Thursday, 21 June 2012

NIGHTMARE ABBEY by Thomas Love Peacock

The novel NIGHTMARE ABBEY does not have much of what you might call a plot, though it does have a great name. When I am stupidly rich and live in a big house, this will definitely be on the name shortlist.

Essentially, it is a sort of gothic sartire on the romantic movement, and in particular on the love of the morbid. As I don't know much about this movement, if was hard to find it funny. I suppose it is how Kardashian jokes will be in a hundred years. Okay, five years. Okay, next year.

However, there are glimmers of how funny it could have been, had only I been alive two hundred years ago. Speaking of young men:
" . . . when they should be brought out of the house of mental bondage--i.e. the university--to the land flowing with milk and honey--i.e. the west end of London."

Or here's a poet on writing:
Modern literature is a north-east wind – a blight of the human soul. I take credit to myself for having helped to make it so. The way to produce fine fruit is to blight the flower. You call this a paradox. Marry, so be it. Ponder thereon.

Love Peacock also has a great name himself. Maybe that can be my pop star name. I know this is becoming a bit of a theme in this blog, but I am once again weirdly touched by Wikipedia's description of the life of eighteenth century writers' lives:
In his retirement he seldom left Halliford and spent his life among his books, and in the garden, in which he took great pleasure, and on the River Thames.


  1. interesting. I see this was set in a remote period. Enjoyed some of your 'jokes', especially the one on kardashian.

  2. It was a VERY remote period indeed! So remote I could barely follow . .

  3. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  4. "Love Peacock Takes His Pleasure In the Garden" sounds like the sort of erotic fiction that people who live in "Nightmare Abbey" would read... or if not read, then at least look at the etchings.