Filed under Book reviews

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

Passing (1929), by Nella Larsen

For December 2018, we looked at novels by Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers working between 1900 and 1950. I read Passing by the American author Nella Larsen (1891-1964), who explored connections, and the lack of them, between black, mixed race and white communities in 1920s America. Nella Larsen deserves to be much better known … Continue reading

Castle Gay (1930) by John Buchan

Book Review by George S: Castle Gay is the second of John Buchan’s Dickson McCunn novels. The first was Huntingtower (1921) in which the elderly McCunn retires from hisprosperous Glasgow grocery business, heads off on a walk through the lowlands, and becomes embroiled in a fantastic plot, protecting a Russian princess from villains. He is … Continue reading

Hatter’s Castle (1931) by A J Cronin

Book Review by Sylvia D: I decided to read Hatter’s Castle for the Scottish and Welsh session, because, apart from the treatment of its women characters, Cronin’s The Citadel was a good read with a strong message. Hatter’s Castle was his first novel and couldn’t be more different from The Citadel. It is 600 pages … Continue reading

Blue Danube (1943) by Eunice Buckley

Book review by George S: Blue Danube is the third novel to appear under the name of Eunice Buckley, but its author had written other books and plays before, under the names of R. Allatini, A.T. Fitzroy, R. l. Scott, Mrs Cyril Scott and Lucian Wainwright. As A.T. Fitzroy she had written Despised and Rejected … Continue reading

First the Blade (1918) by Clemence Dane

Clemence Dane Book Review by Sylvia D. First the Blade: A Comedy of Growth,  a coming of age novel and an unresolved love story, was Clemence Dane’s second published novel. Its format for the first two chapters is unusual in that it takes the form of the narrator of the story discussing its main characters … 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

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.