E. M. Almedingen Ellen Lewis Buell - Essay

Ellen Lewis Buell

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Story of Gudrun, as retold] from a 12th- or 13th-century German epic …, has the quality of a folk tale within the framework of a brief novel. Gudrun, daughter of one king and betrothed to another, is a romantic and heroic figure…. [She] deserves to be better known than she is and I am grateful to Miss Almedingen for this vigorous portrait, set against a richly detailed background. (p. 167)

Ellen Lewis Buell, in Book World—Chicago Tribune, Part II (© 1967 Postrib Corp.), November 5, 1967.

Miss Almedingen's picaro's-eye-view of Russia in the eighteenth century [in Young Mark—the Story of a Venture] is authentic and she has obviously done her reading assiduously. Particularly impressive is her description of Mark's arrival in St. Petersburg, which must certainly have appeared icily unwelcoming and alien to a young Ukrainian vagrant just forty years after its foundation…. [Mark's] story is arresting and unusual enough to speak for itself. It is a pity therefore that Miss Almedingen has laid on the ending quite so thickly. (p. 1139)

The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1967; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), November 30, 1967.

Young Mark is based on a true incident in the life of one of the author's ancestors…. [Mark's] placid personality, however, and the lack of climax in his telling of his story, makes it seem much less exciting than it must have been. The historical background is not very clearly drawn and may confuse anyone not already familiar with the Russia of the Empress Elizabeth's time. (p. 383)

The Junior Bookshelf, December, 1967.