The Blue Flower Penelope Fitzgerald, Author Mariner Books $13 (240p) ISBN 978-0-395-85997-1. For someone about to read it, it can seem a trifle intimidating. Perhaps if I knew more about German romantacisn I might have got more out of the book, but a novel should stand on its own. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. Now she's back with her tenth and best book so far, The Blue Flower. Her prose is crystalline clear and her plots interesting in an arcane way. It was definitely not gripping and I’m still not sure what it was about, what was at stake, apart from the author’s original and poetic language. I am in awe of Penelope Fitzgerald. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2020. And all done with remarkable economy because she was such a mistress of allusion. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. This is the story of Friedrich von Hardenberg--Fritz, to his intimates--a young man of the late 18th century who is destined … When I bought it, I didn’t realize it was the last novel by the Booker prize winner; published five years before her death in 2000 aged 83. Penelope Fitzgerald wrote her first novel 20 years ago, at the age of 59. THE BLUE FLOWER 1. PENELOPE FITZGERALD (1916–2000) was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. The Blue Flower is a culmination of the forms of craft Fitzgerald was practicing in previous novels; the fragmented perfection of Innocence, the comedy and sadness of The Beginning of Spring, the balance of density and light of The Gate of Angels. But it does, because he falls in love. Tracing the dramatic early years of the young German who was to become the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis, `The Blue Flower' is a masterpiece of invention, evoking the … Fitzgerald's interest in complex, tragicomic family life must stem from her own family experience; I read THE BLUE FLOWER mainly because I just read her newish biography. THE BLUE FLOWER. Penelope Fitzgerald, winner of the Booker Prize for "The Blue Flower," writes short novels (novella size really). If ever there is a book to persevere with, to have patience with, and to go back and re-read again, it is ‘The Blue Flower’ by Penelope Fitzgerald. PENELOPE FITZGERALD wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. Having just finished The beginning of Spring by the same author I was really looking forward to this book as many reviewers say it is her best. It wasn't clear to me why a well educated man became infatuated with a child, not a very intelligent one at that. A learning experience--with laughter and tears, Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2015. This book is well written and life during that period appears to be well researched but the characters did not come alive for me as they did in The Beginning of Spring. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.In 1979, her novel Offshore won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for The Blue Flower. Even though this is an historical novel, it is nothing like what one might expect from that genre. Fitzgerals includes so much with so little, as if she believes that less is more, which in this case is true. The blue flower— die blaue Blum e— has long been a symbol of Romantic yearning. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2016. Unable to add item to List. It confirms Fitzgerald’s place as one of the finest and most entertaining novelists in England.” –The Observer “[The Blue Flower] is a quite astonishing book, a masterpiece.” –New York Times Book Review “Her limpid, exact prose reflects an unwaveringly clear view of … The attachment shocks his family and friends. I think that's what I hoped to find out by reading the book but didn't as I didn't get to know the characters well enough. Times were once better for the Hardenbergs, who've sold two estates, may have to sell another, and meanwhile live in a more manageable house in town. The book has humor and sadness as she describes the life of its hero Fritz von Hardenberg, before he became Novalis, the late 18th century German Romantic poet. Penelope Fitzgerald wrote her first novel 20 years ago, at the age of 59. But it does, because he falls in love. enelope FITZGERALD'S first novel was published in 1977, when she was already 60. And about Novalis. What better tribute could be made to Novalis, perhaps the greatest poet of the German Romantic. It is laugh out loud funny at times and deeply moving at others. Comments of Bob Corbett March 2001. As first I wasn't sure if I was reading fact or fiction and I suspect it was a mixture of both. "The Gate of Angels" takes place in Oxford, the year 1912, and the work is one of comedy (as opposed to a tragedy). Skip to main content.sg. This is a story of love lost. A beautiful book. Not only have Fritz's studies brought him among faculty the likes of Fichte, Schiller, and Schlegel--but he himself is already a visionary poet helping bring the 18th century to its close (`` `The universe, after all, is within us. This is an extraordinary book - one that was suggested by someone else in my book club - which I enjoyed exorbitantly and madly (an element of madness in one's own character is a necessary precursor to reading this book I would think). Heartbreaking and hilarious, compassionate and severe. It tells the story of the formative years of early Romantic poet Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801), who would later achieve acclaim under the pen name “Novalis.”. 226 pp. As a counterpoint to her protagonist's beautifully captured romanticism, Fitzgerald successfully evokes the sights, sound, and smells?and the constant sorrows?of domestic life in 18th-century Germany. The Blue Flower: Fitzgerald, Penelope: Amazon.sg: Books. She won the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction for The Blue Flower, the Booker Prize for Offshore, and three of her novels — The Bookshop,The Gate of Angels, and The Beginning of Spring — were short-listed for the Booker Prize. I read this book for a book club and I enjoyed it for its language, consistency and short chapters. THE BLUE FLOWER By Penelope Fitzgerald. Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2018. Try. I preferred the other one. Other Editions of This Title: Digital Audiobook (6/1/2015) Paperback (10/14/2014) Analog Audio Cassette (11/14/2000) Pre-Recorded Audio Player (6/2/2015) Audio Cassette (1/1/1980) Paperback (5/24/1996) It's not dreadful, the prose is good, but neither characters nor story engaged me. As first I wasn't sure if I was reading fact or fiction and I suspect it was a mixture of both. The book is rich in the details of life in those times and in the portrayal of vivid characters who play important roles in the doomed courtship of this Fritz and his beloved Sophie, who dies of consumption. This is a story of love lost. So half way through I have decided to put this aside, I may come back to it but I doubt it. Some times the effect of it being pieced together is felt. There's a problem loading this menu right now. To say he's a salt inspector, though, is a little like saying Shakespeare was an actor. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2020. Fitzgerals includes so much with so little, as if she believes that less is more, which in this case is true. Paper, $12. PENELOPE FITZGERALD FOR DISCUSSION We hope the following questions,together with “Fitzgerald on Fitzgerald,”will stimulate a deeper understanding of The Blue Flowerand The Bookshop. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. A great talent. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. Heartbreaking and hilarious, compassionate and severe. --. It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis. When I bought it, I didn’t realize it was the last novel by the Booker prize winner; published five years before her death in 2000 aged 83. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2018. ISBN # 0-395-85997-2. A great talent. This is a book that is irresistible; but not seductive. It made me curious how Fitzgerald was able to recreate the past with such precision and such grace. Taking us back to the late 18th Century we are taken into the life of a certain provincial German, Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, later to become better known to us as simply Novalis. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. The pious and old (he's 56) father of the many-childrened family is Director of the Salt Mining Administration of Saxony, one of the few vocations (the military is another) not forbidden to members of the aristocracy, and the same calling the oldest Hardenberg son, Fritz, will follow upon conclusion of his studies at the universities of Jena, Leipzig, and Wittenberg. By Penelope Fitzgerald. It’s the sort of book, as other reviewers have suggested, where you end up living inside its world. When I bought it, I didn’t realize it was the last novel by the Booker prize winner; published five years before her death in 2000 aged 83. How can it be? Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. In eighteenth-century Germany, the impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis seeks his father's permission to wed his true philosophy -- a plain, simple child named Sophie. It was definitely not gripping and I’m still not sure what it was about, what was at stake, apart from the author’s original and poetic language. It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the romantic poet Novalis. It's not helped by needless time shifting in the narrative, nor that the core story is about a 20 year old man falling 'in love' with a 13 year old girl. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 1, 2018. I learned more than I ever thought I even wanted to about 17-18th c. Germany. Prime. This book will reward you with fantastic riches; a pirate galleon's worth; but you have to dig deep to find the treasure. Mariner Books, 9780395859971, 240pp. Unable to add item to List. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Penelope Fitzgerald, whose biography I have just written, began work on her beautiful masterpiece The Blue Flower in 1991. I read this book for a book club and I enjoyed it for its language, consistency and short chapters. Here she reconstructs the life of 18th-century German romantic poet Novalis, focusing on his boisterous family, his struggle to articulate his longings, and, most tellingly, his passion for 12-year-old Sophie, a simple child he intends to marry despite the furious reservations of family and friends. The Blue Flower, the ultimate symbol of longing. Perhaps if I knew more about German romantacisn I might have got more out of the book, but a novel should stand on its own. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. The Blue Flower's elusive magic Penelope Fitzgerald’s subject is recondite, and her meaning hard to decipher – but she’s such an engaging writer … Mariner Books; 1st U.S. ed edition (April 15, 1997). There was a problem loading your book clubs. This is an extraordinary book - one that was suggested by someone else in my book club - which I enjoyed exorbitantly and madly (an element of madness in one's own character is a necessary precursor to reading this book I would think). Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. Seldom in these comments and reviews do I feel compelled to write with a sternly negative assessment. Her detailed recreations of historical milieus are outstanding and her grasp of human psychology piercingly insightful. Set in 18th century Germany, Fitzgerald tells her imagining of the teenage story of real German poet and philosopher Fritz von Hardenberg, later called Novalis. Cart Hello Select your address Best Sellers Today's Deals Electronics Customer Service Books New Releases Home … I just didn't like this book. The last novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, despite the slimness of this you will probably be surprised to know that this took her about four years to write. Penelope Fitzgerald wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. It’s the sort of book, as other reviewers have suggested, where you end up living inside its world. When I bought it, I didn’t realize it was the last novel by the Booker prize winner; published five years before her death in 2000 aged 83. You find yourself wanting more, and the scene switches. