Mr Skeffington

Elizabeth von Arnim

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Mr Skeffington

Mr Skeffington Approaching the watershed of her fiftieth birthday Fanny having long ago divorced Mr Skeffington and dismissed him from her thoughts is surprised to find herself thinking of him While attempting to

  • Title: Mr Skeffington
  • Author: Elizabeth von Arnim
  • ISBN: 9781853816772
  • Page: 318
  • Format: Paperback
  • Approaching the watershed of her fiftieth birthday, Fanny, having long ago divorced Mr Skeffington and dismissed him from her thoughts, is surprised to find herself thinking of him While attempting to understand this unwelcome invasion, she meets, through a series of coincidences and deliberate actions, all those other men whose hearts she has broken But their lives havApproaching the watershed of her fiftieth birthday, Fanny, having long ago divorced Mr Skeffington and dismissed him from her thoughts, is surprised to find herself thinking of him While attempting to understand this unwelcome invasion, she meets, through a series of coincidences and deliberate actions, all those other men whose hearts she has broken But their lives have irrevocably changed and Fanny is no longer the exquisite beauty with whom they were one so enchanted If she is to survive, Fanny discovers, she must confront a greatly altered perception of herself With the delicate piquancy for which she is renowned, Elizabeth von Arnim reveals the complex emotions of ageing and the re evaluation of self worth.

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      Posted by:Elizabeth von Arnim
      Published :2018-04-10T22:09:38+00:00

    One thought on “Mr Skeffington

    1. Ali on said:

      Mr Skeffington was Elizabeth von Arnim’s last published novel, written when in her 70s it certainly shows a certain preoccupation with ageing – (as did her 1925 novel Love). Elizabeth von Arnim’s adorable irony is present from the first page, her voice is instantly recognisable. I quickly settled into this occasionally poignant story of Fanny Skeffington’s self-evaluation, as she approaches her fiftieth birthday. (Spoiler, a certain book blogger not a million miles away will herself be a [...]

    2. Sarah on said:

      It seems every authoress, at some point her career, has to have a go at The Beautiful, Vapid Woman. Jane Austen did it. George Eliot did it. Charlotte Bronte. Anne Bronte. Rebecca West. And so on. It's understandable, male authors idealizing youth and beauty as they do. It's only fair to present the other side. These depictions are sometimes sympathetic, sometimes scathing. Sometimes TBVW is only there to offset the more sensible and bookish protagonist. The moral is always the same.Elizabeth vo [...]

    3. Nancy on said:

      "Mr. Skeffington" was a classic movie of Bette Davis's, so I should have known better than to read the novel it was (loosely) based on. But I did, and in a way I'm glad I did. This novel should be required reading for any woman under forty who has ever uttered the words, "I am not a feminist.""Mr. Skeffington" is the polar opposite of feminism. It was written in 1939, and its portrayal of the role of women in that time period is nothing short of horrifying, thought it is intended to be charmingl [...]

    4. Allison on said:

      If you like English writers and their particular brand of clever humor and wit, Elizabeth von Arnim is just great. She also wrote Enchanted April which is one of my all time favorite novels AND movie.This book is about a 50 year old woman, Fanny, sometime in the 1920s I'm guessing, who has been blessed with money, great beauty and charm. She divorced her husband (shocking at that time) for his many dalliances and proceeded to have any number of love struck admirers and lovers over the years. But [...]

    5. Bettie☯ on said:

      Mr. Skeffington (1944) blurb - Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.Bette Davis Fanny TrellisClaude Rains Job SkeffingtonWalter Abel George TrellisGeorge Coulouris Doctor BylesRichard Waring Trippy TrellisTrippy Trellis - what a name.

    6. Sharon on said:

      I always loved the movie and was excited to find a 1940 edition of the novll through my local library. The book is so much better! I'm still pondering why Job haunted Fanny. Was it her guilt? Her fear of being alone and becoming irrelevant? Perhaps there was a deeper connection with Job that bound them together since he was her only husband? One thing that has not changed for women: we still put too much emphasis on youth and outward appearances!

    7. Núria on said:

      La protagonista de 'El señor Skeffington' de Elizabeth von Arnim (prima carnal de Katherine Mansfield) es Fanny Skeffington, que desde su divorcio, que la dejó en una posición de lo más holgada, no se ha dedicado a nada más que a coleccionar amantes. Fanny siempre había sido conocida por su extraordinaria belleza, pero el tiempo no perdona a nadie y Fanny está a punto de cumplir los cincuenta años y se está recuperando de una grave enfermedad. Fanny prácticamente no había vuelto a pen [...]

