Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the... show more
Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the rediscovery of the author's entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950s, one of those 'excellent women' who tend to get involved in other people's lives - such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest.
Publish date: May 1st 1988
Pages no: 272
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 ...