The Gate of Angels (Flamingo)

3.62 avg rating
( 1,330 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780006543602: The Gate of Angels (Flamingo)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Fred Fairly, a Junior Fellow at the college of St Angelicus, where for centuries no female, not even a pussy cat, has been allowed to set foot, lectures in physics. Science, he is certain, will explain everything. Until into Fred's orderly life come Daisy. Fred is smitten. Why have I met her? he wonders. How can I tell if she's quite what she seems? Fred is a scientist. To him the truth should be everything. But even scientists make mistakes.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Penelope Fitzgerald wanted to call her 1990 novel Mistakes Made by Scientists. On the other hand, she laughingly likened it to a Harlequin doctor-nurse romance. The truth about The Gate of Angels is somewhere in between. The doctor, Fred Fairly, is indeed a young Cambridge scientist, and the nurse, Daisy Saunders, has been ejected from a London hospital. If Fred is to win her love, he must make an appropriately melodramatic sacrifice--leaving the academic sanctum of St. Angelicus, a college where all females, even pussycats, are banished ("though the starlings couldn't altogether be regulated").

Daisy, however, suffers from a very non-Harlequin malady, the sort found only in Fitzgerald: "All her life she had been at a great disadvantage in finding it so much more easy to give than to take. Hating to see anyone in want, she would part without a thought with money or possessions, but she could accept only with the caution of a half-tamed animal." Self-protection is certainly not this young woman's strong suit, but we admire her endurance. At one moment, Fred points out that "women like to live on their imagination." Daisy's response? "It's all they can afford, most of them."

Set in Cambridge and London in 1912, The Gate of Angels, then, is a love story and a novel of ideas. Fred, a rector's son, has abandoned religion for observable truths, whereas the undereducated Daisy is a Christian for whom the truth is entirely relative. The novel's strengths lie in what we have come to expect from Fitzgerald: a blend of the hilarious, the out-of-kilter, and the intellectually and emotionally provocative. She confronts her characters with chaos (theoretical and magical), women's suffrage, and seemingly impossible choices, and we can by no means be assured of a happy outcome. "They looked at each other in despair, and now there seemed to be another law or regulation by which they were obliged to say to each other what they did not mean and to attack what they wished to defend."

Fitzgerald's novel also records the onslaught of the modern on traditions and beliefs it will fail to obliterate entirely: women as second-class citizens and a class-ridden society in which the poor suffer deep financial and moral humiliation. The author sees the present pleasures--Cambridge jousts in which debaters must argue not what they believe but its exact opposite--and is often charmed by them. But under the light surface, she proffers an elegant meditation on body and soul, science and imagination, choice and chance. Her characters, as ever, are originals, and even the minor players are memorable: one of Fred's fellows, the deeply incompetent Skippey, is "loved for his anxiety," because he makes others feel comparatively calm.

Fitzgerald fills all of her period novels with odd, charming, and disturbing facts and descriptions. Some, like the catalog of killing medicines Daisy administers, are strictly researched and wittily conveyed: "Over-prescriptions brought drama to the patients' tedious day. Too much antimony made them faint, too much quinine caused buzzing in the ears, too much salicylic acid brought on delirium..." Others are the product of microscopic observation, that is, imagination. Fred's family home is in hyperfertile Blow Halt, a place where no one thinks to buy vegetables, so free are they for the taking. But within this paradise, his mother and sisters are sewing banners for women's suffrage, and nature launches a quiet threat: "Twigs snapped and dropped from above, sticky threads drifted across from nowhere, there seemed to be something like an assassination, on a small scale, taking place in the tranquil heart of summer." --Kerry Fried

Book Description:

Mariner paperback, 1998, previous ISBN 978-0-395-84838-8

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780544484108: The Gate of Angels

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  054448410X ISBN 13:  9780544484108
Publisher: Mariner Books, 2015
Softcover

9780385421508: The Gate of Angels

Nan A...., 1991
Hardcover

9780395848388: The Gate of Angels

Marine..., 1998
Softcover

9781417711390: Gate of Angels

San Val, 1998
Hardcover

9780881849608: Gate of Angels

Carrol..., 1993
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Fred Fairly, a Junior Fellow at the college of St Angelicus, where for centuries no female, not even a pussy cat, has been allowed to set foot, lectures in physics. Science, he is certain, will explain everything. Until into Fred s orderly life come Daisy. Fred is smitten. Why have I met her? he wonders. How can I tell if she s quite what she seems? Fred is a scientist. To him the truth should be everything. But even scientists make mistakes. Seller Inventory # AA89780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.75
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Fred Fairly, a Junior Fellow at the college of St Angelicus, where for centuries no female, not even a pussy cat, has been allowed to set foot, lectures in physics. Science, he is certain, will explain everything. Until into Fred s orderly life come Daisy. Fred is smitten. Why have I met her? he wonders. How can I tell if she s quite what she seems? Fred is a scientist. To him the truth should be everything. But even scientists make mistakes. Seller Inventory # AA89780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.83
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Harper Collins (1991)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins, 1991. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # EH9780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.21
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 5.67
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.04
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Penelope Fitzgerald
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST000654360X. Seller Inventory # ST000654360X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.77
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Harper Perennial (2004)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Paperback Quantity Available: 17
Seller:
The Monster Bookshop
(Fleckney, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Perennial, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. BRAND NEW ** SUPER FAST SHIPPING FROM UK WAREHOUSE ** 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0000180568

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.98
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.20
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Penelope Fitzgerald
Published by Fourth Estate Ltd (1991)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Softcover Quantity Available: 18
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Fourth Estate Ltd, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780006543602_rkm

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.37
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.04
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Fitzgerald, Penelope
Published by Fourth Estate
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Softcover Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Fourth Estate. Condition: New. 1991. New Ed. Paperback. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Num Pages: 176 pages. BIC Classification: YFB; YQEF. Category: (E) Primary & Secondary Education; (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 129 x 15. Weight in Grams: 176. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Fitzgerald, Penelope
Published by Fourth Estate (1991)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New Softcover Quantity Available: 15
Rating
[?]

Book Description Fourth Estate, 1991. Condition: New. 1991. New Ed. Paperback. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is 1912, and at Cambridge University the modern age is knocking at the gate. Num Pages: 176 pages. BIC Classification: YFB; YQEF. Category: (E) Primary & Secondary Education; (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 129 x 15. Weight in Grams: 176. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.78
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Penelope Fitzgerald, Philip Hensher (introduction)
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 1991-09-04, London (1991)
ISBN 10: 000654360X ISBN 13: 9780006543602
New paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 1991-09-04, London, 1991. paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9780006543602

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.38
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.81
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book