Headlong Hall was an instant success upon its anonymous first appearance in 1816. Like most of Peacock's novels, it assembles a group of characters -- Mr Cranium, Miss Poppyseed, Mr Treacle and others -- who, while eating and drinking to abandon, discuss topics which were then of interest to Peacock and his circle of intellectual friends. Some of the figures are thinly-disgused portraits of contemporaries (Mr Escot, for example, is widely thought to be modelled on Shelley); others embody current views of the age, and are held up to scorn. There is a minimum of plot, but much discussion in a unique and lively style, and with burlesque Rabelaisan humour; throughout, Peacock uses the work to parody contemporary thinking in a variety of disparate areas, including utilitarianism, vegetarianism, aesthetics, music, poetry, art criticism, and so on. In the meantime there is dancing and drinking and falling in love. This edition contains an introduction by America's master of science fantasy, RAY BRADBURY, who adds his own special touch to this feast of ideas and language.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - startingover - LibraryThing
Both of these novels are brief, slight, and virtually without plot. Peacock's world is that of the country house party with high-brow conversation, long leisurely meals with plenty of burgundy, and ... Read full review