Beau Brocade (1907) by Baroness Orczy

Book review by George Simmers. This month we are looking at books and writers connected with Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and this novel, despite being written by the Hungarian, Baroness Orczy, qualifies on both counts. It is set on the moors of Derbyshire, and Baroness Orczy, having married her theatrical collaborator, Montagu Barstow, lived with him … Continue reading

What Did It Mean? (1954) by Angela Thirkell

Book review by Hilary Temple. The twenty-third title in the Barsetshire series, this novel requires Thirkell to start with some recapitulation. The first sentence contains a reference to Queen Elizabeth II who by this date has been on the throne for two years, enabling the author to describe the effects of the coronation in June … Continue reading

Coronation Summer (1937) by Angela Thirkell

Book review by Hilary Temple. In this summer of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II it is interesting to read a celebration, quite untypical of her other work, by Angela Thirkell of the crowning of Queen Victoria but ingeniously published in the year of the coronation of King George VI. … Continue reading

The Luck of the Bodkins (1935) by P.G. Wodehouse

Book Review by George Simmers: July was Herbert Jenkins month at the Sheffield Hallam 1900-1950 Reading Group, and so I gave myself a treat by reading a Wodehouse. Before 1918 P.G. Wodehouse had a variety of British publishers, but in 1918 Picadilly Jim was taken on by Herbert Jenkins, and Wodehouse liked the way that … Continue reading

Giant’s Bread by Mary Westmacott (1930)

Book review by George S: This is the first of the novels that Agatha Christie published under the name of Mary Westmacott. It is an odd book, though an interesting one. (Warning: The review contains spoilers.) It begins with a prologue, the opening night of a new opera, The Giant, by an unknown Russian composer. … Continue reading

Absent In the Spring (1944) by Mary Westmacott

Book Review by France Soar: When Agatha Christie, already renowned for her detective fiction, chose to write certain novels under the pen-name Mary Westmacott, she was presumably seeking to avoid any preconceptions on the part of her readers. By the time I came to read Absent in the Spring, in the spring of 2022, anonymity … Continue reading

Adventures of Bindle (1919) by Herbert Jenkins

Book review by Hilary Temple I had never come across Herbert Jenkins before I found this book on the shelves of my parents-in-law, who otherwise showed a marked predilection for Dornford Yates. The first edition proudly claims to have printed 40,000 copies, which sounds a very respectable number and followed the previous success of Bindle. … Continue reading

The Tenth Anniversary of Reading 1900-1950

Dear Reading 1900-1950 Blog followers, On the 19th July we are celebrating ten years of reading mainly popular fiction from the first half of the twentieth century by launching a book of reviews showcasing the work of the group. The reviews have mainly been specially written by current members of the reading group, though we … Continue reading