Tagged with Family fiction

Potterism (1920) by Rose Macaulay

Book review by George Simmers: In this novel, Rose Macaulay gives her diagnosis of what is wrong with Britain after the end of the First World War. She sums this up in one word: ‘Potterism’. Which means sentimentality, materialism, mental laziness, and the avoidance of awkward truths. Mr Potter is a press baron; ‘a small, … Continue reading

Family Roundabout (1948) by Richmal Crompton

Book Review by Ros W: Richmal Crompton is better known for her William books, even though she wrote over forty novels and nine short story collections for adults. Family Roundabout centres around two families in a country town called Bellington and covers the period from the early 1920s to 1939. The Willoughbys and the Fowlers … Continue reading

Caroline (1936), by Richmal Crompton

Funny how Caroline’s eyes betrayed her exasperation rather than her voice or manner. They were almost grey when she was pleased, but they turned a clear cold blue when she was annoyed or irritated. (ch 2) In Caroline and other novels, like Narcissa (1941), Richmal Crompton explores appalling, outrageous, even monstrous behaviour masquerading as normal; … Continue reading

Millicent Dorrington (1927) by Richmal Crompton

Book Review by George S: I’ve always thought of Richmal Crompton as the quintessential Home Counties writer. The smugness of that area has never been beter caught than in Crompton’s depiction of the commuter-belt village that so restricts the free spirit of William. But in fact, she was born and brought up in Bury, and … Continue reading

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

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

The Amazing Summer (1941) by Philip Gibbs

Review by Sylvia D: Philip Gibbs’ The Amazing Summer (1941) is a good example of his journalistic novel-writing, set as it is against a backdrop of the hot and sunny summer of 1940, the Battle of Britain and the early months of the Blitz. It has resonances with Elizabeth Goudge’s The Castle on the Hill … Continue reading

Lords and Masters (1936) by A.G. Macdonell

Book Review by George S.: A. G. Macdonell is best known for his comic novel, England, Their England. Lords and Masters is a comic novel, too, but the humour is much blacker, tinged by despair at the international situation during the 1930s. The novel centres on a wealthy Kensington family. James Hanson is a self-made … Continue reading