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Rose City reader

Sounds like a great author to adopt! I will try one of her books.

I'm like you -- if I find an author I like, I want to read all the books. Reading them in publication order always sounds good to me, but I end up reading them in the order I acquire them (except for certain mystery series that I must read in order).

Please let us know what you think as you work your way through that tempting stack!

Amanda A.

Once again, one of those writers I collect and have every intention of reading and somehow never get around to it. I'm bumping her up on the list and I look forward to reading your Molly Keane reviews!

Dorothy W.

She sounds very interesting, and it should be a great project! I love discovering authors who are so good they are worth reading in their entirety. What a wide range of dates she has -- from the 20s to the 80s. Was she writing all that time, or were some of her books published late?


I can't tell you how thrilling it is to see that entire stack of books! I love your reading project.


I just received The Rising Tide from Paperbackswap. I also have Devoted Ladies. I've heard a lot of good things about her work and hope to read one of these soon. I'm looking forward to your thoughts as you embark on this project.

Oh, and I really like Elizabeth Taylor, too.



What a fun project! What a wonderful thing to find. I am intrigued!


Rose City Reader--I tend to also read in the order I acquire, reading in pub order has been a new thing and I've only really been doing it with a couple of authors--generally because I've never really planned ahead. I've only read her Two Days in Aragon so far, which I can highly recommend!
Amanda--I also had two or three of her books laying around and always meant to pick one up, but it took a while before it finally happened! I will certainly post as I read--I'm going to start with the top book, which she wrote when she was only 17.
Dorothy--I think she started out writing under the MJ Farren pen name. Eventually she married, but her husband died very young. The thirty year gap came when he died. I'm not sure why she finally decided to write again, but she did so under her own name. It will be interesting to see how the books differ after so much time!
Lily--Aren't they nice? There's nothing more attractive than a pile of books--especially those green-spines of Virago! :) I love these sorts of self-imposed projects (as I get to make and break the rules!).
Laura--I can't wait to start. I just want to finish reading a book club book first. Her books all sound so interesting. And I really need to read Elizabeth Taylor this year, too. I talked a coworker into trying her and she read three of her books in a row, and enjoyed them all. She might have read more had my library owned more than those three.
Priscilla--A few years back I had not even heard of her. I'm so glad I happened upon some of her books and finally got around to reading one. Now I want to read them all!


I saw Molly Keane's books on the Virago feature table and until I read your post, I know absolutely nothing about her. She does sound very interesting and I usually enjoy books from the 20s to 50s.


Hi, I saw your post on A Guy's Moleskine notebook which led me to your blog. I am glad I am not the only one who likes to have a go at reading things in the order they were writtten.

I have just started a similar Virginia Woolf project which I am blogging about here but I think I will be picking up some Molly Keane too as she sounds really interesting.

Daphne du Maurier is another favourite author of mine, I would love to live in Maderlay! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on Molly Keane



Oh, this is a new one for me. I'll have to have a peek and see what she's about. I'd really like to read something by Elizabeth Taylor as well, I had A Game of Hide and Seek in my hand last week and bought Mariana from Persephone instead. We both know that I'll be back though. ;)

Margaret Powling

I have thus far only read Time After Time (and this was dramatized for TV several years ago, and excellent it was, too). However, I'm glad you enjoy the novels of Mary Wesley. I hope it will impress you to know that I interviewed Mary in her Totnes home here in Devon the year before she died. Her reputation went before her: that although she was old, she didn't suffer fools gladly. I had seen her around the town quite a lot, but she kept a low profile and you would often see her, as the town grew busy, scurrying off to her charming little cottage behind the town's shops (a lot of the buildings in this Devon town being Elizabethan - and I don't mean our present Queen!) But when I went to see her she was lovely, most courteous and kind, making me coffee and then we sat in her very pretty sitting room and chatted about her life. I must relate something quite funny, though. When we arrived she was in her back garden with one of those large pump-action water pistols. She said that cats, of which there were many who lived around the neighbourhood, tried to get the birds which she encouraged into her garden and the water pistol dispatched the cats! Seeing Mary, such a diminuative figure (I have referred to her as an Edwardian in a denim skirt) with the water pistol is forever etched on my memory!


For years I thought I wouldn't like Molly Keane, but I picked up The Rising Tide last year and it was absolutely wonderful. And so I have been collecting her books and I am gradually working my way through them. And I'm delighted to find a another lover of Mary Wesley!


