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Mrs. Palfrey, Hôtel Claremont (1971)

par Elizabeth Taylor

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

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1,2285815,588 (4.11)2 / 365
"On a rainy Sunday afternoon in January the recently widowed Mrs. Palfrey moves to the Claremont Hotel in South Kensington. "If it's not nice, I needn't stay," she promises herself, as she settles into this haven for the genteel and the decayed. "Three elderly widows and one old man who seemed to dislike female company and seldom got any other kind" serve for her fellow residents, and there is the staff, too, and they are one and all lonely. What is Mrs. Palfrey to do with herself now that she has all the time in the world? Go for a walk. Go to the museum. Go to the end of the block. Well, she does have her grandson who works at the British Museum, and he is sure to visit any day. Mrs Palfrey prides herself on having always known "the right thing to do," but in this new situation she discovers that resource is much reduced. Before she knows it, in fact, she tries something else. Elizabeth Taylor's final and most popular novel is as unsparing as it is, ultimately, heartbreaking"--… (plus d'informations)
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» Voir aussi les 365 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 58 (suivant | tout afficher)
Poc després d'enviudar, la senyora Palfrey decideix anar a viure a l'hotel Claremont, al carrer Cromwell de Londres, ciutat on hi viu el seu net, en Desmond. La senyora Palfrey espera que el net el visiti, però aquest no ho fa. Això és tema de conversa entre els altres hostes i motiu de vergonya per ella.
Un dia coneix en Ludo, un jove que està intentant escriure una novel·la. I el farà passar pel seu net. Però ¿què passarà el dia que es presenti el net de veritat?
Reflexions sobre la vellesa. La solitud de la vellesa ¿Què significa arribar a vell? Tot són rejudicis i aparences ¿Què diran?
"Aquí no ens hi deixen morir" pàg. 43
A la pàgina 76 es descriuen els antecedents del fenomen de la "botellada". Ja passava al Londres dels anys 70 entre els seguidors dels partits de rugby:
"És una cursa molt curta amb molts punts d'avituallament".
La dependència dels vells:
"Això que et treguin a passejar, és que Déu n´hi do...com si fossis una nena petita". pàg. 136
"Era un afer d'homes. Dels diners se'n feien càrrec ells. La dona només tenia ocasió d'ocupar-se'n quan era massa tard" pàg. 149
La pèrdua de la memòria:
"En la vellesa les coses es tornaven complicades. Era com ser un infant, però a la inversa. Per una criatura, cada dia que passa representa un petit aprenentatge; per a un vell, un petit oblit... Són edats cansades, tant la infantesa com la vellesa". pàg. 192
Banda sonora. Some Enchanted Evening (1949), cantada d'entre d'altres, per en Frank Sinatra. ( )
  AVenturaRibal | Jan 20, 2024 |
Very poignant & well-observed. ( )
  sjflp | Jun 18, 2023 |
Mrs. Palfrey is an admirable woman who does the best she can in her circumstances: she is now a widow, after a perfect marriage, with enough money and mobility to stay at a residential hotel in South Kensington. A handful of other aged residents also live there.The comparison of the author to Jane Austen is spot on. Even Mrs. Palfrey, admirable as she is, is also deceitful, and claims that Ludo, a stranger who helped her, is her grandson come to dine. (He is a better choice.) Ludo is an aspiring writer who writes at Harrod's---in a room that no longer exists---so that he doesn't have to heat his small apartment.

I felt distant from the characters; I don't know if this was a decision by Ms. Taylor or a failing on her part or mine. The hotel's long-term residents work at keeping a sense of distance from each other; perhaps it's the British stiff-upper-lip attitude of this part of society. But even family relationships are awkward and strained. I think Mrs. Palfrey makes the widower of their group a better person; growth is always possible.

I read the reviews on IMDB of the Joan Plowright movie; it was widely described as lovely. People who adapt Jane Austen's stories frequently make them sweeter. The book is not lovely; it is sometimes humorous, sometimes brutally honest but sympathetic, sometimes sad. My first reaction to the ending was outrage; I calmed down and now feel the ending is perfect. It's not only that we don't truly know anybody; we don't really want to know anybody.

