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Something is wrong in Danesbury House Its walls are sturdy its interior is well appointed yet the ground it is built upon is soaked in alcohol This 1860 award winning novel traces forty years of addictions insanity forgery and death hardly the typical Victorian fare Yet this is no typical novel A best seller upon its publication Danesbury House became the Valley of the Dolls for Victorian readers Its sensational subject and description of addictions made it one of the most popular temperance novels of all time


10 thoughts on “Danesbury House

  1. says:

    I’m a big fan of Mrs Wood’s “sensation” novels The best of her works are real page turners But even in those she has a tendency to moralise and preach to the reader Here that tendency becomes overpowering The plot is threadbare and the book is just a diatribe about the evils of the demon drink It’s really nothing than a religiouspolitical pamphlet masquerading as literature


  2. says:

    Danesbury House was Mrs Wood's first novel Although she had written over a hundred short stories published by different periodicals she could not convince them to commission her to write a novel So when the Scottish Temperance League offered 100 pounds to the person able to write the best temperance tale illustrative of the injurious effects of intoxicating drinks Ellen Wood wrote Danesbury House which won the competition and became a bestseller Knowing these facts and although I'm not interested in religious subjects this novel exceeded my expectations and never seemed boring to me I will certainly read other works written by Ellen Wood


  3. says:

    Got it for 20p at a jumble sale Worth a throw of the dice


  4. says:

    Nothing like the odd interlude of Victorian melodrama enfolding the reader in a soothing world of absolute truths Reaping What One Sows and unswerving moral conviction in someMrs Henry Wood takes as her theme alcoholism by page 24 the reader is very clear on that after an inebriated nurse has given baby laudanum in error after Mrs Danesbury has startled the dinner guests by announcing her children should not drink wine and ale never realised this was so prevalent in 19th century and a drunken gate keeper has precipitated a deadly accidentThe tale covers some decades and illustrates drunkenness in its many forms the wasted money imprudent activities under its influence wretched marriages harrassed relativesThree latter chapters An Evil Death Another Deathbed and One More Death leave one in no doubt of the resultsand yet it finishes on a hopeful noteVERY well written


  5. says:

    È il primo romanzo di Mrs Henry Wood ed è stato scritto su commissione di una società per la lotta contro l'alcolismo Può bastare questo a giustificare un voto di insufficienza all'autrice di East Lynne? Ma davvero il taglio moralistico talvolta predicatorio è stato eccessivo anche per una fanatica di autrici vittoriane come me Ho apprezzato soltanto le descrizioni dei sobborghi londinesi mille volte più realistiche ed efficaci di quelle di Dickens


  6. says:

    This book was a little preachy but I love Ellen Wood's writing SO easy to read and kept my interest through the whole book I immediately ordered 4 of her books to read


  7. says:

    This novel has not dated well Written with the heavy religious and moralising tone beloved of many Victorian authors it is the tale of how alcohol ruins and corrupts both individuals and their families Not an easy read and not a great story