Angela Thirkell - Marling Hall - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349007441
    • Publication date:17 Nov 2016

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.
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
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The Headmistress

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Growing Up

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Peace Breaks Out

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Allotment wars!Lord Bellington has enraged locals by saying he is going to sell off their allotments to make way for a new housing development. So when he turns up dead, poisoned by antifreeze, nobody mourns his passing.On another fine summer's day, Agatha visits Carsley's allotments where everything looks peaceful and perfect: people of all ages digging in the soil and working hard to grow their own fruit and veg. Agatha feels almost tempted to take on a strip herself . . . but common sense soon prevails. She doesn't really like getting her hands dirty.She is introduced to three keen gardeners; Harry Perry, Bunty Daventry and Josephine Merriweather are lamenting the neglected condition of a patch that has become available. But as Harry starts to shovel through the weeds and grass his spade comes across something hard so he bends down and tries to move the object. And he starts to yell . . .The body is that of Peta Currie, a newcomer to the village - but who would want to murder her? Blonde and beautiful, she's every local male's favourite. And then Lord Bellington's son engages Agatha to do some digging of her own and very soon Agatha is thrown into a world of petty feuds, jealousies and disputes over land. It would seem that far from being tiny gardens of Eden, Carsley's allotments are local battlefields where passions - and the bodycount - run high!Praise for the Agatha Raisin series:'Sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining, delightfully intolerant and oh so magnificently non-PC, M.C. Beaton has created a national treasure' Anne Robinson'M.C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly'The Miss Marple-like Raisin is a refreshing, sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine' Booklist

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Before Lunch

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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.

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Northbridge Rectory

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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.

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Cheerfulness Breaks In

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August Folly

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Summer Half

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The Brandons

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Christmas at High Rising

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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.

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Pomfret Towers

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Wild Strawberries

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Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her Aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie. Meanwhile, Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary. At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance . . .