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

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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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“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 . . .”

Hester Clifford has come to Mingham to recover from pneumonia, at the invitation of her godmother, Cecily Hutton, an eccentric painter with a predilection for ruins. Hester determines to bring order to the Huttons’ easygoing lives, not to mention those of the villagers—including elderly Mrs. Hyde-Ridley, attempting to enforce her Edwardian standards of behaviour, Mrs. Merlin, the Rector’s wife, equally determined to share the joys of country dance with an unenthusiastic parish, and Thomas Seamark, a classic example of the wealthy, brooding widower. Amidst conflict, manipulation, matchmaking, and general hilarity, Hester clearly has her work cut out for her.

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

“Miss Fair’s understanding is deeper than Mrs. Thirkell’s and her humour is untouched by snobbishness; she is much nearer to Trollope, grand master in these matters.”STEVIE SMITH

“Miss Fair makes writing look very easy, and that is the measure of her creative ability.”COMPTON MACKENZIE

Bibliographic Data

Category: General Fiction
Publication Date: March 2017
Territories: World
ISBN: 978 1 911579 43 4 (paperback)/978 1 911579 44 1 (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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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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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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