle. Called, "...a prime example of modernism at its finest and most maddening," Painted Roofs reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where NBC offers Jerry a show and the idea that George comes up with is a show about "nothing." That's what Painted Roofs is about--nothing. What we get is a peek into the consciousness of Miriam Henderson, her thoughts and musings. Richardson is thought of as being the originator of the "stream of consciousness" technique in fiction writing. Painted Roofs is also groundbreaking in that the mind of a young, working class governess could be the subject of a novel. I had a hard time with this book, keeping track of all the other girls, following Miriam's thoughts. But I kept plugging along because this book is supposed to have launched the modernist movement.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steven Felicelli

    among the many lost women in literary history I've been discovering lately - I do not count D.R. this book is tedious, time-wasting junk (to/for me) among the many lost women in literary history I've been discovering lately - I do not count D.R. this book is tedious, time-wasting junk (to/for me)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dree

    This volume contains the first 3 novels of Richardson's Pilgrimage series of 13. This series is considered the first of stream-of consciousness novels, but it is nothing like Virginia Woolf. It is much more readable. It is also semi-autobiographical, which explains how well Richardson can describe the inner thoughts, feelings, and worries of Miriam. Pointed Roofs: 4 stars. Miriam, about age 17, learns of her father's financial difficulties and decides to help. She takes a job as a governess in Ge This volume contains the first 3 novels of Richardson's Pilgrimage series of 13. This series is considered the first of stream-of consciousness novels, but it is nothing like Virginia Woolf. It is much more readable. It is also semi-autobiographical, which explains how well Richardson can describe the inner thoughts, feelings, and worries of Miriam. Pointed Roofs: 4 stars. Miriam, about age 17, learns of her father's financial difficulties and decides to help. She takes a job as a governess in Germany. Much of the novel consists of her internal thoughts and doubts, and happiness when she is happy. She is somewhat homesick and constantly questions her German and French skills. She really just wants to play piano. Richardson does a very good job of showing the anxiety and doubts of a young woman raised upper middle class but now working. Backwater: 3 stars. Miriam has left Germany and is now at a semi-boarding school in north London. She is much less happy here, though just as in doubt of her abilities. She finds, upon leaving, that her students love her. She really misses the school in Germany. Meanwhile, two of her sisters are engaged and the whole dating scene (such as it is among the upper middle class) stresses her out. She desperately wants to be married herself, but is also terrified of being married. She is about age 18-19, being there for 15-18 months. Honeycomb: 3 stars. Miriam has left the north London school and has found a position as governess to 2 children in an upper class household. One of her future brothers-in-law has helped her find this place. She loves the house, but goes back and forth over how much she likes the family and their friends. She realizes she is more a glorified babysitter than a teacher, as children of this class don't really need to know anything, or so she thinks. Meanwhile her sisters are getting married, she has some prospects but again, is also terrified of them. She is a bit of a rebel, and has begun smoking and visits one of her prospects at his bachelor apartment. Her mother is also sick, and the book ends with her caring for her mother at the seaside.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jarvie

    Volume One of Pilgrimage is actually three stand-alone novels: Pointed Roofs, Backwater, and Honeycomb. Richardson’s use of interior monologue is groundbreaking, although it would take a much greater writer – James Joyce – to bring this technique to its full apogee of perfection. Stylistically, you regularly come across fussy descriptions like the following: “The wooden mantelpiece was draped at the sides like the high french windows with soft straight hanging green silk curtains.” The heroine, M Volume One of Pilgrimage is actually three stand-alone novels: Pointed Roofs, Backwater, and Honeycomb. Richardson’s use of interior monologue is groundbreaking, although it would take a much greater writer – James Joyce – to bring this technique to its full apogee of perfection. Stylistically, you regularly come across fussy descriptions like the following: “The wooden mantelpiece was draped at the sides like the high french windows with soft straight hanging green silk curtains.” The heroine, Miriam Henderson, is the teenage daughter of a financially embarrassed middle class family. Her mother is ill (no NHS in those days to provide a safety net) and is prescribed bromide by her doctor together with beef tea; her father, meanwhile, is on the verge of bankruptcy. Miriam is by turns a teacher (in Germany and England) and a governess for a rich family. The head of the household in her last post is a QC. As I read these three novels a line from the Pink Floyd song “Time” kept running through my mind: “hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way.” Although we are at the very end of the Victorian era, this is still a world of hansom cabs, broughams, and dark furniture. It’s a period when girls are liable to be reprimanded for not wearing a hat outdoors. However, despite the crushing weight of conformity, there’s an oblique reference to the Oscar Wilde court case in the third volume (Honeycomb) and I should point out that the “N” word is used quite often in that same volume.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Book Wormy

