Angela Thirkell - Marling Hall - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349007458
    • Publication date:17 Nov 2016
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Marling Hall

By Angela Thirkell

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The next in a hugely successful series of charming English comedies set in the fictional county of Barsetshire.

'You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own' New York Times

Mr Marling, of Marling Hall, has begun to accept - albeit reluctantly - that he will probably never be able to pass his wonderful old estate on to his children. The Second World War is bringing an end to so many things, but the Marlings carry on as best they can in the face of rationing and a shortage of domestic help.

Into their world arrive Geoffrey Harvey and his sister Frances, who have been bombed out of their London home. Bohemian and sophisticated, they rent a local house, and it is not long before they begin to have an effect on their neighbours. Geoffrey begins to court Lettice, the Marlings' widowed daughter, but he finds he has rivals for her affections in dashing David Leslie and Captain Barclay. Observing everything and quietly keeping events on an even keel is the Marlings' sage old governess, Miss Bunting.

'The novels are a delight, with touches of E. F. Benson, E. M. Delafield and P. G. Wodehouse' Independent on Sunday

Biographical Notes

Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) was the eldest daughter of John William Mackail, a Scottish classical scholar and civil servant, and Margaret Burne-Jones. Her relatives included the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, Rudyard Kipling and Stanley Baldwin, and her grandfather was J. M. Barrie. She was educated in London and Paris, and began publishing articles and stories in the 1920s. In 1931 she brought out her first book, a memoir entitled Three Houses, and in 1933 her comic novel High Rising - set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, borrowed from Trollope - met with great success. She went on to write nearly thirty Barsetshire novels, as well as several further works of fiction and non-fiction. She was twice married and had four children.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349007441
  • Publication date: 17 Nov 2016
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Virago
You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own — New York Times
The novels are a delight, with touches of E. F. Benson, E. M. Delafield and P. G. Wodehouse — Christopher Fowler, Independent on Sunday
Charming, very funny indeed. Angela Thirkell is perhaps the most Pym-like of any twentieth-century author, after Pym herself — Alexander McCall Smith
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The Amazing Test Match Crime

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Authors:
Adrian Alington

All England waited with passionate eagerness for the final match to be played at the Oval. For this was to be played to a finish and would decide the fate of the Ashes.It is 1938 and England is brimming with excitement as the final Test Match against Imperia draws near. But no corner of the land has the fate of the Ashes closer to its heart than the village of Wattlecombe Ducis, Glebeshire.It was here at the Manor House that Norman Blood, captain of England, spent his childhood playing cricket with the vicar's radiant daughter, Monica. And it was she who presented young but poor Joe Prestwick with a belt on the occasion of his first game of cricket, saving his honour for as Sir Timothy Blood remarked, 'I would rather see the whole village dead at my feet than a man bowling in braces.'With a short - but sensational - career behind him, Joe just needs to be selected to play at the Oval to win Monica's heart and her hand in marriage: everything depends on the Test.But The Bad Men, Europe's most wanted gang, have no intention of letting the best team win. Sawn-off Carlo, The Professor and Ralph the Disappointment (an Englishman who, knowing the rules of the Game, is eternally damned for not playing by them) plan to strike a blow at the very heart of proud Albion and her Empire. The Amazing Test Match Crime, first published in 1939, is a wicked yet affectionate comedy of cricketing (and criminal) manners, proving - as if proof were needed - that a straight bat and nimble spinning finger will always win through.

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The brilliantly tense play that became Hitchcock's masterpiece, starring James Stewart.Believing themselves to be intellectually superior to their contemporaries, flatmates Brandon and Philip murder their friend David Kentley purely to see if they can get away with it. They then throw a cocktail party, serving food from the top of the trunk where they have hidden David's body. Their guests include both David's father and fiancée, as well as college lecturer Rupert Cadell, who becomes increasingly suspicious as the evening wears on.

