Posted by ambler1

Summer Half (1937) by Angela Thirkell

Book Review by Hilary Temple ‘It seems to me highly improbable that any such school, masters, or boys could ever have existed.’ In writing this as a preliminary to Summer Half Thirkell had her tongue firmly in her cheek (a place it was quite used to occupying). Mother of three very bright sons, she had … Continue reading

The Brandons (1939) by Angela Thirkell

Book Review by Hilary Temple. Written in 1938, this represents the calm before the storm in Barsetshire (and elsewhere in the world). It is a good example of Thirkell’s masterly inactivity: very little happens and she describes it in beautiful detail and with humour. The opening scene at breakfast in the pleasant country house of … Continue reading

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

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

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

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1926) by Anita Loos

Book Review by Chris Hopkins. I had to read Gentlemen Prefer Blondes because I started reading what I suspected was a parody of it, but couldn’t be sure because I had never read the original. So, I’m going to review Gentlemen Prefer Blondes now so that I can in due course review ‘Tackline’ ‘s  (much … Continue reading