Thursday, 26 February 2009

The rest of the Bloomsbury Group

Nothing quite equals the joy of Miss Hargreaves, but the rest of 'The Bloomsbury Group' - the four others listed on the Bloomsbury website - are also pleasures to await.

The Brontes Went To Woolworths - Rachel Ferguson
This one has proved quite popular across the blogs over the last year, but secondhand copies were getting scarce - how wonderful to be able to recommend it knowing that people can actually buy it! I wrote about it here, a p
ost which also has links to several other people's reviews. Rachel Ferguson is also represented by Persephone Books, who reprinted Alas, Poor Lady - a book I own but haven't yet read.

Henrietta's War: News From The Home Front 1939-1942 - Joyce Dennys
Hadn't heard of this one before, but I'm definitely looking forward to reading it, sounds right up my street. 'Told through letters and charmingly illustrated by the author, Henrietta's War is a hilarious, wry, but often very moving, epistolary novel of life in rural wartime Britain'. As with all the other titles, more on the website.
(Once you're there, and have searched for 'Bloomsbury Group', just click on the titles)

A Kid For Two Farthings - Wolf Mankowitz
Another new one for me - the combination of the East End of London and unicorns isn't to be missed! From the 1950s, so edging out of my comfort zone. I look forward to trying it.

Mrs. Tim of the Regiment - DE Stevenson
I know DES has fans as fervent as Jane Austen's and Barbara Pym's, and my one dalliance with her (see this post) was, with a few small reservations, a very happy one. Mrs. Tim sounds a little Provincial Ladyesque - diaries with self-deprecating humour, trying - and failing - to keep up with those around her. D
ifference is, she's an army wife. Also looks like it contains a sprinkling of romance.

To finish with an utterly irrelevant aside - I've been painting again. I did three of my housemates, to go on the living room wall, and finally did my self-portrait (much harder)


  1. I loved Henrietta's War & its sequel Henrietta Sees It Through. I first discovered them in the 1980s thanks to a review by Susan Hill.

  2. A Kid for Two Farthings - brilliant!
    Somewhere in the house I have a really ancient (Pan?) pb of this. The cover is a lurid photo of Diana Dors with brassy hair, cinched in waist and burgeoning b....s. My cover of the book looks like pulp fiction. I think I read this when I was about 14 and the book came from a bin/box outside a shop for 2p or 4p or something like that. Sometimes there's brass to be found in muck.

    The film is available but I have never seen it. It's directed by Carol Reed (Oliver, The Third Man) and also stars Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter)and DAvid Kossof (also known for his re-tellings of Bible stories).

  3. I'm so happy about 'The Bronte's Went to Woolworths', as I've been missing it ever since I gave my copy away to a friend.

    It's all rather exciting!

  4. Great picture!
    (I think you'll love Henrietta).

  5. I think it's wonderful everyone's excited about a different title from the group. Personally, I'm over the moon about Henrietta's War!

  6. I'm with the Henrietta's War crew- sounds like it will tickle my nostalgic (qv- can you be nostalgic for something you never knew?) fancy a treat.

  7. My copy of Henrietta's War (bought at Hay on Wye) is in the pile of Books I Really Intend to Read Sooner or Later, so now that can move up to the Books I'll Read Sooner Rather than Later pile.

    As for Mrs. Tim--I totally unreservedly recommend her. But then, I am very partial to DES.

  8. I think I might have to nip to my favourite second hand book store in Balham and get these in advance if I can, they normally have some wonderful copies of books and imagine these might be among them!

  9. I love Miss Hargreaves. Bought it by chance. The fools at the bookstore stashed it right at the bottom. You're right ....I think I shall look forward to reading more books published by Bloomsbury


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