The Alchemist's Daughter

by Katharine McMahon | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0753821311 Global Overview for this book
Registered by darkpunkangel of Barrie, Ontario Canada on 4/29/2008
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by darkpunkangel from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 29, 2008
From Publishers Weekly

A child of the English Age of Reason learns lessons of the heart in McMahon's fifth historical, her first published in the U.S. Like Philippa Gregory, she mixes historical accuracy with a heroine modern at heart if not in outward appearance. It's 1727, and 19-year-old Emilie Selden, cloistered since birth at Buckinghamshire's Selden Manor, is docile under the iron rule of her domineering father, John, a scientist by reputation and an alchemist by calling. Under his stern tutelage, Emilie, who narrates, studies nature using the same methods used by their hero, Sir Isaac Newton. While on the verge of formulating her own theory of air and fire, Emilie meets two men: Thomas Shales, a clergyman and natural philosopher who alienates John Selden as much through his regard for Emilie as through his disregard for alchemy, and Robert Aislabie, a London adventurer who calls at Selden Manor to gain the father's secrets and ends up taking the daughter's heart. Father and daughter soon learn that love and loss cannot be kept in the confines of the laboratory. McMahon highlights social turmoil through Emilie's maid, Sarah, and intellectual conflict at the Royal Society, including a memorable evocation of Newton's funeral. Emilie's voice is clear, and McMahon doesn't shy away from the Enlightenment's darker sides, giving this popular historical a satisfying gravity.

Journal Entry 2 by darkpunkangel from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Monday, December 14, 2009
I really enjoyed reading this!

RES for Hoserlauren who took this out of the Everybook VBB on Bookobsessed.

Journal Entry 3 by darkpunkangel at Every Book VBB, Virtual Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (12/22/2009 UTC) at Every Book VBB, Virtual Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

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Sent today, hope you enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 4 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Thursday, December 31, 2009
Received this today from the virtual book box. Thanks DPA!

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Emilie Seldon has been crafted by her father to be an alchemist. His goal has been to teach her everything he knows so that she can do great things as a young adult. What her father doesn't understand is that keeping her tethered to his estate and not letting her grow up as a normal kid has left her vulnerable to other's influences.

When Aislabie arrives at the Seldon estate in 1725 to inquire about the nature of fire to protect his ships, Emilie falls in lust. Her father sees Aislabie as a fraud, who just wants to use alchemy to be rich, and kicks him out of the house. Emilie can't let go as easily and continues to see Aislabie.

When Emilie's father learns that she is pregnant with Aislabie's child, he does not talk to her again and she is banished to London. Emilie has to deal with being in a large city by herself, an insolent maid, a distant husband, giving up her passion of alchemy, and her homesickness. She grows up very quickly and though eventually makes the right decisions for her.

This book has a lot of interesting hypotheses of what scientists thought about fire in the 1700s. That's not the main story here, though it provides interesting context. This is a story about Emilie becoming a woman and all the correct and incorrect choices she makes.

Each chapters was broken down in to sub-chapters which I found a bit annoying as it made the story a bit disjoint. Despite this, when I got closer to the end of the story, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know how Emilie was going to deal with her husband and the other predicaments she was in. Quite a good historical fiction novel!

Journal Entry 6 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, January 10, 2011
This book is with me now:)

Journal Entry 7 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, February 12, 2011
Emilie Seldon has been brought up by her father, John. John is a scientist and alchemist and has taught Emilile the scientific procedures and a lot about alchemy. In 1725 in the middle of an alchemy experiment to bring dead roses back to life, Emilie meets two men.

Thomas Shales is a widowed clergyman who has alienated John by his disregard of alchemy. He likes to conduct his own natural flora experiments.

Robert Aislabie is a merchant and adventurer who has come to Seldon manor to inquire about fire and how to protect his ships. John mistrusts him from the start and tells Emilie to have nothing to do with the man. She, of course, falls in lust and ignoring her father eventually winds up pregnant. Her father completely cuts her off and Emilie is married to Aislabie and goes to London to live.

Emilie has never been outside of her country manor and its environs. All of a sudden she is set down in the midst of chaotic London and expected to order around her servants. She is unsure and homesick. She has an insolent maid and an increasing distant husband. She has had to give up her experiments and misses her relationship with her father.

The historical aspects of the novel were fascinating and the alchemy part intriguing but Emilie's growing up and enlightment is what brings this novel life.

Journal Entry 8 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Mailed yesterday to AM from a swap.

Journal Entry 9 by AM10000 at Sunnyvale, California USA on Saturday, June 25, 2011
This one arrived a while ago, sorry it took me so long to get it journaled! Thanks for sending!! :)

eta: Just finished this one a few days ago..it was alright for me..

Journal Entry 10 by AM10000 at A Member of PBS, PaperBackSwap.com -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (2/20/2013 UTC) at A Member of PBS, PaperBackSwap.com -- Controlled Releases

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Sent today.. Enjoy! :)

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