Tysons cover


May Sinclair (1863-1946)

1. I. Mr Nevill Tyson
2. II. Mrs Nevill Tyson
3. III. Mr & Mrs Nevill Tyson at Home
4. IV. The First Stone
5. V. The Night Watch
6. VI. A Son & Heir
7. VII. Sir Peter's New Clothes
8. VIII. Towards "The Cross-Roads"
9. IX. An Unnatural Mother
10. X. Circumstantial Evidence
11. XI. The Return of Odysseus
12. XII. A Flat in Town
13. XIII. Mrs Wilcox to the Rescue
14. XIV. The "Criterion"
15. XV. Conflagration
16. XVI. The New Life
17. XVII. The Captain of His Soul
18. XVIII. A Miracle
19. XIX. Confessional
20. XX. A Man & a Sphinx
21. XXI. Out of the Night
22. XXII. In the Desert
23. XXIII. In Memoriam

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Another frank May Sinclair exploration of fin de siècle English love and sex, marriage and adultery, "The Tysons" is the story of the caddish Nevill Tyson and his beautiful but frivolous young wife Molly. Sinclair uses a different narrative voice than we hear in much of her fiction, a sort of witty Jane Austen archness as she dissects the characters of the provincial village Drayton Parva. As always, she demonstrates an intriguing mixture of Victorian prudishness and modern free-thinking, particularly in her rendering of the sexual escapades of her characters. The step-by-step fragmentation of the Tyson marriage seems predestined from the start, but the novel reveals, as Sinclair's novels always do, a passion for profound understanding of the human comedy and why we do what we do. Even though the story is told from the perspectives of mostly masculine characters, Sinclair uses their voices to shine a stark light on the many ways in which women were victimized at the time by being the chattel of the men in their lives, in particular the denigration of the female intellect in favor of the merely decorative feminine beauty which existed only for the male ego.