    First 3 volumes of the Pilgrimage saga The reader is introduced to our narrator Miriam a women who seems to have a thing against women. An educated and intelligent woman making her way it what is still a man's world. The action moves from England to Germany and back again as Miriam gains work as a teacher and then a governess. I don't care for Miriam and am not particularly interested in her observations about other people which is gong to make the remaining 10 volumes a drag. First 3 volumes of the Pilgrimage saga The reader is introduced to our narrator Miriam a women who seems to have a thing against women. An educated and intelligent woman making her way it what is still a man's world. The action moves from England to Germany and back again as Miriam gains work as a teacher and then a governess. I don't care for Miriam and am not particularly interested in her observations about other people which is gong to make the remaining 10 volumes a drag.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josefine

    En modernistisk klassiker som tyvärr ofta hamnat i skymundan (pga kvinnlig författare). Precis som många andra radikala och nytänkande litterära verk från den här tiden är den relativt svårläst. Även om den temporala aspekten och den (icke-existerande) handlingen kan kännas övermäktiga ibland, så är karaktären Miriam väl värd allt jobb. Sättet Richardson skriver ur Miriams perspektiv skapar en av de mest realistiska karaktärer jag stött på.

  16. 4 out of 5

    1001shelf

    Based on 3 reviews, the group rating is 3.66. Kristel Book Pip

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pip

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the first three volumes, or chapters, as Richardson herself called them, of this saga of an independent woman. Her observations and innermost thoughts are conveyed with uncanny detail and the reader is placed right in the milieu so it is easy to picture the young governess in Hannover, the tutor in barren North London and the au pair/teacher in a wealthy home in precise word pictures. Pointed Roofs I started listening to this on Libravox, way back when it was first announc I have thoroughly enjoyed the first three volumes, or chapters, as Richardson herself called them, of this saga of an independent woman. Her observations and innermost thoughts are conveyed with uncanny detail and the reader is placed right in the milieu so it is easy to picture the young governess in Hannover, the tutor in barren North London and the au pair/teacher in a wealthy home in precise word pictures. Pointed Roofs I started listening to this on Libravox, way back when it was first announced last year, then wondered if I were breaking the rules and put it aside until I had the hard copy. The similarities between Dorothy and Miriam start with her being the third of four sisters, having a bankrupt father, having had an exceptionally good education for the time and the circumstances, both influenced by John Ruskin. They both taught at a finishing school in Hanover when they were still very young. Both were independent for their time. I absolutely loved this story. I identified with the young Miriam so much: the impatience with the silliness of other girls; the self doubt; the horror of chapel or Roman Catholicism; the incident with the collecting of dishes at the table; the horror of contemplating the future as a housewife and the realisation that most men were patronising. I also really enjoyed the details of what life would have been like in 1891 - the restrictive clothing, the compulsory gloves and hats, the restrictions on talking to or even about young men and the comparisons between England and Germany. I am familiar with modern Hanover, so it was delicious to imagine what it would have been like then. I thought that Richardson captured the female inner dialogue beautifully, in particular the dichotomy between being interested in appearances and despising their frivolity. From making this the last challenge of each month, I am sure I am going to make it the first! Backwater I can see why Miriam is hard to like. I think that most people would be difficult to befriend if we really knew what was going on in their heads. I love the way that Richardson points out small details, particularly in appearances and movements. "Flora's hands were small and pale and serenely despairing like her face". Or "In the cab Julia's face shone chalky white, and Miriam found that her eyes looked like Weymouth Bay - the sea in general, on days when clouds keep sweeping across the sun". This continues in a long paragraph which conjures up a vivid picture of what Julia was like. Miriam compares North London unfavourably to Hanover (who wouldn't?) and really is not very sympathetic to her charges, so much so that she is surprised at the grief when she leaves. She develops a lot while here: she starts reading independently, finding enlightenment in the newspaper, although she only read it once! and in romance novels. She smokes her first cigarette and dallies with a young man although she has no feelings for him. Two of her sisters become engaged to be married, including her younger sister who has not been mentioned except in passing until this point. I still identify with Miriam. She does things like leave her companions abruptly to walk on her own, which I have been guilty of doing more than once. She does not try to ingratiate herself with others, particularly authority figures like the sisters who run the private school. She criticises sermons, doubts whether God exists and realises that the teaching she is doing is mostly irrelevant. And she is still only about nineteen! Honeycomb I continue to enjoy Richardson immensely. I love her description of interior decor and flowers in particular, but also her musings about how dreadfully shallow and self-obsessed men are and how frivolous and unhappy women live their lives and her appreciation of the luxuries of the Corrie's household while wondering why the education of the children seems less important than in Banbury Park. The last quarter when she is with her family is first poignant then excruciating. I can't wait to start The Tunnel.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Geraldine

