Tag Archives: Barbara Pym

Rose Macaulay, “The Towers of Trebizond”

Some books are just really insistent. I’ve owned three copies of The Towers of Trebizond. The first was my mother’s; she was much given to quoting the famous opening line: “Take my camel, dear,” said my aunt Dot, as she … Continue reading

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Barry Unsworth “Losing Nelson”

A few weeks ago, around the time of the publication of Bring Up the Bodies, Newsweek published Hilary Mantel’s list of five excellent historical novels. Naturally I paid attention. Losing Nelson was the first of them to arrive at my … Continue reading

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Elizabeth Taylor, “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont”

The cover of the Virago edition of Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont shows Rupert Friend wearing a modish blue muffler, with his head tossed back as he roars with laughter, and Joan Plowright (also mufflered, though hers is pink) in … Continue reading

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Alan Bennett, “Smut”

I’ll admit I got a little kick out of sitting on the subway reading a book called Smut. But the cover, with its pattern of tea-cups, its genteel blue background and upright type, goes far to undercut the title. And, … Continue reading

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Anita Brookner, “Hotel du Lac”

The 1984 winner of the Booker Prize — back when we in the U.S. were just starting to pay attention to the Booker Prize — was a short quiet novel about an English spinster, called Hotel du Lac. The author, … Continue reading

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Barbara Pym, “Jane and Prudence”

Barbara Pym’s novels were republished in a handsome uniform edition in the early 1980s and I bought them all. They’ve survived thirty years of bookshelf purges but I hadn’t read one again until now, and I found it really delightful. … Continue reading

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