Orphan Flora Poste, heroine of Gibbons's tongue-in-cheek classic novel, likes everything to be tidy and comfortable so when she goes to live with her eccentric relatives at Cold Comfort Farm she tries to alter her surroundings and encourage other to greater things. But this proves difficult...6 women, 9 men
Cold Comfort Farm is a comic novel by English author Stella Gibbons, published in 1932. It parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life popular at the time, by writers such as Mary Webb. Following the death of her parents, the book and 's heroine, Flora Poste, finds she is possessed and quot;of every art and grace save that of earning her own living and quot;. She decides to take advantage of the fact that and quot;no limits are set, either by society or one and 's own conscience, to the amount one may impose on one and 's relatives and quot;, and settles on visiting her distant relatives at the isolated Cold Comfort Farm in the fictional village of Howling in Sussex. The inhabitants of the farm – Aunt Ada Doom, the Starkadders, and their extended family and workers – feel obliged to take her in to atone for an unspecified wrong once done to her father.
Robert Poste's child is back at Cold Comfort Farm. But all is not well. Flora finds the farm transformed into a twee haven filled with Toby jugs and peasant pottery, and rooms labelled 'Quiete Retreate' and 'Greate laundrie'. It is, Flora winces, 'exactly like being locked in the Victoria and Albert Museum after closing time'. Worse, the farm is hosting a conference of the pretentious International Thinkers Group - a group made up of the 'sadistic owl' Mr Peccavi, loathsome Mr Mybug and the overpowering Mrs Ernestine Thump. And worst of all, there are no Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm. All the he-cousins have gone abroad to make their fortunes and the female cousins are having a pretty thin time of it. Once again the sensible Flora decides to take the situation in hand.
Available for the first time since its original publication more than fifty years ago, Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm is a charming collection whose hilarious title story features Christmas dinner with the Starkadders before Flora's arrival. With Adam playing Santa while draped in Mrs. Starkadders's shawls, the family shares their traditional "Christmas pudding"-a mélange containing random objects of doom foretelling the coming year: a coffin nail for death, a bad sixpence for financial ruin, and a menthol cone to indicate that the lucky recipient will go "blind wi' headache." These lively tales will delight anyone who loves Stella Gibbons and her signature wit.
Brother and sister, Constance and Kenneth Fielding live in calm respectability, just out of reach of London and the Blitz. But when a series of uninvited guests converge upon them – from a Balkan exile to Ken’s old flame and the siblings’ own raffish father – the household struggles to preserve its precious peace. In this full house, in a quiet corner of suburbia, no one expects to find romance.
This collection of essays examines the work of five intermodernist writers. Some were established authors before the First World War and others continued to write after the Second World War, but this book focuses particularly on their writing between 1918 and 1939. Elizabeth von Arnim, Stella Benson, Bradda Field, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Stella Gibbons and Winifred Watson had much in common: they all wrote novels full of comic moments, which often challenged the cultural politics of the interwar period. Drawing on the literary and critical contexts of each novel, the essays here discuss the use of comic structures that enabled the authors to critique the dominant patriarchal structures of their time, and offer an alternative, sometimes subversive, view of the world in which their characters reside. This book contributes to the growing scholarly interest in interwar fiction, focusing principally on novelists who have fallen out of public view. It widens our understanding both of the authors and of the continuing, highly topical debate about interwar women novelists.
In recent years British theatre has seen a renaissance in playwriting that has been accompanied by a proliferation of writing awards, new writing groups and a ceaseless quest for fresh, authentic voices that will ensure the vitality and relevance of theatre in the twenty-first century. Rewriting the Nation is a perfect companion to Britain's burgeoning theatre writing scene that will prove invaluable to anyone wanting a better appreciation of why British theatre - at its best - remains one of the most celebrated and vigorous throughout the world. The books opens by defining what is meant by 'new writing' and providing a study of the system in which it is produced. It considers the work of the leading 'new writing' theatres, such as the Royal Court, the Traverse, the Bush, the Hampstead and the National theatres, together with the London fringe and the work of touring companies. In the second part, Sierz provides a fascinating survey of the main preoccupations and issues that have characterised new plays in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It argues that while under New Labour economic, political and social change continued apace, generating anxiety and uncertainty in the population, theatre has been able to articulate not only those anxieties and uncertainties but also to offer powerful images of the nation. At a time when the idea of a national identity is hotly debated, British theatre has made its own contribution to the debate by offering highly individual and distinctive visions of who we are and what we might want to become. In examining the work of many of the acclaimed and emerging British playwrights the book serves to provide a narrative of contemporary British playwriting. Just as their work has at times reflected disturbing truths about our national identity, Sierz shows how British playwrights are deeply involved in the project of rewriting the nation.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LYNNE TRUSS 'Stella Gibbons is the Jane Austen of the twentieth century' The Times Set in wartime London, Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles, a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is not the type that attracts men. Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sunny temperament and keeps her service boys 'ever so cheery'. When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives. Margaret slavishly adores Challis and his artistic circle; Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind. This is a delightfully comic and wistful tale of love and longing.
