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Furrowed Middlebrow is an exciting new development for Dean Street Press. Following the Furrowed Middlebrow blog, this imprint will rediscover and reissue entertaining and important works by lesser-known British women novelists and memoirists.
The years 1910-1960 were an unprecedented and prolific era for female authors, documenting – eloquently, humorously, poignantly (or frequently all of the above) – the social change, upheaval, and evolving gender roles of a volatile era. These years bookended two world wars, a global depression, the women's suffrage movement, seismic economic and class shifts, the beginning of the Cold War, and dramatic changes in ordinary day-to-day life. Women writers created some of the most insightful and compelling literature of the period. The great majority of their works, however, were neglected in later years, when publishers and critics grew to value other kinds of literature over what became known as the ‘middlebrow’.
In recent years, scholars and readers alike have begun to rediscover the middlebrow and recognize it for the vital cultural form it is. Furrowed Middlebrow aims to support this with the republication of some of the finest of the genre.
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.”
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.
‘Take off your coat,’ said the doctor. I took it off. ‘And your dress,’ he said. ‘It’s too dangerous – the folds may catch in the debris and bring the whole thing down.’ I took off the dress. ‘Fine,’ he said shortly. ‘It’ll have to be head first. We’ll hold your thighs. Go down and see if it’s possible to give an injection. Can you grip the torch with your teeth?’
We might be living in the first chapter of one of my own detective stories. A woman lay dead upstairs; in another bedroom a man was having hysterics; in the kitchen a grey parrot was imitating their voices; and in the sitting-room the pugs, terror in their popping eyes. Henry’s sisters would join us, and Mr Galvain; and I, the stranger, sat waiting to meet them.