Read The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham Free Online
Book Title: The Fashion in Shrouds|
The author of the book: Margery Allingham
Edition: Felony & Mayhem
Date of issue: November 1st 2008
ISBN 13: 9781934609279
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 369 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.4
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Somehow I've gotten onto a string of misogynistic women authors. Compared to this the last one, Christie's Blue Train, seems quite mild. At least its sexism is of a more paternal tone -- oh, you women are so silly and unable to control your feelings --rather than truly hateful. The women here are not just irrational, but also vicious, selfish, dishonest, and amoral. And this despite the fact that the male characters do all the murdering and most of the other crimes. When women commit their sordid little crimes it is at the behest of men, but that still makes them worse than men because they are stupider as well.
This book contains the most repulsive proposal I have read, to date:
Will you marry me and give up to me your independence, the enthusiasm which you give your career, your time and your thought? ...In return, mind you (I consider it an obligation), I should assume full responsibility for you. I would pay your bills to any amount which my income might afford. I would make all the decisions which were not directly your province, although on the other hand I would like to feel I might discuss everything with you if I wanted to; but only because I wanted to, mind you; not as your right. ...You would be my care, my mate... my possession... It means the other half of my life to me, but the whole of yours.
This is totally serious. It is not meant as a satire. Also, it comes right after the guy has had a very public affair with a married women, and there hasn't been a big talk or reconciliation scene or anything of that nature. But I guess poor Val has low standards. After all, earlier in the story when she was admitting how upset she was about Alan's betrayal, she was told, "This is damned silly introspective rot. What you need, my girl, is a good cry or a nice rape." And that's from her brother! The protagonist/detective/hero of the story! This is book ten in Campion's series. I really thought I had read an earlier installment and not hated it or him, but I sure did here. In fact, I found most of the characters pretty repellent. The only person I found sympathetic was Amanda, the young aircraft engineer. Well, and the kid Sinclair, but he only existed as a plot device and disappeared as soon as he had conveyed the crucial information.
Allingham's writing is decent and often clever. It's a pity her characters ruin it.
[Added after a reread 02/26/14, which was unfortunately necessitated by starting [book:Traitor's Purse|383181] and realizing that I couldn't remember what had happened with the Campion/Amanda plot arc.
I think what bothered me so much about the misogyny was both how universal it was -- every female character conforms to stereotypes of women as irrational, emotional, catty, and focused on men (except for to some degree Amanda, who is always described as "innocent," "childlike," "trusting" and also is unfeminine and a mechanic) -- and how ultimately unnecessary to the plot. Which sucks because the plot is actually reasonably strong in terms of the mystery, but I couldn't enjoy it because this nasty, insulting bile about women kept coming up over and over, even when it had nothing to do with what else was going on.]
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Read information about the authorAka Maxwell March.
Margery Louise Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family of writers. Her father, Herbert John Allingham, was editor of The Christian Globe and The New London Journal, while her mother wrote stories for women's magazines. Margery's aunt, Maud Hughes, also ran a magazine. Margery earned her first fee at the age of eight, for a story printed in her aunt's magazine.
Soon after Margery's birth, the family left London for Essex. She returned to London in 1920 to attend the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster), and met her future husband, Philip Youngman Carter. They married in 1928. He was her collaborator and designed the cover jackets for many of her books.
Margery's breakthrough came 1929 with the publication of her second novel, The Crime at Black Dudley . The novel introduced Albert Campion, although only as a minor character. After pressure from her American publishers, Margery brought Campion back for Mystery Mile and continued to use Campion as a character throughout her career.
After a battle with breast cancer, Margery died in 1966. Her husband finished her last novel, A Cargo of Eagles at her request, and published it in 1968.
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