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

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

Vintage knitting with Paton’s and Baldwins’ Woolcraft

This was one of my grandmother's knitting books. It dates from the later 1920s, and she kept it all her life, probably because she (her name was Kathleen Matthews, née Fare) was a countrywoman who made do and mended for her children, grand-children, nieces and nephews and half the village. She was certainly a fine knitter, … Continue reading Vintage knitting with Paton’s and Baldwins’ Woolcraft