The Face of a Madonna by Thomas Armstrong (1964)

A final Thomas Armstrong review. I feel these reviews fall under the ‘we read these books so you don’t have to’ category! Review by Thecla W: I found this novel unexpectedly hard going, in fact quite difficult to read. The story itself is an interesting one. This novel is set in 14th century Yorkshire and … Continue reading

Dover Harbour by Thomas Armstrong (1942)

Review by Val H: Dover Harbour (1942), by the forgotten Yorkshire writer Thomas Armstrong, is superficially an old-fashioned ‘ripping yarn’ about England in the Napoleonic wars.  Dig a little deeper, and there is more going on. To readers looking simply for entertainment, there is much to enjoy.  Dover Harbour would be a good companion for … Continue reading

Thomas Armstrong (1899-1978)

I wonder if anyone remembers Thomas Armstrong now? He wrote a number of best-sellers, none of which are in print now. The members of my reading group would say this is for good reason! He is one of the few writers we have read that almost everyone found unreadable. What was it about his books … Continue reading

Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells (1909)

Review by Sylvia D: I’d been meaning to read Ann Veronica for some time but have to admit that I found it a little disappointing given it has been cited as a ‘New Woman’ novel.  However, one has to remember that it was written at the beginning of the twentieth century (1909) when there was … Continue reading

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells (1896)

H. G. Wells need no introduction, so perhaps shouldn’t be in our collection of fiction from 1900-1950 that needs to be preserved, but his popularity is evidenced in how often he is donated! We have early editions and several Penguin reprints from 1946. The fly leaf of the Penguin states: “This edition of The Island of … Continue reading

National Provincial by Lettice Cooper (1938)

Review by George Simmers This is a very good example of the middlebrow political novel. Lettice Cooper was a committed socialist, and in part is preaching the need for social change, but she follows many other novelists of the period in positioning herself as the voice of common sense, against all extremes (the way of … Continue reading

The New House by Lettice Cooper (1936)

Review by Sylvia D: Very little seems to happen in The New House (1936).  Over one long day a widowed mother and her 30-something daughter move from a large imposing secluded house with beautiful gardens to a much smaller one overlooked by a housing estate.  The old house is to be knocked down to make … Continue reading

Lettice Cooper (1897-1994)

Our next batch of reviews are of the Yorkshire novelist, Lettice Cooper (1897-1994). Splendid name. (So many unusual names are revived nowadays, but I have yet to meet a Lettice!) Cooper had a long and distinguished writing career.  Her novel The New House (1936, currently in print with Persephone) won her the accolade of ‘Chekhov … Continue reading

The Man with Red Hair by Hugh Walpole (1925)

A late entry into our series of Hugh Walpole reviews. See also reviews of The Killer and the Slain, Farthing Hall, Judith Paris and The Cathedral. Review by Helen C: Our hero, Harkness, a pleasant young American, feeling aimless and useless in London, travels to a beautiful Cornish seaside town to see their annual August processional … Continue reading

The Village by Marghanita Laski (1952)

Review by Val H: Oh how I enjoyed The Village (1952) by Marghanita Laski! On the surface, it is a simple, even dull love story, but this is merely a cover for a witty and fluent examination of class in England immediately after World War II. In places the novel has dated, but to anyone … Continue reading