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Three Cities of Bells: Oxford - Wells - Ely…

Three Cities of Bells: Oxford - Wells - Ely (A City of Bells + Towers in… (1965)

by Elizabeth Goudge

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Here are three novels by Elizabeth Goudge grouped into an Omnibus because each features a Cathedral City. They represent different aspects of her writing, yet all clearly show her wonderful hand at capturing the complexity of people and the beauty and creativity that we are capable of.

City of Bells is set in Torminster, based on the Cathedral City of Wells. This is a heart-warming story of a young man injured in the Boer War who recuperates physically and emotionally in the company of a delightful young girl, Henrietta, and a beautiful and refreshing young woman. The center of the story, holding everyone steady as they change and grow and find new desires, is the grandfather, a Canon of the Cathedral. His faith is well worn and strong and gentle. He provides a very comforting and at times challenging reminder of eternal truths.

Towers in the Mist is set in Oxford and is a historical novel. This is set in the 1500s, is set around a Canon and his many children, and includes some historical figures from the history of Oxford. This is a great way to learn more about life in that time period and the history of Oxford. It also touches on the difficult transitions from Henry VIII, through Mary, to Elizabeth as religion became a fighting point and at different times both sides paid dearly.

The Dean's Watch is set in another Cathedral City based on the City of Ely. This is more along the lines of City of Bells. I didn't find it as quotable, but I found the figure of the Dean of the Cathedral, as he fights against sin and struggles to bring Love into the lives of the people of his city, to be an inspiring and convicting character. The strength of a Goudge novel is in the descriptions of people as even they would not be able to understand themselves, and the connections that draw people together. ( )
1 vote lauranav | Feb 9, 2010 |
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This omnibus anthology includes three independent novels:
-A City of Bells.
-Towers in the Mist.
-The Dean's Watch.
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