Penguin New Writing 38: John Lehmann loses his judgement

There is full-on puffery in John Lehmann's Foreword to Penguin New Writing in this 1949 issue. It's been only a few issues since he sent out a plea for someone to contribute something funny; he's lost all sense of proportion now. His Foreword begins with the question of how can we know 'if a man … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 38: John Lehmann loses his judgement

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Daughter of Delafield: R M Dashwood’s Provincial Daughter

If you like E M Delafield’s comic classic Diary of a Provincial Lady, you’ll like Provincial Daughter, because it’s written by her daughter, R M Dashwood, and she’s even funnier. This week in the Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up, I’ve been reading her story of a doctor’s wife in the late 1950s in Berkshire, … Continue reading Daughter of Delafield: R M Dashwood’s Provincial Daughter

Interested onlookers at vestry rage in Barbara Pym’s A Glass of Blessings

Today’s letter in the Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up is P, and today’s author is Barbara Pym, a quiet and wickedly funny English comic novelist of the 1950s and the 1970s. She had a curious career, being published quite successfully during the 1950s, and then being dropped, rather brutally, after her sixth novel, … Continue reading Interested onlookers at vestry rage in Barbara Pym’s A Glass of Blessings

The glory of unmarried freedom in Paris, in Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado

I used to own Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado in my twenties, but I don’t think I ever read it properly, and it disappeared from sight in a house move. Oh how foolish I was, because – now that I’ve paid it proper attention  - this stunning classic is superbly written and fizzing with good-natured life. I … Continue reading The glory of unmarried freedom in Paris, in Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado