Bright Day by J. B. Priestley (1946)

Review by David R: The story opens in the immediate post-WW2 period. The narrator, Gregory Dawson is a scriptwriter staying at an hotel in Cornwall while he works on a film script. There is an air of depression and indecision about his future. One evening he sees a couple who look vaguely familiar. They prove … Continue reading

Yonder by E. H. Young (1912)

Review by Jane V: Alexander is a country boy living in a remote place with his mother, a strong, capable character, and his father, a weak failure of a man whose heredity has made him so. Theresa is a lively, highly imaginative girl who lives in a port town with her father who is a … Continue reading

The Vicar’s Daughter by E. H. Young (1928)

Review by Margaret B: The story takes place over a period of a week at the end of the summer. Edward Stack, his wife Margaret and their nineteen year old daughter, Hilary, return from two months’ holiday. Edward’s cousin Maurice Roper has been looking after Edward’s parish while they are away. Just after they had … Continue reading

Confessions and Impressions by Ethel Mannin (1930)

This book has a fair amount in common with Beverley Nichols’ autobiography-but-really-about-other -people Twenty-Five. Just shows the appetite for celebrity gossip has existed for many years! Nichols was himself a literary celebrity and appears in Mannin’s book. She rated his ‘genius’ over Noel Coward! (For an academic article in which I analyse Nichols at great … Continue reading

The Killer and the Slain by Hugh Walpole (1942)

Review by Thecla: This is a dark, uncanny novel, one of Walpole’s macabre works. It is subtitled “A Strange Story” and the dedication to Henry James reads “This macabre is dedicated in loving memory and humble admiration to the great author of The Turn of the Screw.” This is Walpole’s version of the doppelgänger story. … Continue reading

Farthing Hall by Hugh Walpole and J. B. Priestley (1929)

This novel is a collaboration between Walpole and Priestley. Walpole, the older novelist, writes as the young artist, while Priestley takes the character of the middle-aged academic. There’s a nice article about their ‘friendship of opposites’ here. Review by Jane Varley: The plot unfolds in an exchange of letters between two friends – a forty … Continue reading

Hugh Walpole (1884-1941)

Next, reviews of Hugh Walpole. Who reads Walpole now? Very few people, I suspect. There is an excellent 2013 article on the BBC which wonders if a new theatre adaptation of his most famous novel, Rogue Herries, will bring new readers and a revived reputation. I don’t think it has happened! Walpole was an important literary figure … Continue reading

‘Culture Wars’ conference papers

Culture Wars 1900-1950 14th June 2014 Giacomo Patri, White Collar (1938)   Some of the papers from our collection conference on the 14th June are now online. We had a great day, listening and talking and thinking, and, most importantly, had an excellent lunch (thank you Sheffield Hallam catering)! There were some fascinating papers, particularly … Continue reading