Sep 13, 2013
Bursley businessman takes on London snobbery about provincials and amateurs to build a theatre and run it for profit. Arnold Bennett's The Regent is sparkling, dogged, deeply satisfying, and a penetrating portrait of an Edwardian society that's too big for its boots.
Aug 29, 2013
Oh, the awful fate of slithering down the social slope and losing one's class, one's home, one's respectability, but never one's honour. The public school morals of England are given pathos in Rose Macaulay's The Lee Shore, where true happiness is found with a donkey. For cautious art lovers.
Aug 25, 2013
Core sampling from the world of book publishing and book festivals in the 30th year of the Edinburgh Book Festival. With extra coverage of The Sorries at The Fringe.
Aug 15, 2013
Hugh Walpole's Fortitude is a weighty epic of London literary life, Cornish Gothic, Victorian anarchists and the necessity of a public school background for getting on in life. it also contains the kindest boarding house written in the Edwardian period. For readers who like a long book to go with their comfy chair.
Aug 1, 2013
The totally forgotten author Una L Silberrad and her totally wonderful historical novel of 1913, Keren of Lowbole: witchcraft, alchemy, theology, attempted adultery, a heroine more interested in being a scientist than a housewife, and the mysterious affair of the bottle of plague. For chemists.