By Taylor Jasmine | On December 18, 2022 | Comments (2)
Though Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849 – 1924) wrote more than forty novels, The Secret Garden (1911) remains one of her most enduring works, along with A Little Princess (1905).
Burnett was a poet and playwright in addition to her prolific output of novels and short stories for adults and children. Quite successful professionally, she had a difficult, sometimes tragic life.
The Secret Garden was published in 1911 after an original version was first serialized in The American Magazine in 1910. The story follows the journey of Mary Lennox, a sickly and unloved ten-year-old girl born to wealthy British parents in India. Read More→
By Taylor Jasmine | On November 25, 2022 | Updated December 1, 2022 | Comments (0)
Don’t Tell Alfred (1960) was the last novel by British author Nancy Mitford (1904 –1973) and the final installment of the loose trilogy encompassing The Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949).
Like the two previous novels, Don’t Tell Alfred is narrated by Frances (“Fanny”) Wincham. It takes place some twenty years after the previous two (whose timelines were more or less concurrent) and focuses on the narrator herself.
The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate are told from her perspective but have different main characters, both of whom are cousins of Fanny. Read More→
By Nava Atlas | On November 23, 2022 | Updated December 1, 2022 | Comments (0)
Love in a Cold Climate (1949) was the follow-up novel to The Pursuit of Love (1945) by British novelist, biographer, and journalist Nancy Mitford (1904 – 1973).
Not a sequel but a companion volume of sorts to its predecessor, like Mitford’s other novels, it satirized upper-class life in England.
The Pursuit of Love was Mitford’s fifth novel but her first breakaway success, selling two hundred thousand copies within the first year. It set the stage for Love in a Cold Climate, which proved to be equally successful. Read More→
By Taylor Jasmine | On November 17, 2022 | Updated December 1, 2022 | Comments (0)
The Pursuit of Love (1945) was British author Nancy Mitford’s fifth novel, and her first breakout success. The first of what was to become a trilogy, it was followed by Love in a Cold Climate (1949; arguably the best known of her many works) and Don’t Tell Alfred (1960).
The Pursuit of Love sold two hundred thousand copies within the first year, making Nancy Mitford financially independent for the first time in her life.
Adapted as a television miniseries in 2021, The Pursuit of Love marked the directorial debut of Emily Mortimer (who also had the role of Fanny’s mother, “the Bolter”). This well-received three-part series revitalized interest in Mitford’s work, much as earlier adaptations of Love in a Cold Climate had done. Read More→
By Francis Booth | On September 12, 2022 | Updated December 11, 2022 | Comments (0)
Lolly Willowes; or The Loving Huntsman was the first novel by modernist author Sylvia Townsend Warner. Published in 1926, it’s now considered an early feminist classic.
Considered comedy of manners, this novel is steeped in social satire. This collection of reviews was gathered in High Collars & Monocles: 1920s Novels by British Female Couples by Francis Booth, © 2020. Reprinted by Permission.
Following is a synopsis and two reviews from 1926, when the book was originally published. A more recent look back at Lolly Willows in the Guardian lauds it as a social satire and “an elegantly enchanting tale that transcends its era.” Read More→