The Sweet Dove Died

The Sweet Dove Died

Book - 1978
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Between the amorous antique dealer Humphrey and his good-looking nephew James glides the magnificent Leonora, delicate as porcelain, cool as ice. Can she keep James in her thrall? Or will he be taken from her by a lover, like Phoebe . . . or Ned, the wicked American? 'A highly distinctive and - ultimately - charitable novel' Financial Times 'Faultless' Guardian 'Her Characters are all meticulously impaled on the delicate pins of a wit that is as scrupulous as it is deadly' Observer 'A coldly funny book' Sunday Telegraph 'Highly distinctive . . . the critics who have recently insisted on Miss Pym's too long neglected gifts have not been wrong' Financial Times
Publisher: c1978.
ISBN: 9780330326490
Branch Call Number: FIC Pym


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Not one of Pym's better novels. I think she was relying on the scandal of the bisexual theme and the 'cougar' women trying to entice younger men into their lives. This might reflect a reality in Pym's society but the story feels dated and suffers from a dull revere bigotry.

jeanner222 Apr 30, 2013

Our story begins with a swoon, sort of. Leonora Eyre has fainted at a Bond Street sale room, and Humphrey and James have come to her rescue. Humphrey is a widowed antiques dealer, and James is his 24-year-old nephew. The two men befriend Leonora, and that is when the fun begins. . .

Leonora and Humphrey are similarly aged, and he would very much like to be more intimately involved with her. Leonora, however, prefers James, despite the age difference. Leonora and James strike up a close friendship, which is soon threatened by female and male admirers of James.

Fun and fascinating, I dare say this is even better than Pym’s Excellent Women. Very entertaining!

jaybarksdale Nov 17, 2012

A "romance" between an older woman and a younger man. It doesn't work. The title refers to a Keats poem

I had a dove and the sweet dove died:
And I have thought it died of grieving: O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied, With a silken thread of my own hand's weaving; Sweet little red feet! why should you die - Why should you leave me, sweet bird! why? You liv'd alone in the forest-tree, Why, pretty thing! would you not live with me? I kiss'd you oft and gave you white peas; Why not live sweetly, as in the green trees?

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