With these latest releases of two of Angela Thirkell's novels, eager fans can return to the playful, aristocratic personalities of Barsetshire, England. In these stories of the post-World War II era, the characters of the imaginary county adjust to life during peacetime. Shortages and rationing continue after the war has ended, and the citizens of ...
With these latest releases of two of Angela Thirkell's novels, eager fans can return to the playful, aristocratic personalities of Barsetshire, England. In these stories of the post-World War II era, the characters of the imaginary county adjust to life during peacetime. Shortages and rationing continue after the war has ended, and the citizens of Barsetshire are weary of "the boringness of public events". But when two eligible young women take up residence in a cottage at Southbridge, they create a stir among the bachelors and matchmakers of Angela Thirkell's fictional world of town and country.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-05-27 After the rigors of WWII, Thirkell (1890- 1961) excelled at easing British readers back, with a good-natured but sharp social eye, into the happier worries of romance and domestic relations. Originally published in 1947, Private Enterprise opens with the news that a young war widow and her sister-in-law are to become residents of Barsetshire county. Here, as everywhere else in the country, despite shortages of everything, all are trying cheerfully to make do. The denizens of the estimable enclave are abuzz with speculation when the lovely Mrs. Peggy Arbuthnot arrives with her sister-in-law, the stalwart Miss Arbuthnot, to take up residence in Editha Cottage. Lydia Merton, whose brother, barrister Colin Keith, has enlisted her aid, takes the ladies under her wing, introducing them into the proper social circles. Colin nurses a poorly disguised desire for the pretty widow and spends much time in sulks when she flirts with the eligible gentlemen of the village. In the meantime, other bachelors and young ladies play out a social minuet; nannies mind their young charges; and the clergy debate matters both spiritual and practical. There is many a pairing and re-pairing, and a startling secret from the past is revealed before several of the ladies and gentlemen of Barsetshire at last find their hearts' desires. Those who savor the sly English humor and gentle social satire of Stella Gibbons's Cold Comfort Farm and E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia novels will find similar delights here. (June)
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