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
Abacus

The Amazing Test Match Crime

Adrian Alington
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.

Abacus

Rope

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

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.

Sphere

The War of the Worlds

H. G. Wells
Authors:
H. G. Wells

This is the official TV tie-in edition of the classic and terrifying HG Wells novel of alien invasion, now a landmark series for the BBC from the makers of Poldark, Victoria and And Then There Were None.One night a shooting star is seen over the skies of Surrey. The next day, it's discovered to have been a mysterious metallic cylinder from Mars. What comes next is a terrifying alien attack, as tentacled Martian invaders emerge from the cylinder and prey on humankind using shocking new weapons against which the people of Victorian England can offer no resistance. The aliens begin to devastate the area in their tripod machines, and as our narrator struggles to return to his wife, the fight for London - and the world - begins.

Constable

A Clean Canvas

Elizabeth Mundy
Authors:
Elizabeth Mundy

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

Sphere

Kingdom of the Blind

Louise Penny
Authors:
Louise Penny

The entrancing new crime thriller featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, from number one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny'A wonderful addition to a fantastic series' Elly GriffithsWhen Armand Gamache receives a letter inviting him to an abandoned farmhouse outside of Three Pines, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him as an executor of her will.Armand never knew the elderly woman, and the bequests are so wildly unlikely that he suspects the woman must have been delusional - until a body is found, and the terms of the bizarre document suddenly seem far more menacing.But it isn't the only menace Gamache is facing. The investigation into the events that led to his suspension has dragged on, and Armand is taking increasingly desperate measures to rectify previous actions. As he does, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots - and the terrible things hiding there . . .Praise for the award-winning Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series:'One of the most interesting detectives in crime fiction' The Times'Fascinating characters, a twisty plot and wonderful surprise endings' Ann Cleeves'Wonderfully satisfying' Kate Mosse*This edition contains bonus extra content from Louise Penny, including a map of Three Pines*

Little, Brown

The Colours of all the Cattle

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramostwe's friend will persuade her to stand for election to the City Council. 'We need women like her in politics,' Mma Potokwani says, 'instead of having the same old men every time . . .' To be elected, Mma Ramotswe must have a platform and some policies. She will have to canvas opinion. She will have to get Mma Makutsi's views. Her slogan is 'I can't promise anything - but I shall do my best'. Her intention is to halt the construction of the Big Fun Hotel, a dubious, flashy hotel near a graveyard - an act that many consider to be disrespectful. Mma Ramotswe will take the campaign as far as she can, but lurking around the corner, as ever, is the inextinguishable Violet Sephotho.

Constable

The Betel Nut Tree Mystery

Ovidia Yu
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Ovidia Yu
Constable

Death of an Honest Man

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

Growing Up

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
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.

Abacus

Hangover Square

Patrick Hamilton
Authors:
Patrick Hamilton

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.

Constable

Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye

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

Before Lunch

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

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:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Cheerfulness Breaks In

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Abacus

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith
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.