    8. Gayle Gordon on said:

      I love the movie that is based on this book, so I had to read it. It's quite different in some ways, but the book did take some scenes almost word-for-word from the book. It seems misogynistic and even racist at times, but I'm not sure if that was the author's comment on attitudes of the time, or that she was just a product of her time. Overall, I loved it. Quoting from the book, here's the whole idea in a nutshell:"What could be sillier in other people's eyes than a woman kicking up a fuss beca [...]

    9. Barbara VA on said:

      A story by a wonderful author! Fanny is going to be 50! So old to a woman known for only her charm and beauty. She has a long lost divorced husband Job, disposed of for his string of daliences with secretaries, how could he prefer them to her? But it is now 25 years later and Fanny has just come out of a devastating illness of diphtheria. Her looks are gone, her face is ravaged and her hair has fallen out. In the weeks preceding her birthday Fanny visits a variety of the men who loved her, looki [...]

    10. Judy on said:

      I decided to read this after seeing the movie of the same name, starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains. The book is very different from the film, partly because it is very English, and also because, despite its title, it focuses entirely on Mrs Skeffington, an ageing beauty looking back at her succession of lovers, and struggling to decide what to do with the rest of her life. In the film the husband is a major character too. I enjoyed it mainly because of von Arnim's beautifully readable and wit [...]

    11. Christine Sinclair on said:

      Because I LOVE The Enchanted April (the book and the movie), I decided to read Mr. Skeffington, also made into a movie (which I haven't seen yet). It is a little gem of a story, very British upper crust, precious and often quite funny, with a surprising O. Henry-esque ending. The main character is Fanny, Lady Skeffington, who is pampered, wealthy and most of all, beautiful. Just shy of fifty, her beauty, and her happiness, is fading, leaving her in doubt as to what to do with the rest of her lif [...]

    12. Linda on said:

      I loved this book! You have to remember it was written in 1940 and things were certainly different then!The feelings this woman has as she "ages" are still valid today, and this is one of the most humorousand human writes I have read.

    13. Mary on said:

      I loved this book.Funny in parts and I could certainly relate to it being of a certain age!

    14. Anne Lovett on said:

      Should be required reading for all divorced women "of a certain age" who have been through the dating game. You'll immediately sympathize with Fanny while wanting to lecture her, and wincing when you find traits in her that you recognize in yourself. But not to worry--lots of other people manage to lecture her. You simply must keep turning pages to find out how she's going to deal with the need to reinvent herself to compensate for her lost beauty.

    15. Andrea Stoeckel on said:

      Having been a recent "convert" to the Claude Rheins/Bette Davis movie of the same name, I was fascinated to find that it was based on a book by an author that had written another book that I loved: Enchanted April. Elizabeth von Arnim was a writer that observed the world she lived in in a way that fascinated the people of her time. HOWEVER, both books don't quite live up to their adaptations.In Skeffington the movie, the history and present of Lady Francis Skeffington are told through her eyes. [...]

    16. Daniela Mastropasqua on said:

      Questa è la storia di una donna, un tempo bellissima che, dopo una lunga malattia che le è quasi costata la vita, si ritrova a un passo dai suoi 50 anni, completamente privata dalla sua bellezza. Potrebbe essere una cosa superabile per la maggior parte delle donne che impegnerebbero tutti i propri pensieri al benessere dei figli, della famiglia o nel lavoro. Ma non è questo il caso di Fanny. Fanny, infatti, non ha figli, non ha famiglia, avendo divorziato circa trent'anni prima dal signor Ske [...]

    17. Laura McDonald on said:

      I gave this 4 stars because I can't bear to give a Von Arnim novel less than that. But this book was my least favorite Von Arnim that I've read thus far. The writing is excellent, plot interesting, but I just couldn't get excited about reading the next chapter. The whole time I was thinking, "Call up this Skeffington guy already!". Von Arnim draws out the action a bit too much. However the end of the novel takes an interesting twist which made it all worth the wait for me.Some reviews are saying [...]

