Related to: 'Excellent Women'

Virago

No Fond Return Of Love

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Dulcie Mainwearing is always helping others, but never looks out for herself - especially in the realm of love. Her friend Viola is besotted by the alluring Dr Aylwin Forbes, so surely it isn't prying if Dulcie helps things along? Aylwin, however, is smitten by Dulcie's pretty young niece. And perhaps Dulcie herself, however ridiculous it may be, is falling, just a little, for Aylwin. Once life's little humiliations are played out, maybe love will be returned, and fondly, after all . . .

Virago

Jane And Prudence

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but JANE AND PRUDENCE remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life' Jilly Cooper 'The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery' The New Yorker

Virago

A Glass Of Blessings

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less. Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.

Virago

An Academic Question

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

Less Than Angels

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

Civil To Strangers

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

Crampton Hodnet

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.

Virago

Some Tame Gazelle

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

It was odd that Harriet should always have been so fond of curates. They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation. Now the Archdeacon was altogether different . . . ' Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that elderly Italian Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years. Then into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each take to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.

Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym (1913-80) was born in Shropshire and educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. When in 1977 the TLS asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the past 75 years, only one was named twice (by Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil): Barbara Pym. Her novels are characterised by what Anne Tyler has called 'the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life'.

Funny, poigniant, observant and truthful

Crampton Hodnet

Louis de Bernières, bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, explains in an excerpted version of his fascinating introduction the unusual history of Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym. Crampton Hodnet was published on 2 August 2012.

Virago

Angel

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Writing stories that are extravagant and fanciful, fifteen-year old Angel retreats to a world of romance, escaping the drabness of provincial life. She knows she is different, that she is destined to become a feted authoress, owner of great riches and of Paradise House . . . After reading The Lady Irania, publishers Brace and Gilchrist are certain the novel will be a success, in spite of - and perhaps because of - its overblown style. But they are curious as to who could have written such a book: 'Some old lady, romanticising behind lace-curtains' . . . 'Angelica Deverell is too good a name to be true . . . she might be an old man. It would be an amusing variation. You are expecting to meet Mary Anne Evans and in Walks George Eliot twirling his moustache.' So nothing can prepare them for the pale young woman who sits before them, with not a seed of irony or a grain of humour in her soul.

Virago

The Diary Of A Provincial Lady

E.M. Delafield
Authors:
E.M. Delafield

With a cover design by Cath Kidston Behind this rather prim and proper title lies the hilarious fictional diary of a long-suffering, disaster-prone Devon lady of the 1930s, and her attempts to keep her somewhat ramshackle household from falling into chaos: there's her husband Robert, who, when he's not snoozing behind The Times, does everything with grumbling reluctance; her gleefully troublesome children; and a succession of tricky servants who invariably seem to gain the upper hand. And if her domestic trials were not enough, she must keep up appearances. Particularly with the maddeningly patronising Lady Boxe, whom the Provincial Lady eternally (and unsuccessfully) tries to compete with.

Robinson

Belinda Goes to Bath

M.C. Beaton
Authors:
M.C. Beaton

No sooner does Miss Pym board her next stagecoach than she finds herself embroiled in the plight of Miss Belinda Earle, a spirited heiress banished to Bath after swearing off the marriage market. When the coach founders near Baddell Castle, and the dashing Marquis of Frenton comes to the rescue, Miss Pym decides to give Fate a hand. Although the austere bachelor disdains romance, his furtive glances towards Belinda prove to Miss Pym that her expert matchmaking will soon turn this star-crossed couple into a heavenly match!

Virago

A Far Cry From Kensington

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

With a cover design by Lucienne Day When Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he is a 'pisseur de copie', that he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide.

Virago

August Folly

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Yen Press

Kieli, Vol. 1: The Novel

Yukako Kabei
Authors:
Yukako Kabei

Kieli is a reclusive girl isolated by her ability to see ghosts. Her only friend is her 'roommate' Becca, the precocious spirit of a former student still residing in Kieli's dorm. Everything in Kieli's life changes suddenly when the girls meet the handsome but distant Harvey who, like Kieli, can see ghosts. He also turns out to be one of the legendary Undying, an immortal soldier bred for war now being hunted by the Church. When Kieli joins Harvey on a pilgrimage to lay to rest the spirit of a Corporal possessing an old radio, as unlikely as it seems, she feels she may have finally found a place where she belongs in the world. And in Kieli, Harvey may have found a reason to live again.

Laugh, cry and fall in love

Extract from The Valentine’s Card

The Valentine’s Card is the fabulous first novel from Juliet Ashton. Publishing just in time for Valentine’s Day, it is a heart-warming, heart-breaking tale of love, laughter, and starting over full of vivid characters, real emotions and events both epic and ordinary. If you are looking for something special to read this spring The Valentine’s Card is a MUST. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, you will laugh, you will cry and you will fall in love with this bright new voice in women’s fiction.

How To Books

The Event Manager's Bible 3rd Edition

D.G. Conway
Authors:
D.G. Conway
How To Books

The Event Manager's Bible 3rd Edition

D.G. Conway
Authors:
D.G. Conway
Virago

Blaming

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor