Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym’s richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those “excellent women,” the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets... show more
Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym’s richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those “excellent women,” the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door—the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.
Publish date: December 26th 2006
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 231
Edition language: English
A tale of gentlefolk in early 1950s London In "Excellent Women" Barbara Pym lets us see London, immediately after World War Two, through the eyes of Mildred Lathbury, a clergyman's daughter of modest independent means, who works mornings in a charity for aiding impoverished gentlewomen, is active ...
This book was an absolute revelation for me, introducing me to an author I was unfamiliar with. Now I have several print editions of her novels on their way to me, including a paperback omnibus that includes Excellent Women, since audiobooks of novels never really do it for me (I love going back and...
I'm not entirely sure what I just read. It's beautifully written, but I'd be hard pressed to outline its plot. Beyond being a social commentary on single women in the 1950's, with a sidebar on the changing morays of post-war Britain, there's not a lot happening. Mildred is a 30-something spinste...
" I suppose an unmarried woman just over thirty, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people's business, and if she is a clergyman's daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her." And so we meet Mildred Lathbury, ...
The same kind of seemingly unassuming writing, combining gentility (and apparent gentleness) with acute, razorsharp, detached observation of both society and its individual constituents, and a very subtle sense of humour. Pym, like Austen, is far from being a revolutionary, but she notes the state ...