Tag Archives: E.F. Benson

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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Edith Wharton, “Old New York”

When I was talking to Pat Ryan of the New York Times about this wonderful piece in that newspaper (commemorating Mrs. Wharton’s 150th birthday on January 24), I remembered Wharton’s marvelous series of novellas called Old New York, and realized I … Continue reading

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E.F. Benson, “Paying Guests”

E. F. Benson is familiar to most of us as the author of the immortal Lucia novels which have been brought to our TV screens every now and then, most memorably in a mid-1980s production starring Prunella Scales. Around the … Continue reading

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Alexander McCall Smith, “Corduroy Mansions”

Alexander McCall Smith embarks on another series with a now-familiar lack of urgency. Lots of charm, though. Continue reading

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Helen Simonson, “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand”

A stranger on a plane recommended Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I had previously passed on it, purely on the basis of the title: it sounded like one of those cutesy English novels that set my teeth on edge. It started … Continue reading

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E.M. Forster, “A Room with a View”

Is it possible that I had never read A Room with a View? Maybe the glorious 1986 movie made the book seem unnecessary? Or maybe I read it many years ago and had simply forgotten what fun it is. Forster … Continue reading

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Angela Thirkell, “What Did It Mean?”

Published in 1954, What Did It Mean is Thirkell’s homage to the Coronation. It focuses on the Coronation festivities in Northbridge, and the comedy resides largely in observation of a group of volunteers mounting a theatrical production. Now that I … Continue reading

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