2016: 23-24. Two more Thirkell (and three from 2015)


“There are too many Friends of Everything about."

Never Too Late

Well, I’m back on the Thirkell train.  I know that she is a horrible class warrior and the whole thing is terribly feudal and Tory, but I just enjoy the books.  They don’t have tons of plot - rather, it’s just a snapshot of (her version) of life in a fictional English county from oh, 1930-1960, depending on the book.  And the characters all come and go and pop up again, especially if you are reading them in higgledy-piggly order like I am, and I know they aren’t literature or reality, but they are a very calming read.  It’s not pure delight like Miss Buncle (because, as I have repeatedly said, the politics are bosh), but it’s fun.

This particular one, which is set after the war (and I love how its a snapshot of just how grim and austere England was after the war - compared to America where it was all economic boom and babies galore), and is a little extra poignant because there is a storyline about an elderly man falling into dementia and his family dealing. It’s not terribly grim, but it’s realer than a lot of the stuff in her books, and quite touching.  And Mrs. Morland is around, and Clarissa Graham is at loose ends, and I don’t really know why I enjoy some of these more than others, what with them all being basically the same, but I really like this one. 


The youth of England, except to that small and misguided section who prefer model airplanes to model railways, the station at Winter Overcoats, as all students of Barshetshire know, represents History and Romance in their highest form, for here is one of the few remaining survivals of the main or high level line crossing the low level or local line.

Growing Up

This was a jump back in history, as it was set during the war, with Lydia and Noel Merton (who pop up quite a bit) having to lodge with Lady and Lord Waring as Noel does war work.  And their niece, Leslie, is falling in love with a friend of theirs.  But it’s mostly about war time atmosphere, and how they were fairing on the home front.  Not as good as the other, but still a fine read.

AND, in 2015 I read three others I forgot to blog about, so in case I ever do a Thirkell project here they are, very briefly, as they are all about the same and the plots blend over time.  I’m being flip below, but I liked reading them:

The Duke’s Daughter

Sam Adams has married Lucy Marling, her brother is courting Lady Cora Paliser (shades of Trollope!)

Lydia Merton (her again!) has to plan activities for the Queen’s Coronation!

The Beltons have left their home to a school! The Headmistress turns out to be a bit of alright!!

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017