(My family used to vacation at a residential hotel in Lakewood, NJ, in the 1960s.I remember the older women would sit by the deep end of the swimming pool and complain that the children splashed too much when they jumped into the water. And that they insisted the hotel's television show The Lawrence Welk Show on Sunday nights.) ( )
  raizel | Jun 12, 2023 |
Not your typical heroine, then. Mrs. Palfrey is a refined widow who needs a place to live but is not welcome or opposed to living with her daughter in Scotland. She settles up at the Claremont Hotel on London's Cromwell Road, where she joins a select group of senior citizens. On this group, Mrs. Palfrey used deception. A young writer named Ludo saves her when she tumbles to the ground in the street. Desmond, her grandson, has not come to see her at the Claremont. Ludo, who is also lonely and drawn to the excitement of pretending to be someone else, volunteers to portray Mrs. Palfrey's grandson. He can also use the chance to conduct some study. Mrs. Palfrey gains a grandson, receives a guest, and gains respect from the locals. How Mrs. Palfrey and Ludo handle the dangers and challenges that this deceit brings about, including a visit from le vrai Desmond, is one of the novel's charming elements. ( )
  jwhenderson | Mar 13, 2023 |
I'll hold on to this book to re-read in my golden years. It will probably be a 5 star read at that time. ( )
  BibliophageOnCoffee | Aug 12, 2022 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 58 (suivant | tout afficher)
First published in 1971, in a period setting perfectly depicted -- a cheap London residential hotel where a few widowed old people pass their later, solitary years. The pitiful circumstances of the ageing residents, and heartlessness of their remaining families and friends, are beautifully observed and portrayed, though, as universal themes. The hotel residents encounter helplessness, humiliation, increasing forgetfulness, loneliness, boredom -- the daily chore of passing the time, knitting as a social duty, with prospects only of increasing bodily feebleness, perhaps a nursing home, and death. Their few visitors `did their duty occasionally ... and went relievedly away'; the hotel manager resents these permanent guests, `cluttering up the place and boring everybody'.
Mrs Palfrey has one child, a daughter, now married and living in Scotland, who waits there until her weekend houseparty is over before travelling to her mother's hospital bed when she breaks her hip; her grandson, learning of the accident, feels that it `suited him admirably', having had some fear that she might remarry and change her will. Thus we rejoice when someone does appear to be showing Mrs Palfrey human kindness and friendship -- but young Ludovic is in fact deliberately observing her and her fellow Claremont-residents for a book he is writing on old age. Eager for copy, he makes notes after every meeting with Mrs Palfrey, whom he sees as `doting on him, to his embarrassed boredom'. He is `banking on her being dead -- or out of his life -- before [his book] saw the light of day'.
Nevertheless, Ludovic brings Mrs Palfrey her only happiness in her last months, and despite the pity and pain, the book is pleasurable to read. Taylor writes with delicacy and subtlety, and shrewd, witty observation of the characters she exposes. There is much humour in the depiction of rivalry and one-up-manship in the hotel. Certainly the book also offers much subject for group discussion. Is Ludovic wholly to be condemned? What could or should have been done to ameliorate the fates of the elderly residents? How different would their situation and the events have been today?
ajouté par KayCliff | modifierNew BooksMag, Hazel K. Bell (May 28, 2016)
 

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Nom de l'auteurRôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Elizabeth Taylorauteur principaltoutes les éditionscalculé
Bailey, PaulIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Hoffman, MichaelIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Mrs. Palfrey first came to the Claremont Hotel on a Sunday afternoon in January.
I have to begin this appreciation of Elizabeth Taylor's penultimate novel on a personal note. (Introduction)
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As one gets older life becomes all take and no give. One relies on other people for the treats and things. It's like being an infant again...Of course, it's nice to be given a treat, but not if it's ALWAYS that way round.
Every day for an infant means some new little thing learned; every day for the old means some little thing lost. {...} Both infancy and age are tiring times.
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"On a rainy Sunday afternoon in January the recently widowed Mrs. Palfrey moves to the Claremont Hotel in South Kensington. "If it's not nice, I needn't stay," she promises herself, as she settles into this haven for the genteel and the decayed. "Three elderly widows and one old man who seemed to dislike female company and seldom got any other kind" serve for her fellow residents, and there is the staff, too, and they are one and all lonely. What is Mrs. Palfrey to do with herself now that she has all the time in the world? Go for a walk. Go to the museum. Go to the end of the block. Well, she does have her grandson who works at the British Museum, and he is sure to visit any day. Mrs Palfrey prides herself on having always known "the right thing to do," but in this new situation she discovers that resource is much reduced. Before she knows it, in fact, she tries something else. Elizabeth Taylor's final and most popular novel is as unsparing as it is, ultimately, heartbreaking"--

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