Good deeds dispatched via villainous tactics YES, FINALLY I only had to time travel across centuries to find it. 4.5 This was such a joy of a book I think I have never smiled so much while reading a book that is not intended to be humorous This is part ode to cleverness and resourcefulness, part feminist manifesto, part exploration of emotional abuse and part manual on how to succeed in life I have never read anything of Perkins Gilman before, even the famous Yellow Wallpaper, but this is most definitely a good place to start and I am looking forward to reading She was certainly a woman ahead of her times The story is pretty unusual, even if straightforward This is sort of an autobiography of a young woman called Benigna MacAvelly who may or may not be a descendant of Niccolo Machiavelli she, for one, decided to think that she is and decided that she d be just like him, but in a good way She is kind and always does her best to improve lives of everyone around her And since she is extremely clever, resourceful and eager to learn, she actually succeeds in her little and not so little schemes Her biggest adversary is her own father who is emotionally abusing her mother and makes the lives of everyone in the household a nightmare Benigna, however, is smarter than anyone around her so be sure that she will deal with this situation in due time.This novel is just so very uplifting it makes me happy It works great as a pep talk, too So if you are in need of one, don t hesitate reading this. Charlotte Perkins Gilman S Compelling Story Of A Bright Girl Becoming Woman Shows The Restrictions And The Possibilities Of American Life A Hundred Years Ago With Ingenuity And Persistence, Benigna Machiavelli Maneuvres Hers Parents, Her Teachers, Her Friends, And Herself Toward A Better LifeCharlotte Perkins Gilman Herself Is One Of The Forgotten Heroes Of The Women S Movement As A Writer, Editor, Tireless Lecturer, She Worked In The Tumultuous Years Before American Women Got The Vote Gilman Was A Social Critic And Utopian Visionary, Whose Work Was Praised By GB Shaw, Theodore Dreiser, William Dean Howells, And HG Wells Her Wowen And Economics Went Through Nine Printings . Une jeune fille, plus fut e que la moyenne, qui d cide d utiliser ses talents de manipulatrice pour faire le bien autour d elle, une m chante gentille en somme, voil le point de d part de ce court roman, qui raconte la jeunesse de Benigna Machiavelli.C est le genre de roman qui fait du bien lire C est franchement bien crit, sans tre lourd C est dr le, malin et assez jubilatoire Le personnage principal, malgr un c t je sais tout est franchement attachant, peut tre parce qu on aimerait comme elle pouvoir manipuler notre entourage notre guise Ou peut tre parce que, malgr son machiav lisme, Benigna est une authentique gentille, qui ne d sire que faire le bonheur de sa m re et de sa s ur m me si a implique d envoyer son p re en cosse pour r ussir.J ai vraiment pass un bon moment, j ai ador suivre Benigna dans ses manigances et la voir r ussir, triompher des obstacles chaque chapitre, on se demande ce qu elle va pouvoir inventer et l on est rarement d u crit en 1914, j ai t assez surprise par la modernit du texte, notamment au niveau de la tonalit de l criture, mais aussi des th mes abord s, notamment sur la condition des femmes Enfin, pas tonnant quand on sait que Charlottes Perkin Gilman est aussi l auteur de la nouvelle the yellow wallpaper , charge contre le traitement des maladies nerveuses f minines.En r sum un tr s bon moment de lecture, un roman malin et intelligent. Benigna is a delightful, scheming, and driven female character Most important, she is a good person, and her over arching goal in life is to help others by learning all that she can I wish this book had a sequel A treasure Gilman s intention with this deceptively simple tale of a teen ager who takes control of her dysfunctional family was to show people, and especially women, that there is ALWAYS a solution to any problem Benigna is fed up with her father who drinks too much, abuses his wife verbally and lords it over everybody on the grounds that he might one day inherit a fortune from his Scottish relatives Benigna uses this fantasy of his to her advantage and persuades the petty tyrant to travel to Scotland to reclaim his inheritance While he is gone, she restores her mother s confidence in herself by helping her to turn the family home into a prosperous boarding house The mother makes new friends, Benigna s sister blossoms, and when the father comes home and expects to reestablish the old regime, he is in for a big surprise Gilman was a Utopian thinker who used her considerable gifts for satire to denounce the patriarchy and encourage women to find alternative solutions at a time when most of them felt they were at the mercy of men economically Her vigorous style and sharp wit make this book a fantastic read that has lost none of its appeal or relevance today. Elle s appelle Benigna MacAvelly, mais pr f re se pr senter comme Benigna Machiavelli, une enfant prodige en bon sensavec bien s r une pointe de machiavelisme , comme elle se d crit elle m me Benigna est un personnage tr s attachant, plein de malice et d espi glerie Ce roman tr s amusant, crit en 1914, est tellement en avance sur son temps quant aux id es que cela en est surprenant Un petit bijou Warning this is one of the hardest reviews I ve ever had to write It doesn t do the book justice It s not really a review either It s the story of a book, and how it found me No gifs don t faint just yet , no formatting I m