Angela Thirkell

Today a friend sent a link to a Washington Post article from December 22, 2020, with recommendations from their book people for “light” reading in these tumultuous times. I put the word “light” in quotations because I think that often we dismiss novels that are fun as of lesser value than more “weighty” tomes. I think that’s unfortunate, as these novels are wonderful, revealing, funny, and the writing is usually splendid.

One author that appeared in this list is Angela Thirkell (1890-1961). I listed her in a blog post on June 3, 2019, when writing about authors on my shelves that I’d be happy to read again. Thirkell was English but lived in Australia for a while during her second marriage, and then returned to England. She was a very prolific writer, and her novels, which she sets in Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire, are great send-ups of English society between the wars.

There are 29 Barsetshire novels! I haven’t come close to reading them all, but here are the ones that are on my shelf:

  • High Rising (1933)
  • Wild Strawberries (1934)
  • August Folly (1936)
  • Pomfret Towers (1938)
  • Before Lunch (1939)
  • Cheerfulness Breaks In (1940)
  • Northbridge Rectory (1941)

Do enjoy this “light” reading!

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