Widower's House: A Study in Bereavement, or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home

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9780393341560: Widower's House: A Study in Bereavement, or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home

A hilarious comedy of errors and a delightful love story by England's most improbable sex symbol.

Little did retired professor John Bayley realize when he lost Iris Murdoch, his beloved wife of forty-four years, that life would never be the same again. First came thousands of sympathy notes from lovers of Murdoch's novels and fans of Bayley's own poignant memoir, Elegy for Iris. But more alarming were the hundreds of calls from seemingly well-meaning women, many of whom rang Bayley's doorbell in Oxford, bearing cakes, casserole dishes, and delivering pep talks designed to cheer up the widower of their dreams.

Here, in Widower's House: A Study in Bereavement or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home, Bayley tells the painful, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting story of how he had to grapple with his fate as a man by beginning life anew in his mid-seventies. Like millions of other widows and widowers, Bayley, as he relates it, found himself emotionally unprepared for the responsibilities and burdens that confront people who suddenly find themselves alone. He hadn't realized how differently you are treated when you are not part of a couple, and how you must learn to respond to friends, family members, and total strangers in completely different ways.

With the reassuring, compassionate voice of Iris still a mournful obbligato in the background, Bayley describes the pitfalls a widower must face as he ventures out into the newly virgin world beyond his front door. Finding comfort in recording the day-to-day calamities that marked his reentry into the real world, Bayley uses surprising humor―reflected here in the vivid depictions of his new suitors, Margot and Mella―to get him through his darkest days.

Melodic, irrepressible, and comically comforting, Widower's House, with its heartwarming and surprisingly romantic ending, will reveal yet a new side of the man who has become England's most unlikely symbol of masculine virility.

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About the Author:

Born in India in 1925, John Bayley was educated at Eton and Oxford. He became a fellow of New College in 1955, where he taught English. In 1956, he married the novelist Iris Murdoch, who was then teaching philosophy at St. Anne's College. Bayley is an eminent literary critic and the author of Iris and Her Friends and Elegy for Iris. He has since remarried. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and an active supporter of Alzheimer's International, Bayley still lives and writes in Oxford, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

Following the February 1999 death of his wife of 44 years, novelist Iris Murdoch (whose lapse into Alzheimer's he chronicled in his bestselling Elegy for Iris), Bayley just wanted to live undisturbed, as "a widower in my own house." Yet he can't seem to get any peace and quiet with all the widows coming around an old friend of Iris's, a former student and hundreds of Murdoch fans who admire his sensitive account of his wife's decline and consider him the widower of their dreams. Bayley goes along, playing a passive but willing victim of their "well-meaning persecution," which involves household chores and chat as well as intimate companionship. (Perhaps the gentleman doth protest too much?) All the while, he's musing on the lack of a job description for widowerhood "being bereaved was not a career" while coming to terms with its unpredictability. Behind this curtain, another more subtle drama is unfolding: Bayley is letting go of his life with Murdoch. At first, his writing is filled with anecdotes about life with Iris, but by the end of the book, he's realizing he can't even picture the pre-Alzheimer's Iris anymore and that, in fact, he'd never really wanted to marry her. As Iris recedes, Bayley takes hold of his life again and remarries. Bayley's style is arch and self-critical, rather like that of one of Barbara Pym's skittish Oxford dons (no coincidence: Bayley, a literary critic, is a retired Oxford professor and Pym fan). Although precious at times, this memoir is engaging. (June)Forecast: Though too dark to become a mainstream pick-me-up for widowers, this may well become a letlles lettres classic.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Little did retired professor John Bayley realize when he lost Iris Murdoch, his beloved wife of forty-four years, that life would never be the same again. First came thousands of sympathy notes from lovers of Murdoch s novels and fans of Bayley s own poignant memoir, Elegy for Iris. But more alarming were the hundreds of calls from seemingly well-meaning women, many of whom rang Bayley s doorbell in Oxford, bearing cakes, casserole dishes, and delivering pep talks designed to cheer up the widower of their dreams. Here, in Widower s House: A Study in Bereavement or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home, Bayley tells the painful, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting story of how he had to grapple with his fate as a man by beginning life anew in his mid-seventies. Like millions of other widows and widowers, Bayley, as he relates it, found himself emotionally unprepared for the responsibilities and burdens that confront people who suddenly find themselves alone. He hadn t realized how differently you are treated when you are not part of a couple, and how you must learn to respond to friends, family members, and total strangers in completely different ways. With the reassuring, compassionate voice of Iris still a mournful obbligato in the background, Bayley describes the pitfalls a widower must face as he ventures out into the newly virgin world beyond his front door. Finding comfort in recording the day-to-day calamities that marked his reentry into the real world, Bayley uses surprising humor-reflected here in the vivid depictions of his new suitors, Margot and Mella-to get him through his darkest days. Melodic, irrepressible, and comically comforting, Widower s House, with its heartwarming and surprisingly romantic ending, will reveal yet a new side of the man who has become England s most unlikely symbol of masculine virility. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780393341560

