By Iris Murdoch
A strong novel of a family’s look for love amid the wreckage of failed relationships An Unofficial Rose is a narrative of a father and son, either disappointed with their lives, and either in love with somebody except their better halves. whereas the daddy, a widower, regrets by no means leaving his spouse for his mistress, the son seeks any chance to flee his uninteresting marriage. Written with Murdoch’s masterful mix of comedy and tragedy, An Unofficial Rose is a compelling tale of affection, remorse, and the complexity of human relationships.
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Additional resources for An Unofficial Rose
This emergent form of marriage did not entirely replace older ideals; we can find tensions between these ideals late into the nineteenth century and, arguably, even into our own time. Still, this new marital imperative was a far-reaching one that spread as an imperative, if not as a reality, down the social scale. The ideals of conjugality would be most identified with the middle class and with middle-class notions of domesticity; for aristocrats, on the one hand, and for working-class couples, on the other – and for vastly different reasons – economic factors would continue to play a more important role.
Reading honeymoons 23 striking was the noise and spectacle of those weddings and their status as community and public events. By the end of the eighteenth century, weddings were already much quieter, although older traditions persisted alongside newer ones. Gillis has identified a trend in the late eighteenth century toward privacy in wedding ceremonies, especially among the upper classes. He quotes Fanny Burney’s recoil from the publicity of older forms: After witnessing a ‘‘mob’’ waiting at the church door when an alderman’s daughter wed in 1770, Fanny Burney expressed horror at all forms of the big wedding: ‘‘I don’t suppose anything can be so dreadful as a public wedding – my stars!
Reading honeymoons 13 shall see in Chapter 2, with gendered negotiations of the Alpine peaks that Ruskin admits in his letter to finding even more exciting than the ‘‘old church roofs’’ where he plans to spend his honeymoon. There is no doubt that John’s fantasy of the honeymoon was explicitly connected to a specific geographical location with its ties to his personal, familial, and career histories. The actual honeymoon in Scotland became in many ways a pale echo of this fantasy, the terrain an impoverished double of Switzerland.