Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the rediscovery of the author's entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950s, one of those 'excellent women' who tend to get involved in other people's lives - such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest.
A wonderfully wicked new anthology from the editor of The Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime It is the Victorian era and society is both entranced by and fearful of that suspicious character known as the New Woman. She rides those new- fangled bicycles and doesn't like to be told what to do. And, in crime fiction, such female detectives as Loveday Brooke, Dorcas Dene, and Lady Molly of Scotland Yard are out there shadowing suspects, crawling through secret passages, fingerprinting corpses, and sometimes committing a lesser crime in order to solve a murder. In The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime, Michael Sims has brought together all of the era's great crime-fighting females- plus a few choice crooks, including Four Square Jane and the Sorceress of the Strand.
Author: Barbara Pym
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2015-10-08
With an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith One did not drink sherry before the evening, just as one did not read a novel in the morning. In 1970s London Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly and with delightful humour, Pym conducts us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements, and - perhaps most keenly felt - their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them. Deliciously, blackly funny and full of obstinate optimism, Quartet in Autumn shows Barbara Pym's sensitive artistry at its most sparkling. A classic from one of Britain's most loved and highly acclaimed novelists, its world is both extraordinary and familiar, revealing the eccentricities of everyday life.
An anthology of Great War short stories by British writers, both famous and lesser-known authors, men and women, during the war and after its end. These stories are able to illustrate the impact of the Great War on British society and culture and the many modes in which short fiction contributed to the war's literature. The selection covers different periods: the war years themselves, the famous boom years of the late 1920s to the more recent past in which the First World War has received new cultural interest.
Spanning Chaucer's working life, these four poems build on the medieval convention of 'love visions' - poems inspired by dreams, woven into rich allegories about the rituals and emotions of courtly love. In The Book of the Duchess, the most traditional of the four, the dreamer meets a widower who has loved and lost the perfect lady, and The House of Fame describes a dream journey in which the poet meets with classical divinities. Witty, lively and playful, The Parliament of Birds details an encounter with the birds of the world in the Garden of Nature as they seek to meet their mates, while The Legend of Good Women sees Chaucer being censured by the God of Love, and seeking to make amends, for writing poems that depict unfaithful women. Together, the four create a marvellously witty, lively and humane self-portrait of the poet.
'Alas that I ever did sin! It is so merry in Heaven!' The Book of Margery Kempe (c. 1436-8) is the extraordinary account of a medieval wife, mother, and mystic. Known as the earliest autobiography written in the English language, Kempe's Book describes the dramatic transformation of its heroine from failed businesswoman and lustful young wife to devout and chaste pilgrim. She vividly describes her prayers and visions, as well as the temptations in daily life to which she succumbed before dedicating herself to her spiritual calling. She travelled to the most holy sites of the medieval world, including Rome and Jerusalem. In her life and her boisterous devotion, Kempe antagonized many of those around her; yet she also garnered friends and supporters who helped to record her experiences. Her Book opens a window on to the medieval world, and provides a fascinating portrait of one woman's life, aspirations, and prayers. This new translation preserves the forceful narrative voice of Kempe's Book and includes a wide-ranging introduction and useful notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Author: Barbara Pym
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2013-01-22
The author of Excellent Women explores female friendship and the quiet yearnings of British middle-class life—a literary delight for fans of Jane Austen. Jane Cleveland and Prudence Bates were close friends at Oxford University, but now live very different lives. Forty-one-year-old Jane lives in the country, is married to a vicar, has a daughter she adores, and lives a very proper life in a very proper English parish. Prudence, a year shy of thirty, lives in London, has an office job, and is self-sufficient and fiercely independent—until Jane decides her friend should be married. Jane has the perfect husband in mind for her former pupil: a widower named Fabian Driver. But there are other women vying for Fabian’s attention. And Pru is nursing her own highly inappropriate desire for her older, married, and seemingly oblivious employer, Dr. Grampian. What follows is a witty, delightful, trenchant story of manners, morals, family, and female bonding that redefines the social novel for a new generation.
Author: Carolinne White
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2010-01-28
'Perpetua shouted out with joy as the sword pierced her, for she wanted to taste some of the pain and she even guided the hesitant hand of the trainee gladiator towards her own throat' Lives of Roman Christian Women is a unique collection of letters and documents from the third to the fifth centuries, celebrating Christian women from across the Roman Empire. During a crucial period in which Christianity transformed from a persecuted faith to the official religion of the Empire, these writings reveal the women who chose to dedicate their lives to Christ, by embracing martyrdom or by adopting a life of poverty and prayer, renouncing not only wealth but also their duties as wives and mothers.