Book #19 of 2005 finished:

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High Rising by Angela Thirkell.

A lovely little bon-bon of a book. Thank you Steven Riddle for the suggestion!!!

Published in 1933, it is a contemporary (to that time) story of a widow, Laura Morland, who writes fashion novels, and the characters who live around her in High Rising, a town in the fictional county of Barsetshire. (Yes, the same fictional place Trollope used!) "The local doctor loves the secretary, who is in love with Miss Knox's father, who appears to be in love with Laura, whose housekeeper is the subject of the village mechanic's intentions." Oh, and there's ANOTHER secretary in love with Mr. Knox, a small boy obsessed with trains, and a publisher in love with Miss Knox. How will it all work out?

Funny, appealing, charming. Nothing earth shattering, nothing nasty. Perfect summer reading. Here's a sample:

Laura shut the door and reeled downstairs. Four weeks of this to come. Nearer five than four. Thank heaven it was country, where he would be out all day, and would certainly amuse himself. Oh, the exhaustingness of the healthy young! Laura had once offered to edit a book called Why I Hate my Children, but though Adrian Coates had offered her every encouragement, and every mother of her acquaintance had offered to contribute, it had never taken shape. Perhaps, she thought, as she stood by Tony's bed an hour later, they wouldn't be so nice if they weren't so hateful.

There lay her demon son, in abandoned repose. His cheeks so cool and firm in the day, had turned to softest rose-petal jelly, and looked as if they might melt upon the pillow. His mouth was fit for poets to sing. His hands--spotlessly clean for a brief space--still had dimples where later bony knckles would be. Foxy was pressed to his heart, while Neddy, taking, as Tony had predicted, the middle of the bed, had pushed his master half over the edge.

Laura picked up the heavy, deeply unconscious body, and laid it back in the middle of the bed. Neddy she put revengefully on the table. Then she tucked the bedclothes in, kissed her adorable hateful child, who never stirred, and turning out the light, left the room.

Typical English hyperbole. Absolutely wonderful.


This can't be true. I am the only person in the world who reads Angela Thirkell. I must be. I feel like I am.

I am seriously considering buying the entire series at one time, even in the ugly scanned paperback reissues, just so I can read the ones I can't find in any library (there are about five I've never read).

First I find an Edna Ferber fan in the Happy Catholic and now I find an Angela Thirkell fan! I love being Catholic! We are all so cool.

2 fans, Therese--it was Steven Riddle over at Flos Carmeli who gave me the suggestion!

Dear Therese,

I went to the great trouble of collecting all of Angela Thirkell. I found them a delightful rest from the wearying reading about the traumas of the world. I have everything I know about that Ms. Thirkell committed to paper. I'm still seeking a complete bibliography to check my collection.



Dear Mama T,

High Rising is a wonderful book to start with. I think you'll find the others equally pleasant. I like to visit Angela Thirkell's world from time to time. It is gentle, beautiful, funny, and warm.



There is an Angela Thirkell Society on the internet (google it). I printed out the publisher's list of the Barsetshire books to give me the bibliography that I carry to all used book sales, without avail.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on June 9, 2005 4:58 PM.

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