Jerusalem The Golden: A Novel

Jerusalem The Golden A Novel Clara has broken away from the stifling respectability of her northern home to live her own life in London Through her close friendship with Celia Denham she enters a world of dazzling educated people

  • Title: Jerusalem The Golden: A Novel
  • Author: Margaret Drabble
  • ISBN: 9780297748106
  • Page: 188
  • Format: Paperback
  • Clara has broken away from the stifling respectability of her northern home to live her own life in London Through her close friendship with Celia Denham she enters a world of dazzling educated people and wealthy bohemians Clara yearns to be part of their constellation.

    One thought on “Jerusalem The Golden: A Novel”

    1. I will admit that I was drawn to this book by the beautiful blue colouring of this cover. I knew that I wanted to buy a book by Margaret Drabble and ultimately my selection was purely cosmetic but I have often found this to be a helpful way of making a choice. I was brought up with the phrase 'Never judge a book by its cover' but I'm not sure this is always correct. I have discovered much literature, music, food simply from being drawn in by its aesthetic qualities. But I suppose this is an argu [...]

    2. Glorious. There were some aspects of Clara, the central character, with which I strongly identified (difficult family life, university providing a means of escape etc). Others, not so much (she is one of life's takers, it seems to me and perhaps incapable of love). The characters, in point of fact, were part of the great strength of this novel. We first meet Clara at the theatre in London with friends for a poetry recital. We learn that she comes originally from a Yorkshire town called Northam, [...]

    3. This is Margaret Drabble's first truly sparkling novel, published in 1967, and winning her wide critical acclaim plus a major literary prize. Like so much of her later work it is an insightful and finely written plunge into the life of British women, caught between the hard-edged life of the industrial north and the intellectual and sophisticated world of better-off London.Clara Maugham is the book's central character, and Clelia Denham is the figure who with her family comes to characterize the [...]

    4. “Her mother was dying, but she [Clara] herself would survive it, she would survive even the guilt and convenience and grief of her mother’s death, she would survive because she had willed herself to survive, because she did not have it in her to die. Even the mercy and kindness of destiny she would survive; they would not get her that way, they would not get her at all.”The narrative voice in this social-realist bildungsroman is compelling, if a bit disassociated. So, while the intimate th [...]

    5. There was a lot about this one that i liked, it has that 60's focus on the individual, that idea of going to london to find yourself, and a concern with what freedom means (those bohemian Denhams, and the lovely Clelia). Clara's character arc is really interesting, Drabble describes her journey from a repressed, loveless childhood, to a shaking off of her 'moral inheritance of doubt' where as much is lost as is gained, although there is also real optimism at the heart of this novel. The writing [...]

    6. Oh doesn't have an image of the wonderful 1969 Penguin paperback edition I picked up at a bookshop in Clitheroe (Lancashire, UK) which is a design classic. Now not wishing to sound like I'm judging a book by its fabulous cover, this was superb. Maybe it had personal resonance - its about a girl Clara who leaves her boring drab hometown and moves to London for university and meets many bohemian characters and has an illicit affair with a married man (erm can't relate to that bit, ok) Its a short [...]

    7. I was impressed with the word-power of Drabble. Her juxtaposition of the vast difference of Clara's home life(Few books worth reading, as reflected in the vast library of books in ~Clelia's home)And the conversations in both these places were brought to bear upon , and reflected in their content--was apparent--and revealed the disproportionate class and culture.This book is so well written, and tells its story so vividly and with such interesting human detail, I was transported with delight. I c [...]

    8. I just finished (re)reading this book moments ago—it's been ten years since the first time—and though I'd been going to give it three stars, it got me in the ending, and I'm going to assign four.It is a coming-of-age story about a girl who grows up in an emotionally stifled, middle-class home in the north of England. As she grows up, Clara turns out to be both smart, sexy, and sensual; she also has good instincts about people. Because of these qualities, she's able to leave her depressing to [...]

    9. Jerusalem the Golden is the story of a person learning to leave behind the place she comes from. The writing is beautiful and makes the ordinary extraordinary. I found this mirrors the search and mission the protagonist, Clara, makes of her life. She is deeply flawed as is practically every character we meet. The bursts of gaiety against the backdrop of anguish, unfulfilled pursuits, and self-interest remind me a lot of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (which I loved). The writing is akin to a Fitz [...]

    10. Around two thirds of the way through and I've had enough of this questionable classic. I found the characters—Clara in particular—unutterably unlikable (not something that would usually stop me, but in this case, there simply wasn't enough to hold me) and, frankly, depressingly clichéd. It offered me nothing new, nothing I haven't already encountered in other, possibly superior, novels.Sixth form chic. Tedious.

