Miss Bunting (1945) by Angela Thirkell

(published by Hamish Hamilton) Book review by Hilary Temple. Jane Austen notoriously ‘didn’t mention the war’ in her novels according to some critics – though anyone reading Mansfield Park or Persuasion with any attention finds the international perspective is a given. Thirkell, writing similarly about ‘3 or 4 families in a country village’, uses WWII … Continue reading

Caroline Terrace (1955) by Warwick Deeping

Book review by Frances S. Warwick Deeping died in 1950. Caroline Terrace was published posthumously in 1955. Having known Deeping only by repute as a formerly popular but now unfashionable novelist, I didn’t know what to expect from Caroline Terrace, chosen at random from forty Deeping novels held in Sheffield City Libraries’ out of print … Continue reading

The Woman of Knockaloe (1923) by Hall Caine

Review by George S: This novel comes with two forewords, one by Newman Flower, the head of Cassell’s publishing house, and one by the author. The gist of each is that this book will disturb and offend some, but that it is a story that needs to be told.

All Things Betray Thee (1949) by Gwyn Thomas

Book Review by Sylvia D. Gwyn Thomas (1913-1981)is one of Wales’s great literary figures. He was born in the Rhondda and won a scholarship to read Spanish at Oxford where, Chris tells me, he was very unhappy because he felt totally out of place.

Cheerfulness Breaks In (1940) by Angela Thirkell

Book review by Hilary Temple. (Published by Hamish Hamilton) Cheerfulness Breaks In might seem an odd title for a novel dealing with the outbreak of WWII. Its origin can be found in any dictionary of quotations: in Boswell’s Life of Johnson Oliver Edwards says ‘I have tried too in my time to be a philosopher; … Continue reading

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) by James M. Cain

Book Review by Sylvia D: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) was James M. Cain’s first published novel. Cain (1882-1977) was initially a journalist and an editor but he came to be seen as one of the creators of the roman noir. He also spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays.

Sally’s in the Alley by Norbert Davis (1943)

Book Review by George S: Norbert Davis was an American author of detective fiction. I first heard of him when I was reading about Ludwig Wittgenstein’s taste in popular fiction. The great reclusive philosopher was (perhaps surprisingly) fond of P.G. Wodehouse, and also enjoyed a monthly subscription to Street and Smith’s Detective Magazine, which gave … Continue reading

I Find Four People (1935) by Pamela Frankau

Book Review by George S: This is Pamela Frankau’s autobiography, a version of her life so far, published in 1935, when she was twenty-seven. (I read a Penguin edition, which came in 1938.) The four people that she finds are her former selves. Each section recounts the adventures of one of these, in the third … Continue reading

New Walter Greenwood Site

Dear Reading 1900-1950 colleagues, Having posted my review of Greenwood’s memoir There Was a Time (1967) – and thus broken every rule about this blog’s parameters, I realised that perhaps what I should do is to start a new and more specialised Walter Greenwood blog / web-site. This I have now done. I will still (OF … Continue reading