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.In 1979, her novel Offshore won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for The Blue Flower. Something went wrong. Hello, Sign in. A learning experience--with laughter and tears, Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2015. I was insanely frustrated by his devotion to his twelve-year old muse, who as acknowledged, has barely any attributes that attract devotion or friendship in modern terms, but I loved the minutiae of 18th century life in Germany, and once inculcated into the book's mysteries, found it totally enticing. It has all the narrative coherence of a bolted rabbit - it weaves and staggers and seems to waver drunkenly at times; but it comes together at the end and unveils a host of absolutely charming characters, not least the future poet/philosopher, Novalis and his family of eccentric siblings. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Fitzgerald's interest in complex, tragicomic family life must stem from her own family experience; I read THE BLUE FLOWER mainly because I just read her newish biography. Heartbreaking and hilarious, compassionate and severe. Alas, here I must do so. Please try again. He is a young man so self-contained, so absorbed in his thoughts, that I wondered where the drama would arise. BBC Radio 4 Extra - Penelope Fitzgerald - The Blue Flower This programme is not currently available 4 Extra Debut. Since then, she's written eight more, three of which have been short-listed for England's prestigious Booker Prize, and one of which, Offshore, won. ''The Blue Flower is a model of what historical fiction can be at its best - when the radical otherness of other times is not merely acknowledged but made integral to the fictional experience. Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged edition (June 2, 2015). There's a problem loading this menu right now. It made me curious how Fitzgerald was able to recreate the past with such precision and such grace. Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2015. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. The Blue Flower is a 1995 novel by the British author Penelope Fitzgerald. This itself is part of here pure genius. In 1979, her novel OFFSHORE won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for THE BLUE FLOWER. Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Company. It is a fictional treatment of the early life of Friedrich von Hardenberg who, under the pseudonym Novalis, later became a practitioner of German Romanticism. THE BLUE FLOWER. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2017. If ever there is a book to persevere with, to have patience with, and to go back and re-read again, it is ‘The Blue Flower’ by Penelope Fitzgerald. It's also Fitzgerald at her best - elegant, inventive, hilarious, unsparing. I’m not sure I would have read or finished it without the book club, though. And about Novalis. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Check out this great listen on Audible.com. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. In The Blue Flower readers will find a work of fine prose, fierce intelligence, and perceptive characterization. Since then, she's written eight more, three of which have been short-listed for England's prestigious Booker Prize, and one of which, Offshore, won. The chapters are short and sweet, no explanations about life in the 16th century, yet Fitzgerald creates an intimate sense of life in German in this time and place with beautiful descriptions of landscape and domestic life and interiors. Please try your request again later. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2017. The Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late 18th-century Germany. ?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal", The German poet Novalis (17721801) was really Friedrich Leopold von Hardenberg: and Fitzgerald (The Gates of Angels, 1992; Offshore, 1987, etc.) Now she's … Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. Heartbreaking and hilarious, compassionate and severe. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. I am in awe of Penelope Fitzgerald. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. It's not dreadful, the prose is good, but neither characters nor story engaged me. Fitzgerald’s greatest triumph.” — New York Times Book ReviewThe Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth-century Germany. The entire book is about longing. Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2016. Please try again. It doesn't go to town with it's humour, but it is artfully present at all times. This brilliant young man, betrothed to a twelve-year-old dullard! What transpires, then, in the inward universe, when Fritz first sees 12-year- old Sophie von Khn standing at a window looking out? The Observer in 2012 placed her final novel, The Blue Flower, among "the ten best historical novels". And all done with remarkable economy because she was such a mistress of allusion. I think that's what I hoped to find out by reading the book but didn't as I didn't get to know the characters well enough. Something went wrong. In 2008 The Times listed her among "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945". The book has humor and sadness as she describes the life of its hero Fritz von Hardenberg, before he became Novalis, the late 18th century German Romantic poet. The book is rich in the details of life in those times and in the portrayal of vivid characters who play important roles in the doomed courtship of this Fritz and his beloved Sophie, who dies of consumption. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. The chapters are short and sweet, no explanations about life in the 16th century, yet Fitzgerald creates an intimate sense of life in German in this time and place with beautiful descriptions of landscape and domestic life and interiors. It's not helped by needless time shifting in the narrative, nor that the core story is about a 20 year old man falling 'in love' with a 13 year old girl. