Posted 20 hours ago

The Flames: A gripping historical novel set in 1900s Vienna, featuring four fiery women

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She declined – and I enjoyed imagining precisely the words she used to express her dismay and sense of betrayal during that pivotal scene, in The Flames – and never saw him again.

The Flames by Sophie Haydock | Waterstones

So it was not an honourable role to take one’s clothes off for money, much less to have to deliver those artworks to Vienna’s elite, who had a taste for the explicit and were willing to pay handsomely to have their appetites sated.Haydock breathes life into four women, his muses: imagining their relationships with Schiele and the dynamics between them where their lives cross. Haydock breathes life into 4 women, his muses, of whom little is known, imagining their relationships with Schiele and the dynamics between them where their lives cross. I really enjoyed learning more about how the War effected the citizens of the Empire, where the higher classes soon lost much of their wealth and status, and how Schiele and Vally both played their part.

Sophie Haydock - Penguin Books UK Sophie Haydock - Penguin Books UK

It will be published by Doubleday / Penguin Random House in March 2022 and translated into several languages. A lot of the content problems that I had with the book were forgiven by the author's note, in which she states that she made up the love triangle between the two Harms sisters and Schiele (I really dislike sibling love triangles, especially involving two sisters).Sophie Haydock captures the zeitgeist of this period, the changing landscape of Europe, the effects of the War and how art was perceived. I think of how the judge ignited Schiele's artwork in that courtroom more than a hundred years ago – burning, but also illuminating – and I hope The Flames shines a new light on the models who made that troubled man one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Goodreads Loading interface - Goodreads

The novel begins with a young woman, Eva, crashing her cycle into an old woman in Vienna in 1968, whose attention is on a poster for an art exhibition. I especially enjoyed the way she explores the potential dynamics between the flames/muses to create a fascinating narrative throughout. Having just seen the great film adaptation of The Mad Women's Ball, which acknowledges that institutions were places of tremendous abuse and suffering but also places where women could form networks and yes, even behave and treat each other as human beings, the dehumanization of Adele vis-a-vis her mental illness really disappointed me.On top of the great story, characters and plot, there is some gorgeous writing and excellent scene setting. None of these women are granted lives or interests or really distinct personalities outside of who they were to Egon Schiele. To wtedy tworzy słynny Gustaw Klimt i jego protegowany kontrowersyjny Egon Schiele, ale to nie im autorka poświęca swą powieść.

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