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The Hopkins Conundrum: A Tragic Comedy About…
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The Hopkins Conundrum: A Tragic Comedy About Gerard Manley Hopkins and… (edition 2017)

by Simon Edge (Author)

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291692,313 (3)2
Tim Cleverley inherits a failing pub in Wales, which he plans to rescue by enlisting an American pulp novelist to concoct an entirely fabricated "mystery" about Gerald Manley Hopkins, who composed "The Wreck of the Deutschland" nearby. Blending the real stories of Hopkins and the shipwrecked nuns he wrote about with a contemporary love story, while casting a wry eye on the Dan Brown industry, The Hopkins Conundrum is a highly original mix of commercial fiction, literary biography, and satirical commentary.… (more)
Member:EUGENEVESEY
Title:The Hopkins Conundrum: A Tragic Comedy About Gerard Manley Hopkins and Five Shipwrecked Nuns
Authors:Simon Edge (Author)
Info:Lightning Books (2017), 289 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Hopkins Conundrum: A Tragic Comedy About Gerard Manley Hopkins and Five Shipwrecked Nuns by Simon Edge

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I studied Hopkins 20 years ago when doing my English A levels and his poetry has remained with over the last 20 years. You rarely hear much about him outside of the classroom so when I saw this book I thought it was worth a read.

The book has 3 themes, the first follows the a section of the life of Hopkins, in the second we are told a partly fictionalised account of the 5 Franciscan Nuns who perished in a storm (and were immortalised in the poem Wreck of the Deutchland). The third theme is total fiction and we meet Tim Cleverly a landlord of a small pub that he has inherited, this is where most of the comedy comes in.

Although Tim knows nothing about Hopkins he devises a plan to try and increase footfall to his failing pub by getting a bestselling author to write a book linking Hopkins Poems to clues about the holy grail. The three themes are woven together quite cleverly and you can tell the author is both a fan of the poet and has completed his research.

My only criticism was that the author seems to dwell far too much on the sexuality of Hopkins. It is supposed if not that well documented that he was homosexual and this was developed a bit too much for me in the story. I wondered why this was and did my own bit of research on the author, it seems he is was once editor of Capital Gay and has also published a book called "With Friends Like These", a critique of the Left’s record on gay rights. I think maybe he has allowed his own perceptions of Hopkins and his sexuality to colour the poets character.

I really did enjoy the book, and an easy recommendation. ( )
  Bridgey | Aug 26, 2020 |
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Tim Cleverley inherits a failing pub in Wales, which he plans to rescue by enlisting an American pulp novelist to concoct an entirely fabricated "mystery" about Gerald Manley Hopkins, who composed "The Wreck of the Deutschland" nearby. Blending the real stories of Hopkins and the shipwrecked nuns he wrote about with a contemporary love story, while casting a wry eye on the Dan Brown industry, The Hopkins Conundrum is a highly original mix of commercial fiction, literary biography, and satirical commentary.

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