Monthly Archives: March 2013

John Galsworthy, “The Forsyte Saga, Vol. 2”

Soames is dead! Oh, dear, oh, dear. I didn’t see that coming. Nor did I anticipate the sense of regret I feel. John Galsworthy created Soames as the embodiment of Victorian bourgeois values. He was going to die sometime. What … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, classic | Tagged | 2 Comments

Peter Dickinson, “The Last House Party” and “Death of a Unicorn”

We don’t tend to think of our escape fiction as following literary fashion, do we? But it does, friends! This became very clear to me when I recently re-read two murder mysteries from the 1980s, The Last House Party and … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, mystery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mary Blume, “The Master of Us All: Balenciaga, His Workrooms, His World”

I’m going to start with a quotation here, and if you don’t like it you can just move on, because while I adored The Master of Us All, not every reader wants to devote a few hours to a long-dead … Continue reading

Posted in art history, biography, French | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lisa Hilton, “The Horror of Love”

I keep telling myself I don’t care about the Mitfords, but that is evidently a lie. Because not only did I buy The Horror of Love but I actually finished it, despite not really liking the book very much. How … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ruth Rendell, “Tigerlily’s Orchids”

OK, here’s a question. You pick up a new Ruth Rendell mystery, let’s say Tigerlily’s Orchids. The first character you meet, Olwen, is lucidly determined to drink herself to death. And furthermore, “On the whole Olwen was indifferent to other … Continue reading

Posted in anglophilia, mystery | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mark Seal, “Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Death in Africa”

Yes, another Africa book, but a more contemporary one. When I was in the Kenyan town of Naivasha about a month ago, we drove past a long stretch of sturdy iron fencing that had the initials “JR” worked into the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, biography | 1 Comment

Rosie Schaap, “Drinking with Men”

Maybe it’s a little late for this, but I need to come clean. Sometimes, I read books written by friends or acquaintances. And then I review them. And then I don’t tell you that I know the author. (But I … Continue reading

Posted in friend, memoir | Tagged | 6 Comments