Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Lodger (Louisa Treger)

Louisa Treger's The Lodger has an interesting story on how it came about.  Treger was looking for an angle about Virginia Woolf that hadn't been done before and came across something Woolf had written about peer Dorothy Richardson.  She decided to delve deeper into Richardson's life, of which nothing much had been written about up to that point.

A major English writer in the early twentieth century, Richardson did not have an easy time of it at first.  She was residing in a boarding house, trying to scrape up enough money to live on from her job, when she became infatuated with her friend's husband, Bertie (otherwise known as Mr. H.G. Wells).  Dorothy and Bertie began a passionate affair, but when Veronica, a new boarder, entered her life, Dorothy was torn between the two.  Because of the time she was living in, her reputation would be in tatters no matter which one she chose.  Treger weaves in plenty of history in The Lodger, with Dorothy beginning to write as the suffragette movement was taking place outside her walls.

This is a quick read, but I felt like the characters (though true) weren't fleshed out enough to hold my attention.  However, if you're interested in this time period and in peeking into a slice of literary history, The Lodger is worth a read.