Angela Thirkell - Marling Hall - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349007441
    • Publication date:17 Nov 2016
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Marling Hall

By Angela Thirkell

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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.

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  • ISBN: 9780349007458
  • Publication date: 17 Nov 2016
  • Page count:
  • 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
Virago

The Headmistress

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Barsetshire in the latter years of the Second World War is a peaceful and gossipy place, but there has been one lively change. A girls' school, evacuated from London, has taken over Harefield Park. Miss Sparling seems to be the perfect headmistress: she dresses as a headmistress should and is an easy and erudite conversationalist. Her new neighbours like her and her pupils respect her, but there is something missing from her life; something which - though she never dreamt it when she arrived - perhaps Barsetshire can provide...

Virago

Miss Bunting

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
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:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Peace Breaks Out

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Before Lunch

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Northbridge Rectory

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

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
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected.'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it' Francis King, SpectatorAt the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Virago

August Folly

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Summer Half

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
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
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Lavinia Brandon is quite the loveliest widow in Barsetshire, blessed with beauty and grace, as well as two handsome grown-up children, Delia and Francis. So thinks their cousin Hilary Grant when he comes to stay and - like many before him - promptly falls for his fragrant hostess. Meanwhile, the Brandons' ill-tempered dowager aunt is stirring up controversy over her legacy, and Lavinia's attention is further occupied by the challenges of making a match between the vicar and gifted village helpmeet Miss Morris, and elegantly deterring her love-struck suitors. Angela Thirkell's 1930s comedy is bright, witty and winning.

Virago

Christmas at High Rising

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Originally published in the 1930s and 1940s and never before collected, these stories by the incomparable Angela Thirkell relate merry scenes of a trip to the pantomime, escapades on ice, a Christmas Day gone awry, and an electrifying afternoon for Laura Morland and friends at Low Rising, not to mention the chatter of the arty set at a London private view. Charming, irreverent and full of mischievous humour, they offer the utmost entertainment in any season of the year.

Virago

Pomfret Towers

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Pomfret Towers, Barsetshire seat of the earls of Pomfret, was constructed, with great pomp and want of concern for creature comforts, in the once-fashionable style of Sir Gilbert Scott's St Pancras station. It makes a grand setting for a house party at which gamine Alice Barton and her brother Guy are honoured guests, mixing with the headstrong Rivers family, the tally-ho Wicklows and, most charming of all, Giles Foster, nephew and heir of the present Lord Pomfret. But whose hand will Mr Foster seek in marriage, and who will win Alice's tender heart? Angela Thirkell's classic 1930s comedy is lively, witty and deliciously diverting.

Virago

Dusty Answer

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann
Virago

Poor Cow

Nell Dunn
Authors:
Nell Dunn
Virago

The Rising Tide

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane

One glorious gothic mansion - Garonlea - and two rather different ladies who would be Queen . . .Lady Charlotte French-McGrath has successfully ruled over her family with a rod of iron until the arrival of Cynthia: beautiful, young, talented, selfish - and engaged to her son Desmond.When Cynthia enters the Jazz Age, on the surface her life passes in a whirl of hunting, drinking and romance. But the ghosts of Garonlea are only biding their time: they know the source of their power, a secret handed on from one generation to the next.

Virago

Loving Without Tears

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane

Angel, formidable hostess, social charmer and mother par excellence, confidently awaits the return of her little boy from the trials of war. She could not anticipate that the teenager who went away will return a grown man - bronzed and world-weary - a sophisticated American widow on his arm. Nor could she anticpate that her irrepressible daughter Slaney will similarly throw herself into romance (without asking her advice) and even her niece Tiddley will show an unexpected determination in getting on with her life. Faced with domestic insurrection on a grand scale, Angel will have to sharpen her wits to maintain her tyranny.

Virago

Young Entry

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane

Prudence, at nineteen, is reckless, laughing, wild; the despair of her elderly guardians. With her best friend, the subversive but very female Peter, she rackets round the Irish countryside among her beloved horses and dogs. But she feels betrayed by Peter's growing interest in the new Master of Hounds, 'Saxon' Major Anthony Countless. And what is Prudence to make of handsome Toby Sage, neighbour, huntsman and accredited flirt? Or of an inexplicable haunting? First published in 1928, this high-spirited novel with its subtle erotic undercurrents, is a glorious story of a ramshackle, tolerant society and of Prudence's turbulent coming of age.

Virago

The Echoing Grove

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann

Two sisters: Madeleine and Dinah. One husband: Rickie Masters. For many years now, Dinah, exotic and sensual, has conducted a clandestine affair with Rickie. Madeleine, calm and resolute, has accepted that her marriage has been of limited success. Rickie's sudden death makes widows of both sisters in this highly imaginative novel that explores with extraordinary insight the sublimity, the rivalry and the pain of personal relationships.'She makes a mood, an atmosphere, which is never forgotten . . . The inner voice of women talking to themselves about their love affairs, knowing that it is hopeless, having to go ahead anyway, expecting the end as soon as it begins. That, of course, is what Rosamond Lehmann does best' Sunday Times

Virago

Treasure Hunt

Molly Keane
Authors:
Molly Keane