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When first published in 1899 the work received a mixed critical reception; praise for its outstanding writing style and condemnation for it's frank presentation of the limits of a woman's role and its sexual openness. At the time the book only had one printing. After it's rediscovery in 1969 the book has been praised for its treatment of issues facing women and its wonderful style.
Historical fiction novel. The story begins with an actual historical tragedy - the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary (roughly equivalent to a modern Prime Minister) Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen - one of the most painful episodes in Dutch history, described by Dumas with a dramatic intensity.
The novel explores the three different loves Maggie Tulliver feels for the three men in her life - her father, her brother, and her special friend Philip Wakem. As the story moves to a dramatic conclusion, the gifted and independent Maggie is challenged by circumstance and tensions both within the family and between her family and the Wakems.
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