The Mesmerist

The Mesmerist Unable To Find Stage Work, Actresses Cordelia Preston And Rillie Spoons Need To Find A Way Of Making A Living Cordelia Remembers The Skills Of Her Aunt And Sets Out To Be A Phreno Mesmerist, Advising Couples On Their Compatibility And Enlightening Women On The Gentle Intricacies Of The Wedding Night Cordelia Finds That She Does Indeed Possess The Gift For Mesmerism, And As Her Popularity Grows, She And Rillie Are Finally Living Their Dream But Events From Cordelia S Past Return To Haunt Her, And The Women Become Embroiled In A Scandal That Threatens To Ruin Not Only Them But Those They Love

Barbara Ewing is a UK based actress, playwright and novelist Born in New Zealand, she graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in English and Maori before moving to Britain in 1965 to train as an actress at RADA the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.She made her film debut in the horror film Torture Garden 1967 for Amicus Productions, followed by Dracula Has Risen f

[PDF / Epub] ☂ The Mesmerist ✐ Barbara Ewing –
  • 400 pages
  • The Mesmerist
  • Barbara Ewing
  • 17 August 2019
  • 9781847440228

10 thoughts on “The Mesmerist

  1. says:

    This is a wonderfully entertaining drama, set in 19th century London and it s a lovely warm story, full of emotions, light and shade, drama and suspense.Cordelia Preston and her oldest, dearest friend, Rillie Spoons, were actresses, but they had both had passed the first flush of youth, and they found that that the only roles left to them were hags, crones and elderly mothers and that they were expected to be so grateful that they could at least still work in small, provincial theatres for derisory if any wages.They dreamed of breaking away, of somehow establishing themselves in a household of their own, but they didn t know how.Until Cordelia remembered her aunt Miss Preston of Bloomsbury who had found success as a mesmerist after a backstage accident brought to an end her own acting career Cordelia had inherited her books, and when she found them and read them, she decided that she and her friend could follow in her footsteps and be mistresses of their own lives too.She thought that she would be an actress playing a part but she soon found that she had also inherited skills from her aunt, that she had some sort of healing power in her hands And so with the help of the gentleman mesmerist who had loved and supported her aunt she established a hugely successful business, bringing comfort to the sick, the fearful, and the needy and counselling young women who were fearful of the pain they would have to endure on their wedding nights.Her rise was rapid but there were one or two unhappy customers, and there were people who would hold her past acting career against her.And Cordelia had a secret She had children, but they were lost to her She longed to find them, but she knew that the world must never know that she was their mother, because her notoriety could do them so much harm.It was, of course, inevitable that a scandal would blow up around the famous Miss Preston and the story ends in high drama, with a shocking murder, a riveting court case, and that s not all.But I don t want to say too much.Barbara Ewing tells her story wonderfully well Her characters are vivid, her storytelling is engaging, and, though there was much that was highly improbable, I was swept along because I was emotionally engaged with the characters and their stories I always wanted to know what was going to happen, and I was never entirely sure.The structure is a little messy, and the book feels a little long but it s the messiness of real lives, the different strands of the story come together well, and I found that there was no detail that wasn t important to the story.The depictions of the theatre world, of the lives of mesmerists, and of London life, are wonderful And there are some interesting themes threaded through the story, exploring the rigidity and unfairness of the class system, the sexual suppression of young woman, the way society viewed women who chose not to marry, resistance to change and to alternatives to traditional medicine.And, loveliest of all, this story celebrates friendships between women and the way women support each other, and the gifts that we inherit from those who came before us and can pass to those who will follow us.It s packed full of emotions love, regret, humour, despair, heart break, fear and it s clearly underpinned by a great deal of research.As the story drew to a close there was too much drama, and I saw rather too clearly that things were being set up for a sequel.And so I have to say that this book had it s weaknesses, but I did enjoy it.And I do want to read that sequel.

  2. says:

    This is a thoroughly good yarn woven around the social and economic history of women in 19th Century London I enjoyed the feisty characters and the good humoured spirit and general warmth of the story telling It s the first Barbara Ewing book I ve read, finding it by chance in a second hand bookshop, and it won t be the last, as the next book on my list is the sequel The Circus of Ghosts.

  3. says:

    I picked this up in a sale for 33p and wasn t sure what to expect as I had never read Barbara Ewing before I found it a bit slow reading at first as I couldn t really get interested in Hester and Kitty s story However when Cordelia s story began to unfold the narrative became not just interesting but moved at a much faster pace The story was eventually intriging and I m glad I stuck with it.

  4. says:

    My favourite Barbara Ewing book, bring on the port.