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. In Fritz Fitzgerald has discovered a perfect character through whom to explore the meaning of love, poetry, life, and loss. It is laugh out loud funny at times and deeply moving at others. Says he: `` `Something happened to me.' Please try again. A beautiful new cover reissue of Penelope Fitzgerald's final masterpiece Set in Germany at the very end of the eighteenth century, The Blue Flower is the story of the brilliant Fritz von Hardenberg, a graduate of the Universities of Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg, learned in Dialectics and Mathematics, who later became the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis. A glittering jewel-box of a novel. The 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award Winner in Fiction. The way leads inwards, always inwards' ''). A glittering jewel-box of a novel. The last novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, despite the slimness of this you will probably be surprised to know that this took her about four years to write. I was insanely frustrated by his devotion to his twelve-year old muse, who as acknowledged, has barely any attributes that attract devotion or friendship in modern terms, but I loved the minutiae of 18th century life in Germany, and once inculcated into the book's mysteries, found it totally enticing. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Her detailed recreations of historical milieus are outstanding and her grasp of human psychology piercingly insightful. it is nothing like what one might expect from that genre, Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2014. by Penelope Fitzgerald ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 15, 1997. I learned more than I ever thought I even wanted to about 17-18th c. Germany. This book is well written and life during that period appears to be well researched but the characters did not come alive for me as they did in The Beginning of Spring. The Blue Flower (Paperback) By Penelope Fitzgerald. The Blue Flower is a critically acclaimed 1995 historical novel by author Penelope Fitzgerald. Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2016. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. If ever there is a book to persevere with, to have patience with, and to go back and re-read again, it is ‘The Blue Flower’ by Penelope Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald doesn't make it entirely clear what draws Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis's real name) to little Sophie?but that is precisely the point. Now she's back with her tenth and best book so far, The Blue Flower. This book will reward you with fantastic riches; a pirate galleon's worth; but you have to dig deep to find the treasure. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2016. Penelope Fitzgerald wrote her first novel 20 years ago, at the age of 59. All Hello, Sign in. This is a book that is irresistible; but not seductive. PENELOPE FITZGERALD wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. Please try again. here re-creates him, his family, his doomed young lover Sophie von Kuhn, and Sophie's huge family--not to mention the era all of them lived in--in the most human-sized and yet intellectually capacious narrative a reader could wish for. A beautiful book. A peculiar tale and probably if it occurred nowadays he's be arrested for being a pervert. it is nothing like what one might expect from that genre, Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2014. Having just finished The beginning of Spring by the same author I was really looking forward to this book as many reviewers say it is her best. 226 pages New York: Mariner Book, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1995. Penelope Fitzgerald uses fiction to examine an 18th-century German poet and his doomed love for a 12-year-old girl. There was a problem loading your book clubs. If ever there is a book to persevere with, to have patience with, and to go back and re-read again, it is ‘The Blue Flower’ by Penelope Fitzgerald. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. So half way through I have decided to put this aside, I may come back to it but I doubt it. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. '' This cheerful, careless, laughing child-woman becomes Fritz's star, his guide, ``his Philosophy.'' Throughout, he is carried aloft by an inchoate desire for something beyond that is summed up in his little story of the blue flower: "I have no craving to be rich, but I long to see the blue flower....I can imagine and think about nothing else." It has all the narrative coherence of a bolted rabbit - it weaves and staggers and seems to waver drunkenly at times; but it comes together at the end and unveils a host of absolutely charming characters, not least the future poet/philosopher, Novalis and his family of eccentric siblings. Please try again. Against all precedent (Sophie isn't of the real nobility), and in keeping with the changing times (there's been the revolution in France), he gets his father's permission to become engaged--but dreadful sorrow lies just ahead. A literary sensation and a bestseller in England and the United States, The Blue Flower was one of eleven books- and the only paperback- chosen as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review. I’m not sure I would have read or finished it without the book club, though. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2017. Penelope Fitzgerald wrote her first novel 20 years ago, at the age of 59. Since then, she's written eight more, three of which have been short-listed for England's prestigious Booker Prize, and one of which, Offshore, won. Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2015. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Penelope Mary Fitzgerald (17 December 1916 – 28 April 2000) was a Booker Prize–winning novelist, poet, essayist and biographer from Lincoln, England. Enelope Fitzgerald 's first novel 20 years ago, at the age of 59 the author, more! For someone about to read it, it is nothing like what one might expect from genre! The item on Amazon her among `` the ten best historical novels '' or computer - no Kindle required! United States on May 28, 2017 someone about to read it, it can seem a intimidating. Child-Woman becomes Fritz 's star, his guide, `` his Philosophy. and we 'll send you a to! Good, but it does n't go to town with it 's humour, but it does, because falls... 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