Matt--You go to some wonderful bookstores if they had a whole table of Viragos!! Or was that in Europe? Her work covers a pretty good span so it will be interesting to see how it changes with the times.
Flo--Thanks for stopping by here. I really want to get back to reading Virginia Woolf. I think what's slowed me down is knowing when I pick up Jacob's Room I want to spend time with the book and not have other reading demands on me, which I know I can't do well right now. I will have to check out how your project is going. Thanks for the link! And I love Daphne du Maurier--Rebecca is one of my favorite books!
Darlene--Oh yes, definitely go back and get that book. I've only read a couple of Elizabeth Taylor's novels and some of her short stories, but she's so good, it was enough to know I want to read more by her. And Persephone books is publishing a bio of her next month, which I shall, of course, be buying!! And the Molly Keane novel, Two Days in Aragon is excellent, too!
Margaret--I have Time After Time and will get to it eventually. What a lovely story about Mary Wesley. I was always so impressed by the fact she didn't start writing until she was older. I discovered her when I was working at a bokstore, and once I'd read one book (Can't remember which I started with) I had to read all of them. I think I might have missed a few along the way, but I think I managed to find and read most of them. I know there is also a bio out about her that I'm curious about. Lucky you to have met her!
FleurFisher--Isn't it funny how you think you won't like someone and then you give them a try and they end up being pretty good. I can't think how many times this has happened to me. I think sometimes it's a matter of timing. As I get a little older I'm willing to try authors I wouldn't have picked up when I was younger. And isn't Mary Wesley wonderful? I've not read her for ages. I should pick up one of her books for a reread (though then I may want to read all of them again)...


I have a couple of her books, Virago editions too, but haven't read her yet. I tend to be like that too, when I find an author I really like I start "collecting" their books. It's happened with Anita Brookner, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor for sure!

Enjoy your M.K. project!


Iliana--I agree on all those authors you mention. I went through a bit Anita Brookner phase years ago and must read more Barbara Pym and ET as well this year. I can't wait to start a MK novel!


That is the best Molly Keane collection I have ever, ever seen. Wow. How I wish I could peruse your bookshelves!


What a fun project! And a nice collection of books. Very interesting why there was a big gap in the book dates. It will be fun to see what, if anything, changed in her writing.


I had never heard of Molly Keane before, but now I'm itching to try one of her books! Thanks for that great recommendation. I love Elizabeth Bowen, and Keane's books sound like they might deal with some similar themes.


Litlove--Don't they look nice in a pile all together. If only I had enough book cases to display them nicely! And I like looking at other reader's bookcases, too.
Stefanie--I think the gap came about when her husband died. She stopped writing for quite a while. Not sure what made her go back to it--maybe after her children were raised. I wonder how much the earlier books differ from the later ones, too.
Maire--Yes, she seems to be very similar in subject matter to Elizabeth Bowen--another Anglo-Irish author I enjoy reading. So far I've only read Two Days in Aragon by Keane, which I highly recommend!

Mad Housewife

Molly Keane is a fabulous writer - so fabulous as to be baffling when I was introduced to Good Behavior. But I raced through the softer M. J. Farrell novels (her original pseudonym) and came back to Good Behavior. She's one of my favorite writers. Thank God for Virago


Mad Housewife--I've heard her later Molly Keane books are a bit different than her earlier novels, which isn't at all surprising considering the span of time that separates them. I first read Two Days in Aragon, which I loved and knew right away that I wanted to read much more of her work. I've recently started her first, Knight of Cheerful Countenance--hoping to read them in order. And yes, I love Virago, too!


How are you getting along with your reading? I came accross your post in google. I first came accross Molly Keane in a video that Michael Palin made called "Great Railway Journeys". There is a very short interview with Molly Keane at her house in 1993, three years before she died. Although short it gives you a good idea of who she was, still very mischeavous at her advanced age. The video is available on dvd. You can also find a good obituary on the independent website,
I don't know why I've waited all those years but I've renewed my interest in Molly and look forward to reading Good Behaviour.



Armand--I read Two Days in Aragon when I wrote this post back in March and Loved it. That's what made me start searching out her other books. I was all set to get started but was then sidetracked. I have finally picked up her first boo--Knight of the Cheerful Countenance and am currently reading it and enjoying it--so surprised that such a young woman wrote it. I wish she had written an autobiography, though it doesn't seem as though she did. I will see if I can track down the film you mention-thanks for the heads up! And thanks also for the link. She's a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading my way through her books!

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