Pymalong

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Barbara Pym: An Unsuitable Attachment

Tea, Pembroke Tables and Marriage An Unsuitable Attachment was Barbara Pym’s seventh book — a number that should prove ominous, as this would turn out to be the book which publishers rejected on the grounds that it was (allegedly) “unpublishable”.  Various reasons for this were advanced; apparently Pym was told initially that it just wasn’t […]

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Barbara Pym: An Unsuitable Attachment — Part 4: 183 of 255 Pages

Spent another enjoyable afternoon with Ianthe, the vicar and his wife, and their parishioners and acquaintances.  Things are moving along at a rather surprising pace in Ianthe’s life, and not in the right direction at all in Penelope’s.  A trip to Rome provides interesting insights (to the characters as well as to the reader).  I […]

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Barbara Pym: An Unsuitable Attachment — Part 3: 118 of 255 Pages

“He worked contentedly for some time and was deep in the intricacies of a genealogy when the telephone rang.  It was a colleague, Everard Bone, who with his wife Mildred was to be one of the guests at the dinner arty that evening. ‘Such a nuisance, Mildred seems to have flu,’ he said irritably.  ‘She […]

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Barbara Pym: An Unsuitable Attachment — Part 2: 110 of 255 Pages

“‘Is Mrs Gammon ill as well, then?’ asked Ianthe helplessly. ‘Not that I know of.  She’s not at home.  It’s her bingo night,’ the vicar explained. ‘Bingo?‘  Ianthe gave the word a horriefied emphasis, for it sounded unsuitable coming from his pale lips.“ Take that, bingo-loving BookLikers … 🙂   Overall review and other reading […]

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Barbara Pym: An Unsuitable Attachment — Part 1: 106 of 255 Pages

So — Pym’s infamous seventh book, the one that was rejected out of the blue as allegedly “unpublishable” by the very publishing house that had happily published Pym’s prior six novels to great success. My edition is a Granada paperback from 1983, the year after it finally, posthumously saw the light of day; and it […]

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Barbara Pym: Quartet in Autumn — Reading progress update: 99 of 186 Pages

Is this the fate that would have awaited Pym’s heroine from Excellent Women, Mildred Lathbury, if she had decided upon permanent “spinsterhood”? So quintessentially late 1970s — cheap drabness (the cityscape and office life mirroring the four protagonists’s personal lives), occasionally contrasted with and punctuated by the visceral shocks of the psychedelic age.  Pym (1913-1980) […]

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Barbara Pym: Excellent Women

No wonder Barbara Pym appreciated Austen 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 of the world in […]

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Barbara Pym: Excellent Women — Reading Progress Update: 114 of 288 Pages

“… Curried whale, goodness, you wouldn’t feel like having that for tea, would you?  I had an argument about it the other day with Protheroe — you know how strictly she keeps Lent and all that sort of nonsense — well, there she was eating whale meat thinking it was fish!” “Well, isn’t it?” “No, […]

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Barbara Pym: Excellent Women — Reading Progress Update: 60 of 493 Minutes

Buddy read with Moonlight Reader, Murder By Death, BrokenTune, Lillelara, The Better To See You My Dear, Person of Interest, Peregrinations, Locus Amoenus: All By My Shelf, and Mike Finn. And so far, I’m loving it!     Review, Other Status Update, and Buddy Read Announcement: Final Review Reading Progress Update: 114 of 288 Pages […]

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Barbara Pym: Excellent Women — Proposed Buddy Read

Reblogged from: Moonlight Snow Themis-Athena, Murder By Death & I are planning a Buddy Read of Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women to tentatively begin on Friday, January 25. Plot summary:  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 […]

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