Posted by George Simmers

The Toll-Gate (1955) by Georgette Heyer

Book Review by George S.: I’ve read reviews on the internet complaining that The Toll-Gate is not a proper ‘Regency Romance’ in the usual Georgette Heyer manner. It isn’t. It’s more of a comedy-thriller romp set in the past – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The hero is Jack Staple, a huge man, a Captain … Continue reading

The Woman’s Journal, December 1927

Magazine Review by Jane V: Cover portrait – The Countess of Cromer, by Philip A. de Laszlo MVO Serials Life of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Duchess of York by Lady Cynthia Asquith This is a disorganised instalment of a much longer biography, illustrated by photos. It is rather oily in style.

An Eye for a Tooth (1943) – Dornford Yates

Book review by George S: This is one of Dornford Yates’s Chandos series of thrillers. The cover of the first edition makes that very clear. It pictures a mediaeval-looking street (which does not correspond to any location in the novel) hung with signs advertising the previous thrillers in the series. It’s an odd cover – … Continue reading

To Beg I am Ashamed (1938) by Sheila Cousins

This book is subtitled The Autobiography of a London Prostitute, and was originally intended to be published by Routledge in 1938. The papers heard about it, and created a scandal. ‘A disgraceful Book: It Must Be Stopped’ was the Daily Mail headline. The police went round to the publishers and were persuasive enough to make … Continue reading

Sleeveless Errand (1929) by Norah C James

Book review by Sylvia D: For the Reading Groups Second World War session, I read Enduring Adventure by Norah C James (1896-1979), a novel about the impact of the Blitz on the owners and regulars at a central London pub. When I was researching James, I was intrigued to discover that her first novel had … Continue reading

Summer Will Show (1936) by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Book Review by George S: Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes (1926) is about a woman leaving an ordinary environment and developing in extraordinary ways (she becomes a witch). Summer Will Show also describes the extraordinary progress and liberation of a previously conventional woman, but this time the process of liberation is not magical but emotional … Continue reading

Lolly Willowes (1926) by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Book Review by Sylvia D: Lolly Willowes or The Loving Huntsman, by Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) was her first successful novel, published in 1926 when she was still working as an editor of the ten volume Tudor Church Music. It is set around the turn of the twentieth century and is the story of a … Continue reading

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) by Sax Rohmer

Book Review by George S: In 1936, fifteen-year old Mary Wilkinson began to keep a record of her reading, and continued it for several years. This month members of the Reading Group have been reading some of the books a young woman read in the late thirties and early forties. The Mask of Fu Manchu … Continue reading