  5. says:

    I borrowed this book from the library, knowing nothing about Barbara Ewing, but just liking the sound of the story And I have discovered a great popular writer, who I see has just published another book, The Circus of Ghosts Obviously lots of other people know how great she is, because it is currently sitting in the number one slot in Smith s So yes, I have bought that one too.The Mesmerist has been brilliantly researched and gives insights into the Victorian craze for mesmerism with its then scandalous and salacious overtones of being able to affect another person through the use ofhealing hands This area of human capacity is still mysterious even today, and indeed is mysterious to Cordelia, the mesmerist of the title Ewing does a great job of exploring the intricacies of how it might feel to mesmerize or be mesmerized.The book also has a great forward moving rags to riches plot with many twists, which is based around the struggle of women for respectability in professional life, and how they might seize responsibility in a man s world I can t say much about it, or it will spoil the unfolding story.The main characters are women who are seen at all stages of life, from very young to the dementia of old age, all of whom are interestingly drawn and leap vividly to life off the page There is murder, a riveting court case, and all the fun of the theatre.Very highly recommended.

  6. says:

    Human beings can only carry so much pain Yes Ms Cordelia Preston and you have had than your share The pages open to introduce us to Ms Cordelia Preston and Ms Amaryllis Spoons soon to be out of work aging actresses by trade But they are great friends Mesmerism is on the rise in 1838 London Using their acting skills the two friends open their own business with Cordelia as the first and only female mesmerist Sought after by the upper classes it seems the two friends success is unstoppable But they have secrets Secrets that come to light threatening to destroy all that they have built.I liked this book very much The story is complex yet written without distraction We have women of strength and character who stand strong as life hurls some of the most challenging circumstances their way Nearing the end, a smile slowly broadened across my face as I finished the last pages A bit of a stretch I think but I came away applauding the cast and crew of this exceptional presentation.

  7. says:

    I found this book so interesting for so many reasons The whole aspect of mesmerism was fascinating and I loved how they explained it through the story The book had interesting and mysterious flashbacks that really helped to develop a strong connection with the main character My favourite element of the book was the strong female characters, how they were strong entrepreneurs who were in charge of their own livelihoods which was quite radical at the time They were in charge of their own destiny s and did not let anyone get in their way I adored the main character Cordelia is so strong willed but also quite sensitive The friendship between Cordelia and Mrs Spoons is very inspiring and heartwarming You almost felt like you were sitting with them in Bloomsbury basement with them, drinking a glass of port Though the book, we Cordelia s very strong capabilities but also her vulnerabilities through the hardships she faced The strong themes of the family love and the power of female friendship were very apparent through this book It s a such an interesting story that is so beautifully told

  8. says:

    A very good read This is about two out of work actresses Miss Cordelia Preston Miss Rillie Spoon who struggle to get work in Victorian London Cordelia inherited the ability from her mother to ease people s pain and suffering through the power of her hands and sets herself up as a Phreno Mesmerist But when a murder happens close to home, it threatens to reveal the secret of her past and a family she once lost secrets that if revealed could have an impact on the Royal Family itself.Cordelia is such an interesting and sympathetic character, her own background and family history all serve to direct her on the course her life takes At the same time, as a female succeeding in a male dominated world, it sheds some light on the conditions and difficulties faced by many in the lower classes during the period.The structure of the novel is strong, recounting Cordelia s fortunes, weaves in strong secondary characters, threads of murder and family drama that comes to a head in the court investigation The plot is about family drama, class conflict and Royal intrigue, a murder mystery, a nail biting courtroom drama, which keeps the reader gripped right through to the dramatic conclusion

  9. says:

    I didnt know what to expect when I started reading this Its been on my tbr pile for about 2 years, bought from a charity shop I also knew that the author is an actress but has not been seen on TV for some years now I was very pleasantly surprised Barbara Ewing really can write I got into it straightaway The main characters, Cordelia and Rillie, both ageing out of work actresses, were very strong, the plot was good and you want to know about them, their backstory being gradually revealed At just over the halfway however the book then takes a shocking unexpected turn and becomes a bit of a thriller which focuses on new characters which are introduced I didnt read the second half as quickly as the first and I thought it was slightly longwinded It seemed to take a long time to come to its conclusion, the ending was fairly obvious and left it open for a sequel, which BE has now written Overall though I enjoyed the book and will certainly read books by this author.

  10. says:

    A thoroughly entertaining novel set in early Victorian London, the Mesmerist is the story of an aging actress with a colourful past as the mistress of a lord Discovering that she has the ability to take away people s pain, she swaps the theatre for consulting rooms in Bloomsbury It s all going swimmingly until her past returns to haunt her The story is full of vividly painted characters, and bustles along at a rollicking pace It is funny, poignant and distressing by turns At times I found the tension almost unbearable, especially towards the end where the plot tightens with every page The style is a little loose in places but as a piece of storytelling, this could hardly be bettered.

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