    11. The really affected language was laid on rather thick, as was the idea that the main protagonist was an underdog; this was rather unconvincing. A nice enough tale. Even though it was written and set afterwards, this could almost be a prequel to the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Clara Maugham growing into Brodie's shoes.

    12. This is my third Drabble—preceded by The Golden Child and The Millstone, in that order—and I’m not sure I’ll be in too much of a rush to read another which is not to say that any of the books are bad books because they’re not but I’m not finding myself captivated by her in the same way as Anita Brookner keeps my interest despite ploughing a similarly narrow furrow. If I do go back to her I’ll be choosier and avoid books where the protagonist is a northerner out of water, not that I [...]

    13. I came across Margaret Drabble in an interview piece with Kazuo Ishiguro (written by my dear friend Mimi Mo), who said Ms. Drabble’s Jerusalem the Golden was THE novel that made him want to become a writer. I was of course very intrigued. The novel, written in 1967 when Ms. Drabble was in her 20s (another Jane Austen?), tells a story of a girl, Clara, growing up in northern England under the spell of her dreadful mother, who in Clara’s mind decries all emotions, praise and luxury. She though [...]

    14. 'she picturedme truly terrestrial paradise, where beautiful people in beautiful houses spoke of beautiful things', 5 Jan 2015This review is from: Jerusalem the Golden (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)Written in the 1960s, this is the story of Clara Maugham, the academic daughter of an upper working-class family in northern England. Always aware that there is a better world out there than the ugly town of her birth, and her grim-faced mother, Clara puts all her energies into escape to univers [...]

    15. It's a short novel, so not a burdensome read. It provides a great texture of 1960s Britain, showing how the post-war welfare state helped to aid social mobility. Class also has a geographic element in this novel, with the working class industrial north contrasted against the affluent, intellectual south. The main character is not someone you necessarily like. She's more interested in thinking the 'right' thing than thinking for herself. Similarly, she also seems to view others as commodities in [...]

    16. Don't judge a book by its cover, but often there is some truth about the cover chosen for a book. Like"Jerusalem the Golden's" cover with a photograph by Bruce Rae of a woman in a granny-style armchair holding her head like she suffers from a massive headache. And that could very easily be the case for the protagonist - failed fashion victim, anti-social book worm - if she once starts to think closely about her wanna-be friendships, her lame affair and her relationship towards her mother, who is [...]

    17. I wanted to like this but it turned out to be more appreciation than enjoyment - an appreciation of Drabble's skill as a writer, of her quite brilliant portrayal of a naive northern girl, disgusted by the drab ordinariness of her upbringing and lusting for the thrillingly chaotic, bohemian complexity of upper class life. This was so well done it will stay with me. As a novel however I found it, and all of its characters, overwhelmingly unlikeable and the feeling on finishing it was one of relief [...]

    18. By the ambitious use of her brains and her good looks, Clara Maugham escapes from a dismal home in the north of England to the delights of London and Paris. By the sympathetic use of detailed characterization Margaret Drabble portrays an unusual social climber. What Clara desires, and goes about obtaining, by whatever means necessary, is not social position and prestige, but companionship, compensation for an emotionally sterile childhood.

    19. This is the second Drabble I've read, and it didn't disappoint. It follows Clara, a young woman from the culturally impoverished north of England, finding her way in London under the guidance of a family fully imbued with money, class, taste and affection. There's a friendship, an affair, guilt, awkward parties - a solid dissection of class, art, taste and intelligence. Like a less tragic Edith Wharton, in 1960s London.

    20. I found the writing style to be charming, initially, and enjoyed the relationship between Clara, the main character, and her friend Clelia. However, by the time Clara began her relationship with Gabriel (not a spoiler! It's on the back cover!) I ceased to really enjoy the story, and it was all downhill from there, though the writing remained charming ALMOST until the end, which I felt to be anti-climactic and dull.

    21. Written in the 60s but doesn't feel dated in any respect. A good insight into the social climate of the times, and in particular the results of opening up educational prospects to the lower classes. The development of the lead character Clara is fascinating, and while her behaviour is questionable at times this doesn't alienate the reader in any way.

    22. It's undeniable chick-lit, but an amusing read. At times I even suspected bits of the funny-for-being ridiculous parts were deliberate

    23. This book is one of Margaret Drabble's early novels. A real gem from start to finish, although slow in some places.

    24. Enjoyed it. The images of freedom (night-time bicycle rides), despite the desperation of addictions to love and drugs

    25. The narrative in this book resonated with me in many ways which is probably why it has influenced some of my recent writings. Clara's escapes to her freedom in London perusing her university studies with no clear direction of a career. She leaves behind an uninspiring past and isn't shy of her new encounters - totally taken by her new found friend Clelia and her family of artists, writers, publishers and conversationalists. There is a flare of the unconventional in Clelia Denham's family which m [...]

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