The Post Office Girl, Stefan Zweig and Engels

Yes, I have immediately jumped from the end of Toibin's Brooklyn (the TLS have a review in tomorrow's issue) into rich, pampered Switzerland and poor old post-WW1 Austria in Zweig's now ubiquitous The Post Office Girl. The dense prose of Zweig - he really does labour over description a little too much - is something I'm finding a little tedious, and, dare I say it, I'm not even 50 pages in and I already know what's likely to happen. OK, not the specifics, but I know it's a cinderella turned tragic story. But I shall plod on. I also received yesterday the just published new biog of Engels, by the maddeningly young academic hot-shot historian, (a year young than moi!) Tristram Hunt, which I'm also looking forward to delving into. In an email reply he said that he covers the Burns sisters in greater detail than previous biogs - and it's something which I shall be holding him to.

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