Precious Bane

Precious Bane 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

  • Title: Precious Bane
  • Author: Mary Webb
  • ISBN: 9780268015381
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 PruA 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 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 C

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      Mary Webb

    About “Mary Webb

    • Mary Webb

      Mary Webb 1881 1927 was an English romantic novelist of the early 20th century, whose novels were set chiefly in the Shropshire countryside and among Shropshire characters and people which she knew and loved well Although she was acclaimed by John Buchan and by Rebecca West, who hailed her as a genius, and won the Prix Femina of La Vie Heureuse for Precious Bane 1924 , she won little respect from the general public It was only after her death that the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, earned her posthumous success through his approbation, referring to her as a neglected genius at a Literary Fund dinner in 1928 Her writing is notable for its descriptions of nature, and of the human heart She had a deep sympathy for all her characters and was able to see good and truth in all of them Among her most famous works are The Golden Arrow 1916 , Gone to Earth 1917 , and Seven for a Secret 1922.

    211 thoughts on “Precious Bane

    • This book was an absolute pleasure to read, from start to finish The depth and character development were stunning and you get such a glimpse at human nature at it s best and worst It s almost a spiritual journey after reading you find yourself savoring different passages to find all the truth you know is within them Precious Bane is AMAZING I don t know what exactly it was about it struck me as exquisitely beautiful, but it touched me and I finished it feeling like a better person Prue Sarn is [...]

    • This is my number one favorite novel of all time I can t really define the reason I love it so much Sure, there s the lyrical writing, the sweet yet spunky protagonist, the gorgeous setting, and the best love story of all time But there s something beyond all that which touches my soul I always know I ll be life long friends with anyone else who has ever read and loved this book.

    • Set in the 1800 s this tale of rural life shows what a hard, hard life ordinary people endured It could have been set in medieval times, for the superstition, religious brutality and the treatment of women, children, and animals are awful After Gideon and Prue s father dies Gideon is determined to better their lives, and at first his character seems quite admirable, hard working and driven to look after his mother and sister and not heeding of superstitious nonsense However as Prue observes mone [...]

    • Being the devoted reader of British classics I am, how I ve managed to miss this little gem of a book for so long I honestly don t know But beware, my dear reader, this is not Jane Austen This is a harsh tale, in the style of Thomas Hardy or even George Eliot, you ll see the characters you so much come to care for struggle in an unfair and prejudiced world, and you ll suffer along with them.Prudence Sarn is a country girl who lives with her simple mother and her older brother, Gideon, Maister of [...]

    • Imagine the English language as a man who had passed through life s many stages, from infancy to adulthood This novel may then be considered to have been written in English when the language was still a young boy of thirteen Adding a lot to its quaint charm is the novel s simple, rustic setting, as if saying that when the language was young, so was the world then.There s a love story here, and tragedy, and family When she was a young girl the narrator expressed wonderment that her mother kept on [...]

    • I give this book six stars I wanted to begin it again the second I finished it I would never have heard of this book were it not for Thanks friends This is truly a miracle of a book Set in Shropshire, England, after the Napoleonic Wars Narrated by Prue Sarn, a young woman with a cleft lip, or hare shotten lip, as it is called in the book The book is beautiful in three ways The writing the Shropshire dialect is so wonderful that I whispered almost the entire book aloud My family thought I was ins [...]

    • This novel is unlike any I ve ever read, but its beauty and strength drew me in You can read summaries in myriad other places, so I will just say that the story, told in first person, is sweet, wise, tragic, and real I give five stars only to books I would 1 buy, and 2 re read I had not even finished my borrowed copy before I ordered my own and have already started skimming it again I cannot recommend this to everyone, because it is definitely unusual however, I think it is a worthwhile, thought [...]

    • A book unlike any I ve read before, but it was one of the most pure and beautiful stories I ve ever read Precious Bane is not a quick read, the language in particular made the reading a bit slower it is written in Old English and dripping with 19th century superstitions , but it could not have been told any other way Prue Sarn, the tragically cursed narrator speaks from her heart, and she is what endeared me forever to this book The sentiment of a precious bane carries through both Prue s charac [...]

