Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm

Zuleika DobsonThe best thing I can say about Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm is that it helped me meet the letter “Z” requirement for my 2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. I forced myself to keep reading this dated satire long after I lost interest in it. From the publisher:

Max Beerbohm’s only novel is a comic masterpiece set in the privileged environs of Judas College, Oxford. When beautiful prestidigitator Zuleika Dobson gains admittance to the all-male campus, romance is suddenly in the air. But the smitten undergraduates are out of luck, because this femme fatale can only love a man unaffected by her charms.

The snobbish and taciturn Duke of Dorset appears up to the challenge, but his wall of indifference crumbles when Zuleika falls for him. She immediately rejects him for reciprocating her feelings, of course, and the Duke is driven to despair. He resolves to kill himself to teach her a lesson, but one small problem remains: Zuleika thinks suicide is romantic—and every lovesick undergraduate at Oxford is dying to agree with her.

This novel joins Candide and Gulliver’s Travels as satires that left me bored and bewildered.

Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
First edition London: Heinemann, 1911
Kindle edition Open Road Media, November 24, 2015
Print length: 216 pages

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

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