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I absolutely can not wait to read what you think about Someone at a Distance and that witch, Louise! Sorry, shouldn't put ideas into your head but nevermind, it's impossible to see her any other way. As luck would have it, there's a book chat at Persephone on May 14 to discuss this book and I'm going to sit in. Total cherry on the top - there's tea and cake! Wish you could be there Danielle!


This sounds like a lovely book. Of course our library doesn't have it! Perhaps I can find it through interlibrary loan.

BTW, if you read here:
you will see how bad I was at Borders today!


Greenery Street sounds charming, and I'm going to add it to my List.
BTW, I've been a Thirkell enthusiast for years, and I am intrigued by this less-than-glowing account of her interaction with her siblings.


Darlene--How exciting! You must share your experiences when you get back. You're off in just a few days now, aren't you!! And I am starting the Whipple book this weekend--have wanted to for the last few days, but it's been too late to start by the time I get a moment to myself. I have a feeling I'm not going to like someone who breaks up a marriage...should be interesting! And I will certainly share when I finish the book.
Linda--Hopefully you can find it via ILL! It is a delightful read--gently humorous. I wanted to share more passages, but my post was already too long! And thanks for the link--I will check things out. You can never be too bad in a bookstore! :)
Karen--I had heard that Denis Mackail and Angela Thirkell were related, but I didn't know anything about their relationship until I read the introduction to the book. How interesting! I still love her Barsetshire books and will read more--the characters seem so nice--small villagey, but I guess that doesn't preclude her being a total stinker as a child! :) Greenery Street is a lovely read if you get a chance!


I loved Someone at a Distance and its sheer rawness of emotion.


What a wonderful review and fascinating background detail about the author - it's no good, I'll just have to read it now! And I am so looking forward to hearing about the Dorothy Whipple. I have nearly bought that book so many times!

Dorothy W.

This sounds very good! I would definitely enjoy reading what life was like for newly married couples in the 1920s -- I can see how the historical details would be fun to learn about. I like books that are a bit short on plot, too, so this one might work perfectly for me. I hope you can find his other books!

Mad Housewife

I love Angela Thirkell and had completely forgotten about Denis Mackail - even though I own a copy of Greenery Street.
Now I'll have to read this immediately. What an inspiring review.


I bought a copy of Greenery Street for my husband and he loved it; he keeps urging me to read it too. When I finally do, I know I will love it as well. It sounds like such a charming story, and it's so rare that marriage is portrayed in such a sweet and happy fashion like you describe it here. I am going to look for the sequels too!


Paperback Reader--I'm just starting it and orienting myself. After hearing so much about Dorothy whipple I can't wait to get into the story.
Litlove--I think if you enjoyed Marian, you might very well like Greenery Street. There's a bit more to the Dickens plot, but this has that same laid back humorous tone to it. And I've wanted to read Dorothy Whipple, too. I feeling like I'll finally be joining the literary ranks of forgotten authors when I get this one under my belt!
Dorothy--I am trying to ILL one of the sequels and my library actually had one of his other novels, so I've lucked out. Life was so interesting back then--in some ways it seems so much more civilized, but maybe that's just a nostalgic idea, as certainly being a servant wouldn't have much appeal!!
mad Housewife--I discovered Angela Thirkell first and had no idea of this aspect of her personality! Still, I love her Barsetshire books, but will also look now for Denis Mackail's books, too.
Debby--How cool that your husband read and enjoyed this. I think you might like it as well--very charming indeed. There are a few difficulties in their first year of marriage--some more serious than others, but still everything works out in the end. I'm trying to get the book of short stories first and then will look for Ian and Felicity. I wonder if there are lots of used copies floating around? I'm trying to get library copies, at least right now (and if I like them lots will look later for my own copy).

Simon T

I loved this novel - read it about five years ago, so due a re-read - but have never been able to track down the sequels. They are in the Bodleian, though, so I might read them in there sometime... but can't take any books out, so I'd have to settle in for the day.

Sherry Early

I read Three Houses, an autobiographical memoir by Ms. Thirkell about a year ago. I don't remember what she said about her brother, but I do remember that they were cousins to the Kiplings and grandchildren of of the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter, Edward Burne-Jones.

It's an interesting, gentle memoir, but of course, she doesn't present herself as overbearing or bossy.


Simon--It was very entertaining. I have Tales from Greenery Street at home to read as well as another of his novels, Square Circle. Both look good. Are his books part of a special collection, which can't leave the library? You could probably read the short stories pretty easily if you needed to read the book in the library. At least they're close at hand!
Sherry--Didn't they come from an amazing family? I'd be curious to read her memoir--I love reading about that period and would like to see what she wrote about Denis! I was surprised to hear that about her--maybe she was just a very 'spirited' child? :)


I have this on the shelf here - you could say I'm saving it for a rainy day. I had no idea that the author was Angela Thirkell's brother or that there were sequels to this! Very interesting!


Tara--This is definitely a good book for a rainy day! I have a copy of Tales from Greenery Street, which is short stories. I'm looking forward to it!

Simon T

You've found Tales from Greenery Street? Well done!
No books are allowed to leave the Bodleian, it's a reference library... we also have faculty and college libraries, but they have much, much smaller collections. But it's tempting to sit in and read 'em nonetheless...


Simon--It came all the way from the University of Alaska of all places (via good old ILL)! It is a reprint from the 1970s--looks very much like a library book! I can even renew it, so I hope to take my time with it. I didn't realize the Bodleian was all reference. I was looking at the Oxford library website, but it looks quite extensive, so didn't get far. I think I could be happy sitting in the Bodleian and reading. :)

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