going back to basics here Prepare to be bored to death takes a deep breath Okay I can do this This is one of my favourite books EVER And you know what happens when you try to review one of your favourite books EVER, right You have absolutely NOTHING to say Yay.I guess I could go on and on and on about how absolutely brilliant and amazingly fantastic this book is I could ramble on and on about how much I love Perkins Gilman s writing I could also tell you what an incredible, ahead of her time character Benigna is But I don t think I can Because I love this book so much I wouldn t know where to start I have almost every single page bookmarked and every sentence underlined Sigh What to do No idea Wait Actually, I think I know I m going to tell you about the story of this book And of how I discovered it Or how it discovered me.I m pretty sure most of you have never heard of this little piece of awesomeness only 14 ratings on Goodreads It was first published as a serial in 1914, in Perkins Gilman s magazine, The Forerunner And then Nothing Nothing until Viviane Hamy, a French publisher, came across it in the late 1990s and decided to have it translated and printed And that s how I first heard of Benigna.I m not sure how well known Charlotte Perkins Gilman is these days I was first introduced to her work in a Women s Studies class in college than 20 years dear GAWD I m so ancient , The Yellow Wallpaper being part of the required reading material for the class I have to admit I was too young and clueless to appreciate the sheer brilliance of it at the time But still, I was intrigued and kept my copy of the book I read it again years later Wow Just wow Fast forward to 2000 here I was, browsing a bookstore in France, when I saw this I lied, there was one gif in this non review Perkins Gilman Machiavelli that kid on the cover How could I resist this I bought it I read it I loved it Moved a few times Lost the book Couldn t find another copy Completely forgot about it gasps Then suddenly remembered about it last Spring Started searching for an English edition And realized the only one in existence had been published for the first time in the US in 2013, a hundred years after its original publication No wonder it s so little known Anyway, I finally found a battered copy from the Santa Barbara Public library through Better World Books And here we are.So this is where I m supposed to tell you about the book, right Right Okay, I ll try I ve already told you this wouldn t do the book justice, right Right Just thought I d remind you Here goes nothingA good villain That s what we need I said to myself Why don t they write about them Aren t there any I never found any in all my beloved story books, or in real life And gradually, I made up my mind to be one. This is the story of a smartass A 1914 smartass kid named Begnigna MacAvelly Don t get me wrong, when I say she s a smartass I don t mean it in a know it all, brag till you die, annoying as hell kind of way She s a smartass because she s clever And sharp And cunning And resourceful And a manipulative, scheming mini villain I LOVE this kid Because she s a mini Machiavelli with a cause A good cause Always Why does she manipulate the hell out of everyone To make her mother and sister s lives better See, she s a good kid despite her devious ways This wasn t disobedience, for no one had forbidden me to go It was just enterprising. Enterprising she is She starts small, experimenting with minor ploys and learning from her experiences in naughtiness Her stratagems become increasingly elaborate until one day, she is faced with her greatest challenge to get rid of her drunken, verbally abusive, father So she plots away and comes up with a complex scheme Involving her grandfather And his kitchen maid And her neighbour And her neighbour s daughter And the neighbour s boarders, too Among others Unbeknownst to them, they are all pawns in Benigna s evil for good machinations And seeing her manipulating all these poor, clueless people to achieve her goal is positively gleeful.This doesn t sound like much It is This is a story about empowerment It s a story that tells you that anything is possible if you set your mind to it No matter who you are, what you are, where you are or what situation you are in This is a story about hope Hope for a better life It s out there for you to work towards and ultimately, make yours And it s a story about mischief The positive kind Yes, this book is all this And it was written in 1914 But you would never tell from Perkins Gilman s smooth, dynamic, witty, impeccable writing yeah, you could say I m a fan I d add superlatives here but I wouldn t want to bore you than you already are This book You could say I LOVE IT Yeah, you could say that Benigna Machiavelli is now widely available in both paper and in electronic formats You have no excuse Read it Pre review nonsense Some people would say this book is a gem and a treasure how delightfully proper I would say this book is fucking cool, bloody awesome and pretty damn fantastic And one of my favourite books ever EVER.Benigna Machiavelli scheming villain with a good cause, at your service since 1914 Full review to come Pre reread nonsense Benigna Machiavelli One of the most fantastic female characters ever And she s a kid In a 1914 novel How cool can you get I read this in French years ago and LOVED it, can t wait to reread it in English. 2 , 5 , 20.
Frederic B Perkins.
- 190 pages
- Benigna Machiavelli
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- 10 April 2018 Charlotte Perkins Gilman