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The Third Violet by Stephen Crane, Fiction, Historical, Classics, War & Military

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The Third Violet is the story of impressionist painter Billie Hawker's romantic courtship of New York socialite Grace Fanhall. Dog-lovers will especially enjoy scenes featuring Billie's Irish Setter, Stanley. Although it was not one of the author's own favorite works, readers who enjoy romance will surely enjoy the light, charming story from a different era -- a time when The Third Violet is the story of impressionist painter Billie Hawker's romantic courtship of New York socialite Grace Fanhall. Dog-lovers will especially enjoy scenes featuring Billie's Irish Setter, Stanley. Although it was not one of the author's own favorite works, readers who enjoy romance will surely enjoy the light, charming story from a different era -- a time when the deepest of feelings could be held in a single, tiny violet.


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The Third Violet is the story of impressionist painter Billie Hawker's romantic courtship of New York socialite Grace Fanhall. Dog-lovers will especially enjoy scenes featuring Billie's Irish Setter, Stanley. Although it was not one of the author's own favorite works, readers who enjoy romance will surely enjoy the light, charming story from a different era -- a time when The Third Violet is the story of impressionist painter Billie Hawker's romantic courtship of New York socialite Grace Fanhall. Dog-lovers will especially enjoy scenes featuring Billie's Irish Setter, Stanley. Although it was not one of the author's own favorite works, readers who enjoy romance will surely enjoy the light, charming story from a different era -- a time when the deepest of feelings could be held in a single, tiny violet.

30 review for The Third Violet by Stephen Crane, Fiction, Historical, Classics, War & Military

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Scheuer

    The Third Violet was Stephen Crane’s fourth short novel, written when he was 24 years old. It's much better than its reputation would suggest. It is told mostly in dialog, in chapters of three pages or less, and is largely free of the heavy similes and poetic descriptions that were a feature of Crane's earlier fiction—Maggie: A girl Of The Streets, The Red Badge Of Courage, and George's Mother. This gives The Third Violet a deceptive lightness. The first half is set in a rural village where the p The Third Violet was Stephen Crane’s fourth short novel, written when he was 24 years old. It's much better than its reputation would suggest. It is told mostly in dialog, in chapters of three pages or less, and is largely free of the heavy similes and poetic descriptions that were a feature of Crane's earlier fiction—Maggie: A girl Of The Streets, The Red Badge Of Courage, and George's Mother. This gives The Third Violet a deceptive lightness. The first half is set in a rural village where the painter William Hawkins is spending the summer at his parents' farm, and his friend Hollanden, a writer, is staying at a fashionable hotel. Visiting the hotel, Hawkins gradually falls in love with Grace Fanhall, an heiress, suffers longing and jealousy, and eventually returns to New York City. In the city, we meet the other artists with whom he shares a life of Bohemian poverty and quaint unconventionality. What distinguishes the book is the speech of the two main female characters--Grace, and the artist's model Florinda, aka Splutter, who loves Hawkins without Hawkins being fully aware of this fact. These women are really believable, and more self-aware and succinct than the men around them. Splutter is distinctly likable and modern. It's easy to imagine this story as a movie, with dialog uploaded directly from the novel. Where Crane's earlier stories used 19th century stylistic tropes to tackle modern subject matter and psychology, The Third Violet uses the frame of romantic fiction to show what the modern dialog novel would look like. Reading it, I was reminded of the English novelist Henry Green, who got his start thirty years after Crane wrote this charming book. Take a look at how Crane’s style changed from Maggie to The Third Violet: "In a hilarious hall there were twenty-eight tables and twenty- eight women and a crowd of smoking men. Valiant noise was made on a stage at the end of the hall by an orchestra composed of men who looked as if they had just happened in. Soiled waiters ran to and fro, swooping down like hawks on the unwary in the throng; clattering along the aisles with trays covered with glasses; stumbling over women's skirts and charging two prices for everything but beer, all with a swiftness that blurred the view of the cocoanut palms and dusty monstrosities painted upon the walls of the room. A bouncer, with an immense load of business upon his hands, plunged about in the crowd, dragging bashful strangers to prominent chairs, ordering waiters here and there and quarreling furiously with men who wanted to sing with the orchestra. The usual smoke cloud was present, but so dense that heads and arms seemed entangled in it. The rumble of conversation was replaced by a roar. Plenteous oaths heaved through the air. The room rang with the shrill voices of women bubbling o'er with drink-laughter. The chief element in the music of the orchestra was speed. The musicians played in intent fury. A woman was singing and smiling upon the stage, but no one took notice of her. The rate at which the piano, cornet and violins were going, seemed to impart wildness to the half-drunken crowd. Beer glasses were emptied at a gulp and conversation became a rapid chatter. The smoke eddied and swirled like a shadowy river hurrying toward some unseen falls." --from Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets (1893), Ch. XIV "He wrote that he was coming home this week," said Pennoyer. "Did he?" asked Florinda indifferently. "Yes. Aren't you glad?" They were still watching her face. "Yes, of course I'm glad. Why shouldn't I be glad?" cried the girl with defiance. They grinned. "Oh, certainly. Billie Hawker is a good fellow, Splutter. You have a particular right to be glad." "You people make me tired," Florinda retorted. "Billie Hawker doesn't give a rap about me, and he never tried to make out that he did." "No," said Grief. "But that isn't saying that you don't care a rap about Billie Hawker. Ah, Florinda!" It seemed that the girl's throat suffered a slight contraction. "Well, and what if I do?" she demanded finally. "Have a cigarette?" answered Grief. Florinda took a cigarette, lit it, and, perching herself on a divan, which was secretly a coal box, she smoked fiercely. "What if I do?" she again demanded. "It's better than liking one of you dubs, anyhow." "Oh, Splutter, you poor little outspoken kid!" said Wrinkle in a sad voice. Grief searched among the pipes until he found the best one. "Yes, Splutter, don't you know that when you are so frank you defy every law of your sex, and wild eyes will take your trail?" "Oh, you talk through your hat," replied Florinda. "Billie don't care whether I like him or whether I don't. And if he should hear me now, he wouldn't be glad or give a hang, either way. I know that." The girl paused and looked at the row of plaster casts. "Still, you needn't be throwing it at me all the time." "We didn't," said Wrinkles indignantly. "You threw it at yourself." "Well," continued Florinda, "it's better than liking one of you dubs, anyhow. He makes money and——" "There," said Grief, "now you've hit it! Bedad, you've reached a point in eulogy where if you move again you will have to go backward." "Of course I don't care anything about a fellow's having money——" "No, indeed you don't, Splutter," said Pennoyer. "But then, you know what I mean. A fellow isn't a man and doesn't stand up straight unless he has some money. And Billie Hawker makes enough so that you feel that nobody could walk over him, don't you know? And there isn't anything jay about him, either. He's a thoroughbred, don't you know?" After reflection, Pennoyer said, "It's pretty hard on the rest of us, Splutter." "Well, of course I like him, but—but——" "What?" said Pennoyer. "I don't know," said Florinda. --from The Third Violet ((1896), Ch. XX