    • This is a book that is so amazing that if you don t like it, I really don t want to hear about it I only give it those of the race who know Joseph Written in an old English venacular it tells a beautiful story of redemption and love If you love literature this is a gem My ultimate favorite for the last few years.

    • One of my very favorite works Mary Webb creates a fascinating, jealously enclosed environment whose landscape, characters and situations are almost otherworldly in their strangeness and intensity Told through the eyes of Prue Sarn, a young woman born with the curse of a hare lip, emotions range from deification to humiliation, complete submission to complete selfish possession, passion to apathy, lust to absolutely pure love I only recommend this book to people I trust to appreciate it.

    • While the dialect can be a challenge and the plot a bit slow, I was very impressed It sounds like Thomas Hardy but is written by a woman, which makes me frustrated that it isn t as renowned as Hardy s work There are passages that are so beautiful I had to read them out loud Read Webb s biography on marywebb, too her own life is fascinating I also love that Stella Gibbons was parodying Webb among others in Cold Comfort I understand why, but that doesn t diminish my feelings for Webb s work at all [...]

    • This was a somewhat enjoyable story with good character development The main character was pure, strong, and lovinga truly likeable heroine The love story in it was real with a dash of fairytaleI really enjoyed that part of the book Unfortunately, it was a minor part and Webb didn t devote enough time to their relationship as I would have liked Although the characters were richly developed, I didn t really care for any of them except Prue and Kester, and because the majority of the story revolve [...]

    • Had to order this from a distant library which is sad, to think of this book being neglected I know I mocked Gone to Earth , and with good reason, but there was something about it nonetheless that made me think I d like to check PB out I wasn t disappointed I knew it would be melodramatic, but this is Webb s way, you either like it or you leave it alone.Reasons I liked Precious Bane 1 Interesting dialect Made me feel as if I d been dropped directly into another time dialect is iffy business to w [...]

    • This book has been one of my favourites for about 25 years, ever since I bought it almost at random, and then read it on a long train journey through France It is one of the very few books I reread regularly, and my pleasure in it never lessens.I won t repeat what the other reviewers to give this book 5 stars have said, which I think gives a good idea of how much most readers will feel about this book, but just tell you that a few months ago I, somewhat diffidently, recommended it to a book grou [...]

    • Honest emotion beautifully expressed It took a while getting into the book because of the dialect, but after I did I loved it One of the best books I ve read.

    • When I was 16, PBS blew my mind I was sitting up watching Masterpiece Theater on the local affiliate station, and right in the middle of this period drama they showed a man s naked ass PBS was, and apparently had always been, astonishingly cool Later, my PBS affiliate aired a highly controversial documentary about gay men called Tongues Untied despite great hue and cry and to this day, my brain insists that it was actually entitled Tongues United , which kind of makes its own sense , but until t [...]

    • When you read most history books, you get a lot of trees and not much forest You read that Napoleon conquered but you don t really understand or feel what the people felt as they were living in those times Understanding Napoleon is important, but I think it is just as important to know how people made their lives in times and places that are so different than ours Precious Bane takes place in a galaxy far far away A very isolated English rural village, Sarn, circa 1810 The heroine, Prudence Prue [...]

    • On the one hand I wonder why this book isn t on my sons high school AP English book list, and on the other hand I wouldn t want to be the teacher who would have to put up with the groans and complaints about village dialect.The Bane represents the thing in a persons life that is toxic to their happiness For the protagonist, Pru Sarn, it is the hare lip she was born with Her bane is her outward appearance but, because of her bane, she learned to love life and she holds nature and purity dear and [...]

    • This book had never come across my radar before we chose it as a Book Club selection Thanks be to the Book Club We had a great discussion and once again, I am just thankful for those ladies who brighten up my every third Wednesday by sharing our joy of reading and bringing into my life books that I would never have known I read some of the reviews, and it turns out that everyone of the disposition to read a book like this exploring human nature, bringing the reader into the story s local dialect [...]