Set on the eve of World War II in a resort on the east coast of England, The Rich House follows the love affairs of six young people and their intertwined adorations. Encircling their lives is Archibald Early, a once-famous actor, his housekeeper and his grandson Ted. These three tip the balance, and relationships shift, but even war cannot halt the passions of the young.
52 ways to relight the desire. When the roaring fire of a relationship has been reduced to a smolder, Re- Energize Your Relationship helps couples recapture the magic. From finding time to be together to rediscovering what makes each other tick, the inspiring ideas in this lively guide range from the basic to the bold and brazen: - Idea #2: Search for the hero - Idea #11: Scentsational - Idea #18: Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - Idea #24: Reach out and touch - Idea #29: Unbreak my heart - Idea #48: Domestic detox
When Nell Sely moves from sleepy Dorset to Hampstead she leaves behind a childhood of dull teas and oppressive rules for the freedom of the big city. Naive and only nineteen, she becomes embroiled with the wayward John Gaunt and falls in with London's bohemian crowd. In this city of seductive, shifting morals, smoke-filled jazz-clubs and glamorous espresso bars, Nell must master her new found independence and learn to strike her own course.
A new edition of the who's who of over 1,400 fictional characters whose names are sometimes so familiar it's difficult to remember they're imaginary. Included in the biographical parade is Ben Casey, Casper, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a compendium of high, low, and no brow at all, each exactly recorded with a snippet of biographical anecdote. The reference is as equally useful for scholarly work as it is for killing time in aimless pursuits of information. Distributed by Ashgate. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Wilfred Davis, quiet, retired, respectable widower, is sitting and sobbing on a park bench. He has lost his daughter and any sense of purpose. A mysterious stranger passes him a handkerchief, and strikes up a conversation that leads to friendship and an unconventional new home for Wilfred. Mary Davis wants only four things out of life: a husband and three children, so at seventeen she runs away from school, her father and her home and moves to London to find them. Only a few months later Mary is engaged, but love and marriage promise to be very different from her childhood daydreams. For Mary and Wilfred, it seems Fate has taken a hand, or is there another kind of guiding spirit at play? Stella Gibbons' final novel, written in the 1970s but only discovered many years after her death, is published here for the first time.
The one hundred letters brought together for this book illustrate the range of Hugh Trevor-Roper's life and preoccupations: as an historian, a controversialist, a public intellectual, an adept in academic intrigues, a lover of literature, a traveller, a countryman. They depict a life of rich diversity; a mind of intellectual sparkle and eager curiosity; a character that relished the comédie humaine, and the absurdities, crotchets, and vanities of his contemporaries. The playful irony of Trevor-Roper's correspondence places him in a literary tradition stretching back to such great letter-writers as Madame de Sévigné and Horace Walpole. Though he generally shunned emotional self-exposure in correspondence as in company, his letters to the woman who became his wife reveal the surprising intensity and the raw depths of his feelings. Trevor-Roper was one of the most gifted scholars of his generation, and one of the most famous dons of his day. While still a young man, he made his name with his bestseller The Last Days of Hitler, and became notorious for his acerbic assaults on other historians. In his prime, Trevor-Roper appeared to have everything: a grey Bentley, a prestigious chair in Oxford, a beautiful country house, a wife with a title, and, eventually, a title of his own. But he failed to write the 'big book' expected of him, and tainted his reputation when in old age he erroneously authenticated the forged Hitler diaries. For an academic, Trevor-Roper's interests were extraordinarily wide, bringing him into contact with such diverse individuals as George Orwell and Margaret Thatcher, Albert Speer and Kim Philby, Katharine Hepburn and Rupert Murdoch. The tragicomedy of his tenure as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, provided an appropriate finale to a career packed with incident. Trevor-Roper's letters to Bernard Berenson, published as Letters from Oxford in 2006, gave pleasure to a wide variety of readers. This more general selection of his correspondence has been long anticipated, and will delight anyone who values wit, erudition, and clear prose.
Creepy. Peculiar. Fairy. Goblin. Liar. Weirdo. Crank. Genius. No one knows what to make of Juliet Slater, not even her mother. And clothes, boys, school, friends, the changing seasons and what other people think - none of these things seem to matter to Juliet. She spends hours in her room with incomprehensible mathematical text books, her mind voyaging in strange seas of thought, alone. Is she a genius? It might take the rest of her life to find out. While Stella Gibbons was celebrated for her beloved bestseller Cold Comfort Farm, the manuscript for Pure Juliet lay unseen and forgotten until it was brought to light by her family in 2014, and is published here for the first time in Vintage Classics. A tale that travels from an eco-millionaire's British country idyll to an Arabian Nights-style fantasy of the Middle East, this is a treat for fans of this witty, curious and always surprising author.
Presents sixteen interviews with British actors, including Judi Dench, Nigel Hawthorne, and Miranda Richardson, discussing their family background, professional training, prepartion, and approach to acting.