Friday, 30 October, 2009

Mary Anne

Just finished Daphne Du Maurier's novel 'Mary Anne'. Like all Du Maurier's novels, this one is also very well written, not a single boring paragraph, very witty and fast paced. I must say that I am impressed with Mary Anne and her history. She fought her one time lover the Duke of York and Albany in court which ultimately led to the Duke's resignation as the Commander-in-Chief of the British army. She did not stop at that but continued to wreck havoc in the British political circle with allegations of corruption against both the whigs and the torries. She even wrote a bestselling novel called The Rival Princes.

In today's mostly emancipated world, we women find the struggle so difficult. Imagine a woman, that too an ex mistress and someone labled as loose in 1807/8 fighting like a tigress with royalty and state. I am not supporting her corrupt practices, but at the same time I cannot, but be impressed by her audacity, wit and courage. The men around her-- her stepfather, her husband and her brother all were pretty ineffectual and looked upto her for idea, inspiration and money of course. She was the sole bread earner for her entire family from a very young age and I must say her surivival strategies were bold and smart. Salute to this bold, yet notorious woman who was condemed by men and their history. If you enjoy historical novels and have a penchant for notorious women, this book is a must read.

To add something completely unrelated, if you are a patriotic Bong like me, Mary Anne would bring Anjan Datta nostalgia in doses. So much so that you would ruffle through old music files to play Datta's song "Mary, Mary Anne, Marie....".

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