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Little did retired professor John Bayley realize when he lost Iris Murdoch, his beloved wife of forty-four years, that life would never be the same again. First came thousands of sympathy notes from lovers of Murdoch s novels and fans of Bayley s own poignant memoir, Elegy for Iris. But more alarming were the hundreds of calls from seemingly well-meaning women, many of whom rang Bayley s doorbell in Oxford, bearing cakes, casserole dishes, and delivering pep talks designed to cheer up the widower of their dreams. Here, in Widower s House: A Study in Bereavement or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home, Bayley tells the painful, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting story of how he had to grapple with his fate as a man by beginning life anew in his mid-seventies. Like millions of other widows and widowers, Bayley, as he relates it, found himself emotionally unprepared for the responsibilities and burdens that confront people who suddenly find themselves alone. He hadn t realized how differently you are treated when you are not part of a couple, and how you must learn to respond to friends, family members, and total strangers in completely different ways. With the reassuring, compassionate voice of Iris still a mournful obbligato in the background, Bayley describes the pitfalls a widower must face as he ventures out into the newly virgin world beyond his front door. Finding comfort in recording the day-to-day calamities that marked his reentry into the real world, Bayley uses surprising humor-reflected here in the vivid depictions of his new suitors, Margot and Mella-to get him through his darkest days. Melodic, irrepressible, and comically comforting, Widower s House, with its heartwarming and surprisingly romantic ending, will reveal yet a new side of the man who has become England s most unlikely symbol of masculine virility. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780393341560

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 256 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 5.9in. x 0.7in.A hilarious comedy of errors and a delightful love story by Englands most improbable sex symbol. Little did retired professor John Bayley realize when he lost Iris Murdoch, his beloved wife of forty-four years, that life would never be the same again. First came thousands of sympathy notes from lovers of Murdochs novels and fans of Bayleys own poignant memoir, Elegy for Iris. But more alarming were the hundreds of calls from seemingly well-meaning women, many of whom rang Bayleys doorbell in Oxford, bearing cakes, casserole dishes, and delivering pep talks designed to cheer up the widower of their dreams. Here, in Widowers House: A Study in Bereavement or How Margot and Mella Forced Me to Flee My Home, Bayley tells the painful, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting story of how he had to grapple with his fate as a man by beginning life anew in his mid-seventies. Like millions of other widows and widowers, Bayley, as he relates it, found himself emotionally unprepared for the responsibilities and burdens that confront people who suddenly find themselves alone. He hadnt realized how differently you are treated when you are not part of a couple, and how you must learn to respond to friends, family members, and total strangers in completely different ways. With the reassuring, compassionate voice of Iris still a mournful obbligato in the background, Bayley describes the pitfalls a widower must face as he ventures out into the newly virgin world beyond his front door. Finding comfort in recording the day-to-day calamities that marked his reentry into the real world, Bayley uses surprising humorreflected here in the vivid depictions of his new suitors, Margot and Mellato get him through his darkest days. Melodic, irrepressible, and comically comforting, Widowers House, with its heartwarming and surprisingly romantic ending, will reveal yet a new side of the man who has become Englands most unlikely symbol of masculine virility. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780393341560

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