    18. Elena T. on said:

      "Nell'approssimarsi del suo cinquantesimo compleanno Fanny, che ha da tempo divorziato da Mr Skeffington e ha vissuto molte altre storie, è sorpresa dal riaffiorare dei ricordi della sua giovinezza di donna bella e ricca di fascino. Per una serie di circostanze ella ritrova gli uomini dei quali aveva conquistato l'amore: ma tutti si sono fatti una nuova vita che non intendono rimettere in gioco. Fanny è costretta a rendersi conto del peso che ha avuto nella sua vita una bellezza ormai svanita. [...]

    19. Grace Brooks on said:

      Finished this book about two years ago, and it's one of those that got better and better the more I thought about it. I am a big fan of Elizabeth von Arnim's work, which transitioned throughout her life from an early post-Victorian lyrical phase (Elizabeth and Her German Garden) through the sad but deftly drawn post-WWI years (The Enchanted April) through this, her last work. Von Arnim had issues of her own that figured in her works, and themes like the loss of beauty with age and the changes in [...]

    20. Kersten on said:

      This is an interesting concept for a story, where a woman who was once a great beauty is getting older and has lost her beauty. She runs into all her old loves interests and has an interesting time "growing up" and getting over them, as they get over her when they see that she is no longer beautiful. For the most part I liked the story, my biggest complaint was that I felt it always took the characters so long to figure things out that the author explains to you right off, so then you are just t [...]

    21. lindsay on said:

      Fanny Skeffington approaches her 50th birthday and is forced to face the fact that she is no longer a beautiful woman with a legion of admirers trailing behind her. The title character, Mr. Skeffington, rarely appears in the book. He is Fanny's ex-husband, who she divorced 22 years earlier and who has been appearing to her in visions since she recovered from the illness that robbed her of her beauty.If this book hadn't been written back in 1940, I'd have been righteously pissed off by the relent [...]

    22. KF-in-Georgia on said:

      Oddly different from the famous movie version (Bette Davis and Claude Rains), but quite enjoyable. And I hesitate to make comparisons between the movie and book versions for fear I'll reveal spoilers to people who haven't seen or read them already.The title character is much less important in the movie than Mrs Skeffington is, and in the book he's even less visible than in the movie. But the book and movie are both named for him, and there's a reason for that.The movie is set in New York, the bo [...]

    23. Eileen on said:

      AUGH it's so EPISODIC and I've had to renew it twice already because the plot is not connected/compelling enough to get me through the entire thing! It's mostly good writing, but the disconnectedness of all the stories and the seriously intransigent nature of the main character are turning me off. Lady, will you ever change? The point of the book is clearly that you must change! CHANGE!! DO IT!!

    24. Melanie on said:

      I really like Elizabeth von Arnim. I've greatly enjoyed most of her books, and absolutely loved Elizabeth and her German Garden, Fraulein Schmidt & Mr. Anstruther, and Enchanted April. So Mr. Skeffington was a big disappointment. It was, in a word, nasty. For oh, so many, reasons :(Full review at The Indextrious Reader

    25. Irene Palfy on said:

      Just love it! An alltime favourite!Here is the English review: AND THEN THEY START TO SPARKLEund hier die Deutsche Besprechung: DIE KATZE IM BÜCHERREGAL

    26. Tintaglia on said:

      Me ne son tenuta lontana a lungo, temendo che l'omonimo film lo ricalcasse troppo; invece Elizabeth von Arnim di nuovo mi stupisce, con la non-così-sciocca Fanny, tenuta in una condizione di adolescenza dalla propria travolgente bellezza e dall'ammirazione di chi la circondava.Finchè la bellezza svanisce, gli ammiratori pure, e Fanny deve crescere.Meraviglioso.

    27. Kristen Vogel on said:

      This book drew me right in. We get to see a woman who has lived on and been spoiled by her incredible beauty and it is now gone. She must figure out how to live and re-visit some of the old people in her past to clear the way.

    28. Jessica on said:

      I'm such a fan of this particular genre of novel - clever, British (of course!), and light handed but with something more to say beneath it all. And always, unerring insight into each vastly different character. I get happy when I think of the years of Von Arnim novels I have yet to enjoy.

    29. Rose Ann on said:

      Charming. When they made the movie (with Bette Davis, WONDERFUL as always) they made a lot of changes in the characters, but the basic character of Fanny Skeffington and her husband Job are pretty much the same. So I would say -- both the movie AND the book were very rewarding.

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