    I liked this but it had a very experimental feel to it. Usually classified as a "stream-of-consciousness" novel, although some of it based on the author's own experiences. The characterisation was patchy but I think the main problem was the protagonist's extreme youth, therefore in terms of what was going on in her mind there was very little to draw upon (18 years or thereabouts of living happily at home). But it is interesting. I liked this but it had a very experimental feel to it. Usually classified as a "stream-of-consciousness" novel, although some of it based on the author's own experiences. The characterisation was patchy but I think the main problem was the protagonist's extreme youth, therefore in terms of what was going on in her mind there was very little to draw upon (18 years or thereabouts of living happily at home). But it is interesting.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gary Lee

    Giving this one a shot -- though, taking it a bit slower than some of the other multi-novel, multi-volume works. Book 1: 'Pointed Roofs' 3/5 A nice start to the series. A few rough patches here and there -- even though the novel is important for being the first "stream-of-consciousness" work in English, I thought the more straight-forward parts worked much better -- but overall, it was an engaging read. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Giving this one a shot -- though, taking it a bit slower than some of the other multi-novel, multi-volume works. Book 1: 'Pointed Roofs' 3/5 A nice start to the series. A few rough patches here and there -- even though the novel is important for being the first "stream-of-consciousness" work in English, I thought the more straight-forward parts worked much better -- but overall, it was an engaging read. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  20. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I loved the first section of this stream-of-consciousness novel, where the heroine is in Germany, but then started to get bored in the later sections where she is back in England and found it hard to follow. Although I can see that Dorothy Richardson is a great writer and I loved many passages, I found myself wanting more of a story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    The first of Richardson's novels in the extensive Pilgrimage sequence. The first book whose style was termed "stream-of-consciousness" I found this an awful slog. The sense of interior life is there, but it doesn't read as a compelling life. I might continue with Backwater, volume 2 to give Richardson a fair chance.... The first of Richardson's novels in the extensive Pilgrimage sequence. The first book whose style was termed "stream-of-consciousness" I found this an awful slog. The sense of interior life is there, but it doesn't read as a compelling life. I might continue with Backwater, volume 2 to give Richardson a fair chance....

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I wanted to really like this book, but I just couldn't. It is very interesting and I thought about continuing to read more of the volumes in Painted Roofs since one of the local libraries has them on the shelf, but I think I would rather reread Virginia Woolf or D. H. Lawrence. I wanted to really like this book, but I just couldn't. It is very interesting and I thought about continuing to read more of the volumes in Painted Roofs since one of the local libraries has them on the shelf, but I think I would rather reread Virginia Woolf or D. H. Lawrence.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    There are brilliant moments, but Richardson's fanaticism about always pulling Miriam back from any strong emotion or thought, in short (perhaps) Miriam's character, make it a lot less interesting and engaging than it seems like it should be. Also, very little happens. There are brilliant moments, but Richardson's fanaticism about always pulling Miriam back from any strong emotion or thought, in short (perhaps) Miriam's character, make it a lot less interesting and engaging than it seems like it should be. Also, very little happens.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    I read Dawn's Left Hand, not the entire series. I had NO idea what was going on at all, but some of the sentences were very beautiful. I could also see some other interesting aspects of this text, but there was just no grounding of any sort. I read Dawn's Left Hand, not the entire series. I had NO idea what was going on at all, but some of the sentences were very beautiful. I could also see some other interesting aspects of this text, but there was just no grounding of any sort.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    She smokes, she reads Ouida novels, she's single, she earns her own living--she's the New Woman! Richardson is the forgotten woman writer who wrote the stream-of-consciousness novel about the proto-feminist protagonist before Woolf. She smokes, she reads Ouida novels, she's single, she earns her own living--she's the New Woman! Richardson is the forgotten woman writer who wrote the stream-of-consciousness novel about the proto-feminist protagonist before Woolf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ayeshea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nina

  28. 4 out of 5

    ROBERT STAFFORD

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack Caulfield

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alan Nash

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