A review by howlsmovinglibrary
The Female Quixote, by Charlotte Lennox


One of the better classics I've read (and one of the only books I've enjoyed on my course this year) - if you enjoy Austen's Emma or Northanger Abbey, where you and the narrator sit alongside each other and despair as the heroine makes foolish mistake after foolish mistake, then I'd definitely recommend it. Also good for anybody who has had to suffer any Middle English in their degree - I felt like this book mocked and derided every aspect of Medieval romance that had frustrated the hell out of me while I was reading them.

Arabella is a pretty, clever girl, who grew up in solitude with only books company. With little knowledge of the real world, she begins to see the romances she reads as representative of reality, and once she gains access to the outside this begins to cause serious problems. What is a girl to do when she's constantly at risk of getting carried away, can't let the guys she fancies profess their love her without being mortally offended, and her lovers keep almost dying because of her being so cold to her? Essentially the book shows the ridiculousness of the restrictions romance conventions placed on women, showing how it is not exactly a viable option on how to live a normal life or to perceive reality.

While the book dragged on a bit (with lot of the same things happening multiple times) I still enjoyed it. Although Arabella annoyed me at times, I actually found her to be a likeable character (I know some people disagree). Mostly I liked this book for its literary merits, I wouldn't exactly read it for recreation, but as a course book it was a pretty fun read.