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by Greg Hollingshead

  • ISBN: 0002005573
  • Author: Greg Hollingshead
  • ePub ver: 1374 kb
  • Fb2 ver: 1374 kb
  • Rating: 4.4 of 5
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Phyllis Bruce Books; 1st edition (August 16, 2004)
  • Formats: lrf txt mbr docx
  • Category: Fiction
  • Subcategory: World Literature
epub Bedlam download

Bedlam A Novel Greg Hollingshead for .

Bedlam A Novel Greg Hollingshead for . Love is merely a madness; and I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do; and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too.

With something more in his eyes than the usual desolation, Jupp slipped me the first packet two days after Margaret’s visit, as we passed in the gallery.

With something more in his eyes than the usual desolation, Jupp slipped me the first packet two days after Margaret’s visit, as we passed in the gallery y the keeper Davies, our whistling postman from Hell. Now that I’ve read Margaret’s letters, I know my own are a beggar-boy’s, whinging and cringing, and I wonder if this log of abuses is not my more manly love letter to a woman so dogged and strong.

Praise for Greg Hollingshead. Bedlam creates an indelible portrait of London, a city teetering between darkness and light, struggling to make its way to a more just and humane future. In its darkest corners, where noblemen, pickpockets, royalists and republicans jostle for power, where corruption is all in a day's work, Hollingshead finds humanity, truth, decency and forgiveness. Enlivened with wit and intellectual daring, written in a beautiful prose that is resonant with time and place, Bedlam sweeps the reader into a strange yet somehow recognizable world that often echoes our own.

Gregory "Greg" Hollingshead, CM (born February 25, 1947) is a Canadian novelist. He was formerly a professor of English at the University of Alberta, and he lives in Toronto, Ontario. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto Schools and the University of Toronto.

An International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Nominee. Canadian Hollingshead (The Roaring Girl) offers a sprawling story based on a contentious historical episode

An International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Nominee. A Toronto Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. Conspiracies, plots, and paranoia are sweeping through London in the last days of the eighteenth century, and James Tilly Matthews has been caught under false pretenses and locked up in the city's vast, crumbling asylum. Canadian Hollingshead (The Roaring Girl) offers a sprawling story based on a contentious historical episode. In 1797, James Tilly Matthews was committed to Bethlem (aka Bedlam), the notorious British lunatic asylum, after nattering on about an "air loom" machine used by villains to control people.

Gregory "Greg" Hollingshead, CM is a Canadian novelist. He is currently a professor of English at the University of Alberta. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Books by Greg Hollingshead

Greg Hollingshead had that in mind and those that felt it the most didn't like the effort needed to read the book.

This is a book with lots of history and details written into it so you could feel the fustrations and maddness at times in the situations, maybe Greg Hollingshead had that in mind and those that felt it the most didn't like the effort needed to read the book. Several times I thought about giving up on Bedlam by Greg Hollingshead (on page 58, on page 176 and so on). What keep me reading was that I wondered whether I would have escaped being thrown in a mad house if I had lived in London at the turn of the nineteenth century, as had Jamie Matthews.

Greg Hollingshead’s novel is about a mental patient in 18th-century London. Bedlam begins in 1797 with a jolt: in the bedroom of a real (if minor) historical woman surprised by the unexpected arrival of her naked husband, James Tilly Matthews, an escapee from a London madhouse who is soon back within its walls. After this wrenching, lunatic scene, the novel details, in three different narrative voices, a prolonged struggle both to release him and to discover the possibly political reason for his incarceration.

Based on real characters and events, Bedlam is a brilliant evocation of a city teetering between darkness and light, and a moving study of every kind of madness. Connect with the author.

An extraordinary novel of three people caught up in the turmoil of the late eighteenth century, their lives intertwined.

Bedlam, Greg Hollingshead’s new novel, tells a dramatic and compelling story of three ordinary people caught up in the turmoil of the late-18th century, their lives inexorably intertwined in a world where nothing is as it seems.

Europe, reeling from the French Revolution, is about explode. Conspiracies, plots and paranoia sweep across the country, landing James Tilly Matthews in Bethlem Hospital, a notorious, crumbling home for the insane. Although he is delusional—convinced that a gang of villains is controlling unsuspecting minds by means of a diabolical machine called an “Air Loom”— Matthews appears to be incarcerated for political reasons. Margaret, his beloved wife, spends years trying to free her often lucid husband, but she is repeatedly blocked by her chief adversary, John Haslam, Bethlem’s apothecary and chief administrator. Haslam, torn between his conscience and a desire to further his career through studying his famous patient, becomes another puppet in a game governed by shifting rules and shadowy players.

Bedlam creates an indelible portrait of 18th-century London, a city teetering between darkness and light, struggling to find its way to a more just and humane future. In its darkest corners, where noblemen, pickpockets, royalists and republicans jostle one another, where corruption is all in a day’s work, Matthews, Margaret and Haslam must contrive their own destinies.

Enlivened with wit and intellectual daring, Bedlam is a novel that pulses with insight and compassion, in which imagination bridges the chasm between fantasy and reality, love and hate.

Comments (7)

Naa
Man! I so wanted to like this book - and had high hopes. I do believe that the author writes well - technically. What I struggled with is the speeches that went on and on. What was/is the plot? In order to have a book that most people would like - the reader has to identify with the characters, or be interested in what is going to happen next (the plot). At over half-way through, I'm thinking of abandoning this book. Despite the critical acclaim, I just can't get involved with it - I'm not finding characters I want to invest in and nothing seems to be happening, other than observations and lengthy discourses. I do believe that the dinner parties (and their speeches) are historically accurate, but as a modern reader I don't want to spend limited free time with expounding characters. Endlessly .
Thetalen
Seems very thoroughly researched and really makes you feel, see, and even smell the horror of this legendary madhouse. The problem for me is its unflagging, relentless grimness. Noplace I'd want to visit.
Uickabrod
I too hope that those who read the reviews that only gave this book one and two stars will give this wonderful book a chance. For those of us who truly enjoy a very well written book that one has to take the time to read and enjoy,not just rush through for the sake of reading a book, this was one of those books. I found myself reading slowly to enjoy the book longer and loving the way it was written.
The story about maddness and being a lunatic in that time period was eye-opening and at times sad and overwhelming to think about. You will feel for the situation of all the parties in the book and the struggles they had to endure.
This is a book with lots of history and details written into it so you could feel the fustrations and maddness at times in the situations, maybe Greg Hollingshead had that in mind and those that felt it the most didn't like the effort needed to read the book.
Welen
This is going to be a very easy book review, for the fact that I simply could not make myself finish this novel.

Taking place at the end of the 18th century in England, the novel centers around James Tilly Matthews, a man who has been institutionalized seemingly without reason. The time period in which this novel takes place, if you happened to have opposite political views, you could be jailed, killed, or institutionalized. Both Margaret Matthews, his wife, and the chief apothecary of the institution, John Haslam, are struggling to find the reason that James is institutionalized.

Though this is based on historical events, I could not make myself continue reading this book. I was interested at the very beginning, and the further I went, the further my mind slipped away from it. Maybe I'll pick it up one day and finish it, but right now, I just can't.

I would recommend this for anyone that enjoys historical fiction. Maybe you'll have better luck than I did with it.
Xor
Several times I thought about giving up on Bedlam by Greg Hollingshead (on page 58, on page 176 and so on). What keep me reading was that I wondered whether I would have escaped being thrown in a mad house if I had lived in London at the turn of the nineteenth century, as had Jamie Matthews.
I see now that it was the enigmatic and slightly confusing tale of Jamie's possibly wrongful confinement of over 20 years in Bethlem Hospital for the insane that kept me reading. If I could have come to the conclusion that he was insane and that this story was simply a dreary tale of his mistreatment, I perhaps would have put the book down. If I could have surmised that he was in fact confined because he came up on the wrong side of a political situation, I also perhaps would have put the book down. What kept me reading was the fact that I couldn't make up my mind even to the very end.
The true genius of Hollingshead's book lies in the depth and complexity of the two main characters, Jamie Matthews and the John Haslam (Bethlem's apothecary), drawing you from one side to the other. Sometimes Jamie's ravings have just enough sense to make you believe his sanity, then something about them pushes it just past normal and you can see why he is committed. Likewise, John Haslam's treatment of the patients at Bethlem seems as times a life of dedication to serving the unfortunate in the best way he knows how, and at others times it is a self-serving project to further his own notoriety. In both cases, for both characters the answer is that it is all true. Rarely has there been such a wonderful portrayal of contradictions of the human condition.
On page 436, the words of Jamie's devote wife Margaret sum up this portrayal of mental illness with a truth that persists to this day:
"Perhaps in an imperfect world you don't find intelligence at its keenest pitch without some touch of [madness]. Perhaps there needs a certain pressure, heating the thoughts until they glow, and glowing ignite yours and by that sympathy show you more than you could ever see on your own, but then the brilliance grows too hot, fever sets in, and all common sense is lost, and that connexion is betrayed."
I would recommend this book to everyone, only don't complain to me as you slog through it. Wait and patiently persist and it you will discover it's true brilliance.
Auau
I'm saddened by the reviews finding this book a difficult read and hope they scare no one away. Hollingshead presents a confusing subject matter in an gripping manner with plain language. At the conclusion of the novel I'm left haunted by the characters and contemplating the many issues the author raised: the nature of madness and reality, the enduring power of love, and the bewildering effects of twisted kindness.
Shazel
I wanted to give up on this novel because it is so confusing. I usually enjoy a challenging read that requires my attention and memory, but I found many passages in this book that I could not decipher. I kept going because I thought at some point everything would fall into place. After slogging through the entire book, I felt I had wasted my time.

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