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    Read in The Stephen Crane Megapack: 94 Classic Works by the Author of The Red Badge of Courage. A romance that deals with artists in New York. This was Stephen Crane's third novel, and it was not as well received as Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Red Badge of Courage. It is not considered one of his better stories. Read in The Stephen Crane Megapack: 94 Classic Works by the Author of The Red Badge of Courage. A romance that deals with artists in New York. This was Stephen Crane's third novel, and it was not as well received as Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and The Red Badge of Courage. It is not considered one of his better stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Humphrey

    What a neat novella, exploring the divides between urban and rural, artist and non-artist, cultural elite and scrapers-by. In doing so, it shows interesting alignments between these, as well as the forces that make an individual on one side of a divide simultaneously envy and loathe someone on the other side of it. Crane has an impressive ability to make characters that the reader both hates and wants to defend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pouya Dakhili

    This book of Crane was very close to Maggie. In its words, pargraphs, pages, and chapters, I always felt that I was hearing Maggie. The extra thing that this work has is the introduction of an upper class family, which created the theme of domination of one class over another, into the narration. Another interesting aspect exlpored in parts of the work is the relation of man and woman and how it can be highly confusing sometimes.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Lacks the weight of Crane’s other work but is at times very funny, just not particularly memorable. It's "little known" for a reason.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Schabron

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marie Whitney

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cameron Mozee-Baum

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Allen

  10. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Schuermann

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Rodebaugh

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael Grogan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lukas

  14. 4 out of 5

    Asya Morozova

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shoopiltee

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will Hickox

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rinna

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dennis J. Braun

  22. 5 out of 5

    megan morgan.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

  24. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  25. 4 out of 5

    albert heitz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  27. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Claude

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Tyler

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nina

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