Posted in January 2013

The Circle of the Gods by Victor Canning (1977)

In terms of date this novel shouldn’t be in our collection, but until we run out of space I am inclined to keep it! Victor Canning was a astonishingly prolific writer with a long career, from the 1930s to the 1980s. (See previous reviews of his novels Fountain Inn (1939) and Green Battlefield (1943).) In his … Continue reading

Lucy Carmichael by Margaret Kennedy (1951)

Margaret Kennedy is probably best-known for her 1924 novel The Constant Nymph. It’s a pretty strange novel, about a bohemian English family living in the Austrian Tyrol. The ‘constant nymph’ is Tessa, who is 14 at the beginning of the novel, and only 15 when she runs away with an adult family friend. It is … Continue reading

Christopher Strong by Gilbert Frankau (1931)

We’ve had one review of a Gilbert Frankau novel on here before, and let’s just say that it wouldn’t tempt many people to read him. The full hatchet job on Peter Jackson, Cigar Merchant is here. However, our new recruit Daniel is made of stern stuff, and he has found things to enjoy in Christopher … Continue reading

Happy George Orwell Day!

Thanks to Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings for reminding me that today is George Orwell Day. On 21st January 1950, George Orwell died in London. Penguin Books, the Orwell Estate and The Orwell Prize have launched  ‘Orwell Day’ on 21st January to celebrate his work. His novels Coming Up for Air (1939) and Keep the Aspidistra Flying … Continue reading

Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye Smith (1921)

Today we have our second review of Joanna Godden (see the first review here). Both our readers were very impressed with the novel – time for a reprint perhaps? Review by Sylvia D: In 1897 Joanna Godden inherits her father’s sheep farm, Little Ansdore, in the Kent marshes.  There are no strings attached.  He doesn’t … Continue reading

Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett (1910)

It was high time we had some Arnold Bennett on this blog, and here it is: Review by a Reading Group member ‘Clayhanger’ is historical fiction. In reproducing a particular period of time Bennett details the landscape, architecture, home interiors, meals, clothes, manners, facial and vocal expressions relating to ordinary life in the Potteries. Against … Continue reading

Lord Tony’s Wife by Baroness Orczy (1917)

A review by George Simmers (see his Great War fiction blog) Lord Tony’s Wife (1917) is the sixth in Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel series, set during the French Revolution. A prologue in 1789 shows the discontented peasantry rising against the arrogant Duc de Kernogan, and his ruthless execution of the ringleader’s innocent father. Four years later, the … Continue reading

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (1905)

We seek him here, we seek him there, Those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? – Is he in hell? That demmed, elusive Pimpernel? This month we are reading historical fiction published between 1900-1925 – and I thought it was time to admit to never having read The Scarlet Pimpernel. Most people seem … Continue reading