Tag Archives: British

The most enjoyable ‘collected letters’ I’ve ever read: 84, Charing Cross Road (and the Duchess of Bloomsbury street)

From 1950 to 1970, an American scriptwriter, Helene Hanff, embarked on self-education by book with the aid of some British secondhand booksellers. 84, Charing Cross Road is a collection of the letters which passed primarily between Hanff and the shop’s … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, American, British, Diary, General adult audience, Letters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Would you like world-ending pink topping with that? Lost is a Good Book is a generous second helping of Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde is the second book in the Thursday Next series. Despite a sudden celebrity for saving Jane Eyre and improving the ending, not every one is happy with what Thursday has done. A … Continue reading

Posted in British, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor of the post box and novel-making machine: Autobiography is the self-told story of one of my favourite Victorian novelists, Anthony Trollope

Autobiography by Anthony Trollope was an easy and amusing read. It focuses on Trollope’s two careers – as post office official and author – with only brief forays into personal life, although Trollope-as-a-person comes through on every page. Part of … Continue reading

Posted in Biography/Autobiography, British, General adult audience, Nonfiction, Victorian | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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 … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, British, General adult audience, Novel, Novel of Manners, Victorian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radio plays that were The Mark Drama of the 1940s: The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy L. Sayers

As I read The Man Born to be King I found myself thinking, this was the Mark Drama of the 1940s! A series of twelve radio plays about the life of Jesus Christ, they were written by Dorothy L. Sayers … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Biography/Autobiography, Christian, Christian Non-fiction, General adult audience, Nonfiction, Script/Play | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A book that argues the indispensable value of spinsters: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym is about capable spinsters – truly excellent women capable of dealing with any sort of drama – observant, helpful, available and overlooked. Mildred, the protagonist, is just one of these women, pondering her life and … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Literature, General adult audience, Novel of Manners, Social Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A nonsensical tale for grown-ups: Once On a Time by A.A. Milne

A little known story by A.A. Milne, Once On a Time is an absurd and whimsical fairy story. It starts when one king takes exception to another king taking a morning walk over his battlements during breakfast time while wearing … Continue reading

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Spending time with a delightful dead guy: The Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb

I was curious about Charles Lamb after references to him in Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I was surprised at how enjoyable The Essays of Elia and The Last Essays of Elia actually were. Published in magazines … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, Arts Criticism, Biography/Autobiography, Essays, General adult audience, Miscellaneous Non-Fiction, Social Commentary/Analysis, Travel and Geography Non-Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take themes of bureaucracy and greed, add non-stop word-wit and shellfish-references, throw in the waning of magic and a very old dragon and you have The Last Dragonslayer: teen fantasy Jasper Fforde-style

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde is a story about magic, dragons and red tape. After reading it I concluded that my ideal pet would be a quarkbeast (no fur, funny-looking, loyal and affectionate, not exactly huggable but still better … Continue reading

Posted in 13 years and up, Contemporary YA, Fantasy, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventure for kids, humour for grown-ups: Dragon Boy by Dick King-Smith

Dragon Boy by Dick King-Smith is another classic dragon story from my childhood by one of my favourite children’s authors (he also wrote The Sheep-pig aka Babe). Orphaned John is found crying in the forest by a dragon, Montague Bunsen-Burner. … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century Children's, 7 years and up, Children's, Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment