Victorian Grandeur and its Fate: Background information when reading The Stranger's Child

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The Stranger's Child

By Alan Hollinghurst

The Stranger's Child

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Victorian Grandeur and its Fate

"What do you think, Ralph?" said George. "For or against the egregious grotesqueries of the Victorians?"...

"I suppose what I feel," said Revel, after a minute, "well, the grotesqueries are what I like best, really, and the more egregious the better."

"What? Not St. Pancras," said George. "Not Keble College?"

"Oh, when I first saw St. Pancras," said Revel, "I thought it was the most beautiful building on earth."

The rise and fall and rise again of high Victorian style marks the passage of a tumultuous century in The Stranger's Child. From St. Pancras railway station in London to the fictional Corley Court, the fate of exuberant Victorian ornamentation tracks the evolution of aesthetic taste. At the opening of the book, breathless sixteen-year old Daphne is full of enthusiasm about what she's heard of Cecil Valance's family estate, Corley Court. "'Do you have jelly-mould domes?' she wanted to know... 'I imagine they're painted in fairly gaudy colours?'"

Tyntesfield ...

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