    • This is one of my favorite types of fiction the kind that you can fall into, like stepping into a manhole Bam One step and you are in a totally different world The insular life of rural Britain comes to vivid life in this highly romantic old novel, which brought posthumous fame and fortune to its unlucky author marywebb synopses precious I particularly admire the use of reading and the spiritual life as an escape for the heroine, Prue, from a really harsh and unpleasant existence The contrast be [...]

    • Annoyingly, GoodReads makes it hard to zero in on just the edition I actually read OK, so it s the TEXT that we re interested in go to LibraryThing if you want to focus on specific editions Anyway, this is a marvelous, marvelous novel Set in Britain of the early 1800s I think , it has wonderful characters, stunning descriptive passages, strong conflict, struggle, triumph, surprises, and dialect to knock your socks off And it s the ONLY book I ve ever read that refers to a veterinarian as a beast [...]

    • This is my favorite book of all time It gives me hope and inspiration I appreciate the emphasis on inner beauty and how the heroine is ultimately rewarded for her humble, behind the scenes acts of kindness and selflessness I have read it multiple times and highly recommend it I first heard about it because of the Masterpiece Theatre program, which is also good.

    • I have come to realize that I am drawn to English literature I loved this book The English prose was beautifully descriptive as it wove a tale of human nature and love The story took a different turn than I had expected, yet ended with the happily ever after I had hoped for.

    • Some of the ideas in Precious Bane were absolutely lovely for example, We are so small and helpless on the earth that is like a green rush cradle where mankind lies, looking up at the stars, but not knowing what they be , and when speaking about nicknames You can make most names into little love names, like you can cut down a cloak or a gown for children s wearing But Gideon you can do naught with And the name was like the man I love the way in which Webb uses senses I feel that they make her se [...]

    • Writing of the edition illustrated by Rowland Hilder really cool woodcuts , with a new introduction by Erika Duncan old introduction by The Rt Hon Stanley Baldwin for reals The intro by Duncan nearly put me off reading this book, it was so, oh, no other perfect word fits but weird And, the mention that C.S Lewis appreciated it gave me mixed feelings he was so very much so much above me in most of his literary tastes and some of the books he loved have been incomprehensible to me, but then again, [...]

    • Mary Webb uses words to paint her native Shropshire countryside in glorious technicolour This is quite simply a beautiful yet at times hauntingly melancholic story of a young girl growing up in rural poverty in the early 18th century, where sin eaters are still employed at funerals The heroine has a harelip Her deformity is attributed to a hare running across her mother s path when she was pregnant Although not an outcast, her facial disfigurement does set Prue apart from her peers, yet an inner [...]

    • Mary Webb could give many writers lessons today Like the Weaver, she brings together coloured threads, light and dark, and weaves a rich and textured pattern Her prose, written in dialect, throws the events into high relief as well as providing a lush background in the description of the countryside she loves so much, the plant and animal life as well as the workings of Nature Webb tells a tragic tale of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life which comprise the preci [...]

    • OOOOkay I have known I wanted to read this book for MANY years now, but just kept putting it off because I kept thinking it would be hard WELL, I must say this was probably the most challenging book that I have read just because of the poetic way of writing I had to call Melanie and ask is this what is happening, sometimes I m not sure, and then about half way through I really did know what was happening, and I gained an appreciation for the literature side of books, rather than pure entertainme [...]

    • This book made a huge impression on me This quote regarding their inability to put out a fire despite the nearness of the lake mere , has always stayed with me I ve thought since that when folk grumble about this and that and be not happy, it is not the fault of creation, that is like a vast mere full of good, but it is the fault of their bucket s smallness.

    • This is one of my all time favorite books Mary Webb was daring enough to write about simple farm folk in the days when readers only wanted to read about the aristocracy These simple farm folk are, of course, not at all simple The family story is tragic and glorious.I ve read this book over and over again.

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