Precious Bane available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Notre Dame Press
A compelling story of passion, with an enduring air of enchantment throughout, Precious Bane is a novel that haunts us with its beauty and its timeless truths about our deepest hopes. Set in Shropshire in the 1800s, it is alive with the many moods of Nature, benevolent and violent and the many moods -- equally benevolent and violent -- of the people making lives there.
Prue Sarn is an unlikely heroine, born with a facial disfiguration which the Fates have dictated will deny her love. But Prue has strength far beyond her handicap, and this woman, suspected of witchcraft by her fellow townspeople, rises above them all through an all-encompassing sweetness of spirit.
Precious Bane is also the story of Gideon, Prue's doomed brother, equally strong-willed, but with other motives. Determined to defeat the poverty of their farm, he devotes all his energies to making money. His only diversion from this ambition, he abandons her for the stronger drive of his money lust.
And finally, it is the story of Kester Woodseaves, whose steady love for all created things leads him to resist people's cruelty toward nature and each other, and whose love for Prue Saen enables him to discern her natural and rach other, and whose love for Prue Sarn enables him to discern her natural loveliness beneath her blighted appearance.
Rebecca West, a contemporary of Mary Webb, called her, simply, "a genius," and G. K. Chesterton, another contemporary, asserted: "the light in the stories . . . is a light not shining on the things but through them."
Critic Hilda Addison summed up Precious Bane: "The book opens with one of those simple sentences which haunt the mind until the curiosity has been satisfied . . . It strikes a note which never fails throughout; it opens with a beauty which is justified to the last sentence."
When the book was first published in 1926 in America, the New York Times Book Review predicted: " on some bookshelves, we feel sure, Precious Bane will find almost a hallowed place."
|Publisher:||University of Notre Dame Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Mary Webb (1881-1927), poet, mystic and lover of nature, spent most of her life in Shropshire, which features in all of her novels. Admiring contemporaries described Webb as a 'strange genius' and 'one of the best living writers'. After a life of illness and near-poverty, Mary Webb died in Hampstead.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't think there is any way for me to explain how this book has affected my life. I picked up this inconspicuous burgundy book at my library and almost put it back; I wasn't interested in reading about a girl with a hair lip. But I checked it out and went home and started reading it. All I can tell you is that I felt strongly and passionatly connected with Prue's anger, humility, and love. After I read this book, I couldn't bring myself to be as interested in another book for quite a while. Mary Webb is a wonderful and colorful author. I can't help but think about Prue and Kester Woodseaves when I think about my all time favorite book characters.
Precious Bane is one of the best books ever! It is such an emotional story of Prue and what she has to face to become happy. I absolutely love this book! I cried several times at the harshness and the happiness that Prue faced. I will recommend this book to anyone who askes me.