Furrowed Middlebrow,Angela Thirkell,Jane Austen,Anthony Trollope,Margery Sharp

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At the end of the war, Mrs. Midge stayed on. While the war lasted Mrs. Custance had accepted her as part of the war-effort; it was only in the past year or two that Mrs. Midge had been transferred to the category which Mrs. Custance described as “people we could manage without.”

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Description

At the end of the war, Mrs. Midge stayed on. While the war lasted Mrs. Custance had accepted her as part of the war-effort; it was only in the past year or two that Mrs. Midge had been transferred to the category which Mrs. Custance described as “people we could manage without.”

Elizabeth Fair’s rollicking second novel takes place in Little Mallin, where village life is largely dominated by preparations for the August Festival. Out of such ordinary material Fair weaves a tale of conflict, scheming, misunderstanding—and of course romance.

Among the villagers are a vicar dreaming of ancient Greece; his wife, largely concerned with getting their daughter married off; the melancholic Colonel Ashford; the eccentric Eustace Templer and his nephew; not to mention Mrs. Midge and her delicate son. The author said the novel was meant for people who “prefer not to take life too seriously.” Compton Mackenzie said it was “in the best tradition of English humour.”

Furrowed Middlebrow is delighted to make available, for the first time in over half a century, all six of Elizabeth Fair’s irresistible comedies of domestic life. These new editions all feature an introduction by Elizabeth Crawford.

Praise

“Where she breaks with the Thirkell school is in her total absence of sentimentality and her detached and witty observation of her characters.” THE SPHERE

“A real success … will give pleasure to those for whom Trollope and Jane Austen remain the twin pillars of English fiction.” JOHN O’LONDON’S WEEKLY

Bibliographic Data

Category: General Fiction
Publication Date: March 2017
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 911579 35 9 (paperback)/978 1 911579 36 6(ebook)

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She wondered how Lady Masters got her old parlour maid to carry the coffee right across the lawn. But, of course, Lady Masters got things simply by always having had them and by taking it for granted that she always would have them.

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A widow, at an age when birthdays are best forgotten, with no children to occupy her mind, can be very lonely. Julia Dunstan knew she was more fortunate than most widows, not merely because she was prosperous—as widows go—but because she had always taken an interest in other people.

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“I wonder what Mr. Heritage thought of his godson,” she said quickly.

“Rather clumsy, but quite good manners,” Edith remarked. “And a well-shaped skull.”

These were her own views, but she took it for granted that sensible people would agree with her.

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“My last secretary was thirty-five,” old M. said gloomily, “and no more sense than a child of ten. Or else she wasn’t all there. You all there?” he asked suddenly, giving Maud a searching look. “No banging your head on the table? No throwing the china at me? Hey?”

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“The best thing one can say about the Priory is that it would have made a splendid ruin,” she stated. “If only the Seamarks had left it alone . . .”

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