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Crime always leaves a stain . . .Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner, dusts off her detective skills when a masterpiece is stolen from a gallery she cleans with her cousin Sarika. But when Sarika goes missing too, accusations start to fly. Convinced her cousin is innocent, Lena sweeps her way through the secrets of the London art scene. With the evidence mounting against Sarika and the police on her trail, Lena needs to track down the missing painting if she is to clear her cousin. Embroiling herself in the sketchy world of thwarted talents, unpaid debts and elegant fraudsters, Lena finds that there's more to this gallery than meets the eye.Praise for Elizabeth Mundy'Terrific and heartwarming; a charming debut' Daisy Waugh'A warmly-crafted crime debut, perfect for our multicultural age' Vaseem Khan'I loved In Strangers' Houses - poignant, funny and races effortlessly along. Lena is a wonderfully unusual heroine and I can't wait for her next adventure' Elodie Harper'Lena's tenacity and common sense illuminate this engaging story' Daily Mail'Beautiful writing, a fine debut' The Sun

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The Betel Nut Tree Mystery

Ovidia Yu
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'Great protagonist, great setting - this is a delightful book' Morning Star The second novel in Ovidia Yu's delightfully charming crime series set in 1930s Singapore, featuring amateur sleuth Su Lin.What we came to think of as the betel nut affair began in the middle of a tropical thunderstorm in December 1937 . . . Singapore is agog with the news of King Edward VIII's abdication to marry American heiress Wallis Simpson. Chen Su Lin, now Chief Inspector Le Froy's secretarial assistant in Singapore's newly formed detective unit, still dreams of becoming a journalist and hopes to cover the story when the Hon Victor Glossop announces he is marrying an American widow of his own, Mrs Nicole Covington, in the Colony. But things go horribly wrong when Victor Glossop is found dead, his body covered in bizarre symbols and soaked in betel nut juice.The beautiful, highly-strung Nicole claims it's her fault he's dead . . . just like the others. And when investigations into her past reveal a dead lover, as well as a husband, the case against her appears to be stacking up. Begrudgingly on Le Froy's part, Su Lin agrees to chaperon Nicole at the Farquhar Hotel, intending to get the truth out of her somehow. But as she uncovers secrets and further deaths occur, Su Lin realises she may not be able to save Nicole's life - or even her own.'Charming and fascinating with great authentic feel. This book is exactly why I love historical novels' Rhys Bowen'I really enjoyed this wonderful gem of a book. The diversity and rich history portrayed in the book are what make The Frangipani Tree Mystery a brilliant read. The fact that it's a fusion of crime and historical fiction adds brownie points to the package!' Bookloves Reviews

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Death of an Honest Man

M.C. Beaton
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The Headmistress

Angela Thirkell
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Miss Bunting

Angela Thirkell
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Angela Thirkell

Barsetshire in the war years. Miss Bunting, governess of choice to generations of Barsetshire aristocracy, has been coaxed out of retirement by Sir Robert and Lady Fielding to tutor their daughter Anne, delicate, sixteen years old, and totally lacking in confidence. When Anne makes friends with Heather Adams, the gauche daughter of a nouveau riche entrepreneur, her mother is appalled. Miss Bunting, however, shows an instinctive understanding of the younger generation - perhaps, having lost so many of her former pupils to the war, she is more sympathetic to their needs. She may be a part of the old social order, where everyone knows their place, but is wise enough to realise that the war has turned everything on its head and nothing will ever be the same again - even in rural Barsetshire.First published in 1945, Miss Bunting is a charming social comedy of village life during the Second World War.

Virago

Growing Up

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
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Barsetshire in the war years. Growing Up is the story of ladies, gentlemen, and their irrepressible children keeping the war at bay in their country town. Trying to do their part as the Second World War ravages Europe, Sir Harry and Lady Waring open their estate to convalescing soldiers - bringing romance, drama, and subtle life lessons to the Warings' young niece and her friends.

Virago

Peace Breaks Out

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Barsetshire in the war years. True to the theory that a positive change creates almost as much stress as a negative one, the outbreak of Peace is met with trepidation. The Government falls, Mr Adams contests Anne Fielding's father for MP, and bread is not delivered (somehow equivalent events). However the main action focuses on David Leslie who, at thirty-nine, is still meddling with the feelings of every available young woman until Rose Bingham, of suitable age and circumstances, 'sorts him out', object: Matrimony. Around the edges we encounter Mr Scratcherd the local 'artist' and his formidable niece who harangues him in non-stop paragraphs; the continuing feud with the Palace as the Bishop's request for a song in honour of 'our Wonderful Red Comrades' is countered by a hymn whose tune is that of the Russian Imperial National Anthem; and young George Halliday's infatuation with a totally oblivious, very middle-aged, Lady Graham.

