Our attitudes and experiences of near neighbours haven’t changed all that much in the last 160 years, if Emily Eden’s The Semi-Detached House is any guide

A noisy neighbouring macaw is an inevitable burden of suburban living!
Noisy pets remain a source of neighbourhood tension (although macaws have become less of an inevitable feature of every suburb)!

The Semi-Detached House by Emily Eden is a social satire written in the mid-19th century. When young Lady Chester moves into a semi-detached house in the suburbs she anticipates being forced into awkward intimacy with vulgar neighbours, whose daughters will almost certainly practice the harp incessantly! Instead this comedy of manners humanises the vulgar neighbours who are kind-hearted and reluctant to intrude. Essentially it is a book that challenges people’s outward claims about themselves (whether good or bad). Eden’s gentle laughter at her characters adds to the enjoyment of the book and is the source of some reviewers drawing comparisons with Jane Austen. While she lacks some of the depth of characterisation, there is a similar attention to the details of social interactions.

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