Tagged with comedy

Merlin Bay (1930) by Richmal Crompton

Merlin Bay (1930) by Richmal Crompton Book review by Frances S: I first came upon William Brown in a 1950s edition of William Carries On from the family bookcase and subsequently enjoyed various television adaptations and the Martin Jarvis Radio 4 readings. I knew very little about Richmal Crompton herself until Reading 1900-1950 invited us … Continue reading

Frost at Morning(1950) by Richmal Crompton.

Book Review by Mary P: This adult novel from an author now best known for her Just William children’s books was published in 1950. Children are the main concern of the story, which unfolds over a period of 23 years. The novel centres around an unnamed village, in what I imagine to be the Home … Continue reading

The History of Mr Polly (1910) by H G Wells

Book Review by Sylvia D: The last time the Reading Group considered books by H G Wells, I read Ann Veronica which, with the exception of the frustrating dénouement, I enjoyed. I was hoping Mr Polly would be equally entertaining, but was disappointed. We first meet Mr Polly when he is 37 and a half … Continue reading

August Folly (1936) by Angela Thirkell

Book review by Hilary Temple. As the Penguin blurb to August Folly said (1949): ‘The village of Worsted is one of those English rural communities where life is as full of interest as it is devoid of sensation.’ Sensation in this instance must mean sensationalism, as feelings run high and in some cases irrationally. The … Continue reading

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

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

Sally’s in the Alley by Norbert Davis (1943)

Book Review by George S: Norbert Davis was an American author of detective fiction. I first heard of him when I was reading about Ludwig Wittgenstein’s taste in popular fiction. The great reclusive philosopher was (perhaps surprisingly) fond of P.G. Wodehouse, and also enjoyed a monthly subscription to Street and Smith’s Detective Magazine, which gave … Continue reading

Standing Room Only (1936) by Walter Greenwood

Book Review posted by Chris Hopkins. Walter Greenwood is best remembered (indeed often only remembered) for his first novel, Love on the Dole (1933). This review is one of a series of blogs where I will try to start reviving a fuller memory of his literary career through introducing the other novels he wrote after … Continue reading

Ripeness is All by Eric Linklater (1935)

Review by Thecla W: The novel opens with the funeral of Major John Gander. We are introduced to various Gander relatives: his half-sister, Hilary; his nephews, Arthur and Stephen; his nieces Katherine and Jane. Other prominent characters are the vicar and Mr Peabody, the lawyer. There is also a long-lost nephew, George, believed to be … Continue reading