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The seventy-fifth anniversary edition, with a new introduction by Anthony Quinn.'I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific' Sarah Waters'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick HornbyLondon, 1939, and in the grimy publands of Earls Court, George Harvey Bone is pursuing a helpless infatuation. Netta is cool, contemptuous and hopelessly desirable to George. George is adrift in a drunken hell, except in his 'dead' moments, when something goes click in his head and he realises, without a doubt, that he must kill her. In the darkly comic Hangover Square Patrick Hamilton brilliantly evokes a seedy, fog-bound world of saloon bars, lodging houses and boozing philosophers, immortalising the slang and conversational tone of a whole generation and capturing the premonitions of doom that pervaded London life in the months before the war.

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Yuletide overindulgence on the poison front . . .During the dark, grey days of early December Agatha is obsessed by two things - the looming festivities, and her ex, James Lacey. In order to drive the latter from her thoughts, Agatha concentrates on planning the perfect Christmas for her friends.Even the murder of a Mrs Tamworthy, poisoned with hemlock, does little to distract her and yet it should, as Mrs Tamworthy had written to Agatha, telling her that one of her family wanted to see her dead before the year was out. So slightly guiltily (and belatedly), Agatha sets out to solve the case before the 25th rolls around . . .Praise for the Agatha Raisin series:'M.C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly'The detective novels of M.C. Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status' The Times'Agatha Raisin is sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining, delightfully intolerant and oh so magnificently non PC. M.C. Beaton has created a new national treasure' Anne Robinson

Virago

Before Lunch

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
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Jack Middleton likes to imagine himself a country squire. At weekends he retires to Laverings Estate with his wife, Catherine. He may be pompous, and they may seem ill-matched, but the couple are devoted to each other.When Jack's widowed sister, Lilian, and her two stepchildren arrive to spend the summer in the neighbouring house, he dreads the intrusion to his idyll: Daphne, capable and ambitious, is too lively for his taste, whereas her brother Denis, a composer, he finds a crashing bore. But their wit and good sense charm the residents of Barchester, and they win over Lord Bond with an impromptu Gilbert and Sullivan evening. Even Jack begins to thaw.Before long, Daphne and Lord Bond's son become attracted to each other, but each believes the other is attached to someone else. Can disaster be averted before she marries the wrong man? First published in 1939, Before Lunch is a sparkling comedy from Angela Thirkell's much-loved classic series.

Virago

Northbridge Rectory

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
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As the war continues it brings its own set of trials to the the village of Northbridge. Eight officers of the Barsetshire Regiment have been billeted at the rectory, and Mrs Villars, the Rector's wife, is finding the attentions of Lieutenant Holden (who doesn't seem to mind that she is married to his host) quite exhausting. The middle-aged ladies and gentlemen who undertake roof-spotting from the church tower are more concerned with their own lives than with any possible parachutist raids. There is the love triangle of Mr Downing, his redoubtable hostess Miss Pemberton and the hospitable Mrs Turner at the Hollies. And, to add to Mrs Villar's woes, egocentric, imperious Mrs Spender, the Major's wife, is foisted on the rectory when she is bombed out of her London home. First published in 1941, Northbridge Rectory is a captivating comedy of an English village in the War years.

Virago

Cheerfulness Breaks In

Angela Thirkell
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A portrait of middle-class England raising a wartime spirit. England is on the brink of war, but the people of rural Barsetshire are not downhearted. As the village rallies round to supply huge numbers of evacuated cockney children with rabbit stew, the locals are seen in their true colours.

Abacus

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café

Alexander McCall Smith
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Summer Half

Angela Thirkell
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Angela Thirkell

To his parents' dismay, Colin Keith - out of the noble but misplaced sense of duty peculiar to high-minded young university graduates - chooses to quit his training for the Bar and take a teaching job at Southbridge School. Little does Colin imagine that he will count among his pupils the demon in human form known as Tony Morland; or that the master's ravishing, feather-brained daughter Rose will, with her flights of fancy and many admirers, spread chaos throughout school and village. Humorous, high-spirited and cleverly observed, Summer Half is a comic delight.

Virago

The Brandons

Angela Thirkell
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