Tagged with comedy of manners

Crewe Train (1926) by Rose Macaulay (another review)

Book review by Sylvia D: This novel has the most wonderful dedication: ‘To the Philistines, The Barbarians, The Unsociables and those who do not care to take any trouble’. This immediately appealed to the rebel in me and although Denham Dobie (named after her mother’s favourite village in Buckinghamshire) is one of the most odd … Continue reading

Crewe Train (1926) by Rose Macaulay

Book review by Frances S: ‘We have some very bright evenings. There’s a nice reading circle, too.’‘A what?’ Denham was apprehensive.‘A reading circle. You all study some book together, and meet and talk about it’‘What for?’‘What funny questions you do ask, to be sure.’ Crewe Train (apparently a reference to the 19th century music hall … Continue reading

The Three Miss Kings by Ada Cambridge

Book review by Sylvia D: The Three Miss Kings by Ada Cambridge (1844-1926) was serialised in The Australasian in 1883. It was then published by Heinemann in England and Australia in 1891 and I read a Virago 1987 edition.

Mike and Psmith, by PG Wodehouse (1953)

Review by Val H. Mike and Psmith is a hugely enjoyable, old-fashioned school story, with mischievous boys, bamboozled teachers and heroic stands at the crease.  But it is much more than that.  With Wodehouse, you get the comic timing and language and the touch of genius that is Psmith. As a child, I loved school … Continue reading

The Merry Muse, by Eric Linklater (1959)

Review by Val H ‘Eric Linklater’s Latest!’ proclaims my copy of The Merry Muse (Jonathan Cape, 1959) in large letters.  Bloomsbury, which publishes it as an e-book, says it is: “part farce, part satire on manners and social attitudes [sparkling] from beginning to end…the work of a master…at the height of his powers”. Two contemporary … Continue reading

The Village by Marghanita Laski (1952)

Review by Val H: Oh how I enjoyed The Village (1952) by Marghanita Laski! On the surface, it is a simple, even dull love story, but this is merely a cover for a witty and fluent examination of class in England immediately after World War II. In places the novel has dated, but to anyone … Continue reading

In the Mountains by Elizabeth von Arnim (1920)

The first edition of this novel was published anonymously, though it must have been obvious to readers familiar with Elizabeth’s style that she was the author. The contemporary Times Literary Supplement reviewer wrote that the novel, ‘by an anonymous but surely by a very practised hand, holds a peculiar quality of surprise. […] Behind the exceedingly careful, … Continue reading

A House and Its Head by Ivy Compton-Burnett (1935)

Review by George Simmers (see his Great War Fiction blog here) A House and its Head is the story of a family ruled by the whim of Duncan, the despotic patriarch, who dominates and humiliates his wife, his daughters and his nephew, mostly by the use of a pedantic wit that reminds them of their subordinate status. … Continue reading

Mandoa, Mandoa! by Winifred Holtby (1933)

Review by Judith W: Mandoa is a small African state rarely visited by westerners where the traditions remain undisturbed, until the Lord High Chamberlain, Safi Talal visits Addis Ababa where he discovers luxuries of the western world: baths, cocktail shakers, cars, cutlery and handkerchiefs. Back in England it is 1931. Maurice Durrant, a Director of … Continue reading