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The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen…
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The Ladies of Missalonghi (original 1987; edition 1991)

by Colleen McCullough

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6471714,910 (3.64)39
Member:pjp19590
Title:The Ladies of Missalonghi
Authors:Colleen McCullough
Info:Arrow (1991), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough (1987)

  1. 00
    The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (MDGentleReader)
    MDGentleReader: Until I reread them both, I actually confused these two stories. I think that if you enjoy one, you'll enjoy the other.
  2. 11
    The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (glorymom13)
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» See also 39 mentions

English (16)  Spanish (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is a long time favorite of mine. The courage of the Ladies in the face of grinding poverty is beautiful. Some have noted the similarities between this story and the Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. There are things they have in common but each story is unique also. There is a ghost in this story and not in the other. This ghost is a major part of the story. No I wont tell you how the ghost affects the story.. Read it for your self, it is well worth you time to do so:) 5***** ( )
  Pebblesgmc | Aug 18, 2013 |
One of the worst cases of plagiarism it has been my misfortune to stumble across, Colleen McCullough's The Ladies of Missalonghi reads like an Australianized version of L.M. Montgomery's Canadian classic, The Blue Castle. Lest my fellow readers think that I am overzealous in defending the honor of a book that I freely acknowledge as one of the recurring pleasures of my adolescence, I will offer a point-by-point comparison...

The Blue Castle:

Valancy Stirling, spinster, lives with her mother and her Cousin Stickles...

Part of the Stirlings, a large extended clan that founded & dominates the town of Deerwood...

As poor relations, they must scrape by the best they can,
and Valancy is pitied for being an undesirable Old Maid...

Valancy's secret "guilty" pleasure: Nature Books from the local library...

Valancy suffers from mysterious and recurring pain in her chest...

Rakish outsider named Barney Snaith appears in town, is thought to be an "escaped convict..."

B.S. has a history of being ill-used by his lady love...

Valancy eventually rebels against the stricture of her joyless life, leaves her mother's house, and marries B.S., all while believing herself to be dying...

The Ladies of Missalonghi:

Missy Wright, spinster, lives with her mother and her Aunt Olivia...

Part of the Hurlingfords, a large extended clan that founded and dominates the town of Byron...

As poor relations, they scrape by the best they can, and Missy is pitied for being a plain Old Maid...

Missy's "guilty" pleasure: reading romantic novels from the lending library...

Missy suffers from a mysterious and recurring pain in her side...

Rakish outsider named John Smith appears in town, is thought to be a "jailbird..."

J.S. has a history of being ill-used by his lady love...

Missy eventually rebels against the constraints of her "starved" life, leaves her mother's house, and marries J.S., all while pretending to be dying...

I could go on (there are PLENTY of other examples), but I think the reader takes my point?

McCullough does manage to do a FEW things differently from Montgomery, cutting out the entire sub-plot of the sick friend that the heroine (Valancy) nurses, despite the social stigma of associating with a "fallen" woman. Worthy deeds are apparently more Montgomery's stock-in-trade, whereas McCullough contents herself by "sexing" things up a bit, with a few throwaway lines that the heroine herself doesn't really understand. What's so funny, she wonders, about referring to a young man as "limp?" Also notable is the moment when John Smith considers roughing Missy up a bit in bed, "not rape her exactly, just force her a little"(149), in order to dissuade her from marriage. What could be more appealing in a romantic hero, especially one modeled on my beloved Barney Snaith...?

Somebody, please pass me a blowtorch... ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jul 1, 2013 |
A sweet tale of three down on their luck ladies and the horrible men that control their lives. Missy's transformation is a lot of fun to read...just goes to show you that with a little magic and a change of attitude dreams can come true! ( )
  melissarochelle | Apr 13, 2013 |
There have been accusations that this plot was taken from a particular Canadian book. ButColleen McCullough is one of the most original writers that I know. Her first novel (I'm pretty sure) was 'Tim.' I have not seen anything like Tim before or since. I doubt if 'The Ladies' was plagiarised at all - only that it was very common in the 1920s for widows and spinsters to live together, and in poverty (spinsters were very common in Australia after the WW1 due to the shortage of men.) As an Australian writer, she may never have come across the Canadian book that is spoken of.

The plot? Missy finds her existence so drab through no fault of her own that she seizes her idea, chooses to disregard the deceit involved, and finds her happiness. I loved the ending, and if it's like a fairy-tale with the villains getting what they deserved, then that's fine with me.

I think that many women of her generation (and mine) carry a deep anger at the treatment of women, and especially of those who have never been pretty. This story comes from that anger, and I was so pleased for Missy when she found a good life in spite of all that was set against her. This is a 5-star book. ( )
  M.A.McRae | Mar 4, 2012 |
What a gem and a joy of a book! ( )
  fuzzi | Dec 10, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colleen McCulloughprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuyper-Snel, Mariëlla deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mother, who has finally attained her dream of living in the Blue Mountains
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"Can you tell me, Octavia, why our luck never seems to change for the better?"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380704587, Mass Market Paperback)

Sometimes fairy toles can come true-even for plain,shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicianor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to aquiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family's pitifullysmall homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains. But It's a brandnew century-the twentieth-a time for new thoughts and boldnew actions. And Missy Wright is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging. Because she hasjust set her sights on a mysterious, mistrusted and unsuspectingstranger ... who just might be Prince-Charming in disguise.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:44 -0400)

In Missalonghi, on Missy Wright's family's pitifully small homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains, It's a brand new century--the twentieth--a time for new thoughts and bold new actions. And Missy is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging! Sometimes fairy tales can come true-even for plain, shy spinsters like Missy Wright. Neither as pretty as cousin Alicianor as domineering as mother Drusilla, she seems doomed to a quiet life of near poverty at Missalonghi, her family's pitifully small homestead in Australia's Blue Mountains. But It's a brand new century-the twentieth-a time for new thoughts and boldnew actions. And Missy Wright is about to set every self-righteous tongue in the town of Byron wagging. Because she has just set her sights on a mysterious, mistrusted and unsuspectingstranger ... who just might be Prince-Charming in disguise.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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