I’ll be off now…

Just a little post to say that this is my last day before I go on maternity leave! I won’t be administering the reading 1900-1950 blog but I am delighted to say that the members of our reading group don’t need me anymore – they are going to carrying on reading and posting on the … Continue reading

Just Like Aunt Bertha by W. Pett Ridge (1925)

Review by Helen N: The book centres round Aunt Bertha, a woman of resource who deals with both a professional life and sorting out all of her friends and acquaintances. They get into scrapes and she sorts them out, while being constantly criticised for interfering. It is a good-humoured book and written to entertain. Just … Continue reading

Juan in China by Eric Linklater (1937)

This Linklater novel is a sequel to his first big success, Juan in America (1931). Review by Helen C: Our young hero, Juan, has been persuaded to accompany his beloved Kuo Kuo to China, as she is determined to rescue China from destruction by ‘bandits, Communists, opium and the Japanese…’ There, he becomes involved in a … Continue reading

Middlebrow goes to the movies (again)

Review by Val H After posting on the 1933 film Christopher Strong (based on Gilbert Frankau’s novel), I have done more research on middlebrow novels and the film industry. What do screenwriters, directors and stars do with – or perhaps to – the novels we enjoy? And what do their films tell us about their … Continue reading

Miss Mannering by W. Pett Ridge (1923)

Review by Sylvia D: I enjoyed W Pett Ridge’s Miss Mannering (1923) for three reasons.  First, the novel had an unlikely theme, focusing as it does for much on the time on the proprietor, staff and customers of a basement cafe in the City of London at the beginning of the twentieth century.  Second, I … Continue reading

The Sailor’s Holiday by Eric Linklater (1937)

Another damning review of Eric Linklater! Oh dear! Review by Sophie H: The Sailor’s Holiday is made up of a series of short vignettes relating the adventures of sailor Henry Tippus during his time on shore between sea voyages. Throughout the novel Henry finds himself involved in a variety of surreal encounters, from being arrested … Continue reading

Mike and Psmith, by PG Wodehouse (1953)

Review by Val H. Mike and Psmith is a hugely enjoyable, old-fashioned school story, with mischievous boys, bamboozled teachers and heroic stands at the crease.  But it is much more than that.  With Wodehouse, you get the comic timing and language and the touch of genius that is Psmith. As a child, I loved school … Continue reading

‘Thanks to Sanderson’ by W. Pett Ridge (1911)

Review by George Simmers: The Sandersons are an upper-working-class family with aspirations. The father is a ticket collector at a railway station; the mother was once in service. The two children have ambitions, though. Alfred has a job in the City, and works hard to improve his social status; Winnie has a muscial talent that … Continue reading

Ripeness is All by Eric Linklater (1935)

Review by Thecla W: The novel opens with the funeral of Major John Gander. We are introduced to various Gander relatives: his half-sister, Hilary; his nephews, Arthur and Stephen; his nieces Katherine and Jane. Other prominent characters are the vicar and Mr Peabody, the lawyer. There is also a long-lost nephew, George, believed to be … Continue reading