Cover image for The daguerreotype : a novel
The daguerreotype : a novel
Gregory, Patrick (Patrick Bolton)
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
244 pages ; 24 cm
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With an unerring ear for Victorian language and a sense of authenticity, Patrick Gregory takes Elizabeth from unsure girl on unfamiliar soil to resilient matriarch. The poignancy of her story lies in its commonality, with its usual share of youthful hopes and soaring ambitions, followed by the disillusionment and unexpected turns of fate. If the heroine's life ends in obscurity, it nonetheless acquires a certain nobility through her persistent efforts to cling to the remnants of her youthful ideals.

Author Notes

Patrick Gregory, formerly a book editor in New York and Boston, now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and South Halifax, Vermont.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This full-fledged first novel points, first, to the author's obvious understanding of the need for fluid, rather than obtrusive, use of history in fiction. It points, second, to the adjustments in social attitudes that European immigrants made when settling in America and settling into less-formal American customs. Readers quickly come to appreciate the correlation between Gregory's purposefully rich language and the florescent tone of the literature of the day. The time frame stretches--no suggestion here of any thinness of plot--from 1849 to 1929. The settings range from London to Philadelphia to the Wisconsin cities of Madison and Milwaukee to rural Iowa. The central thread is the life of Elizabeth Gow, who, as a young Englishwoman, accompanies her scholar father to America as he pursues better recognition of his erudition. Elizabeth's story is twofold: her coming-of-age and, after the early death of her father, her assumption of control over her future and fortunes--both aspects of the story leading to Elizabeth's transfiguration into an American. --Brad Hooper Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Elizabeth Gow's dream of being a self-sufficient schoolmistress is dashed when her biologist father moves them from London to the Pennsylvania wilds to lecture at the new state university in The Daguerreotype, Patrick Gregory's debut novel. As the disappointments and compromises of adulthood erode her youthful hopes, Elizabeth stoically reconciles herself to life's uncertain course. Although Gregory ably renders his heroine's Victorian sensibilities, the novel plods sluggishly through Elizabeth's coming of age, then speeds through her middle years to her death. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prologue: London, 1849p. 1
London, 1850p. 4
Mid-Atlantic, 1851p. 24
Philadelphia, 1851p. 55
Madison, 1852p. 84
Madison, 1853p. 105
Milwaukee, 1854p. 136
Milwaukee, 1857p. 162
Madison, 1863p. 187
Clarksville, Iowa, 1929p. 215
Epilogue: New York City, 1942p. 237