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Diary of a Provincial Lady - request for more diary books

(37 Posts)
Trills Sat 20-Dec-14 16:08:43

I was recommended this by a friend while on holiday and loved it.

Full set 77p on Kindle

I'd be very surprised if Helen Fielding has not read it - some of the turns of phrase are rather Bridget-Jones-ish.

I'd now really like to read more only-mildly-fictional diary-style books, because I very much enjoyed hearing more about everyday life in the 20s and 30s, and think it a fun way to learn more "history".

Any suggestions?

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 20-Dec-14 16:49:43

Margaret Forster's Diary of an Ordinary Woman. It's really good, I've read it about three times. It more-or-less spans the twentieth century so will cover the time you say.

There's something I'd like to tell you about it but can't or I'd spoil it.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 20-Dec-14 17:21:57

Slightly later time period, but Nella Last's diary from 1940s is good. She wrote them for Mass Observation and are an interesting account of living through WW2.

Takver Sat 20-Dec-14 18:02:32

Not 20s/30s, but what about Letters from a Fainthearted Feminist by Jill Tweedie - very much the same sort of humour. (And I guess depending on your age it could count as history grin )

Guyropes Sat 20-Dec-14 18:09:05

"Dear girl" actually letters from Edwardian times. Fascinating history. Can't remember the editor though, pub women's press.

Takver Sat 20-Dec-14 20:50:25

Also, not exactly the same, but have you read 'Can Any Mother Help Me' - it's excerpts from a kind of mumsnet of the 1930s conducted by post.

mmack Sat 20-Dec-14 22:38:14

Her daughter, Rosamund Dashwood, wrote a book called Provincial Daughter. It is laugh-out-loud funny. I got it for Christmas a few years ago in a set of Virago Modern Classics that I bought from the Book People website. The set also included Pat Barker's Union Street which made me sob uncontrollably.

Dapplegrey Sat 20-Dec-14 22:44:44

France's Partridge's diaries run to several volumes, including 'A Pacifist's War' which covers her life with her husband and son during the second war. Nothing much happens in these dairies, but I found them very readable.

Trills Sun 21-Dec-14 00:06:39

"Nothing much happens" is exactly what I am looking for.

And her ACTUAL daughter! How wonderful. Is it illy that I am extra pleased at her being called Dashwood? (Sense and Sensibility)

Off to see how many of these can be acquired on a Kindle...

Trills Sun 21-Dec-14 00:12:14

I have put all of these on my Amazon wishlist.

I would have started with the Provincial Daughter, but it's not available electronically, so I'm going to go with Margaret Forster (thanks MAME )

MuseumOfHam Sun 21-Dec-14 00:22:02

Our Hidden Lives - a selection of mass observation diary extracts. Ticks your "nothing much happens" box, but in an utterly compelling way.

riverboat1 Sun 21-Dec-14 08:39:49

Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. Records the life of a London family headed up by Charles Pooter, a clerk of some kind, in the late 19th century. Its REALLY funny.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Sun 21-Dec-14 09:09:50

riverboat, you got in before me! Diary of a Nobody is one of my all-time favourite books. I've read it innumerable times and it never fails to make laugh and laugh and laugh. Whenever I find myself in the Camden/Holloway area I'm always looking out for the Pooters' house.

Of course, the daddy of them all when it comes to diaries is Pepys. There are all sorts of selections available or the BBC dramatisation is excellent. I'm sure that must be available to buy.

Takver Sun 21-Dec-14 10:59:04

mmack, thank you so much for the Provincial Daughter suggestion. I've been a massive Provincial Lady fan since my teens (spent hours hunting down an original copy Bricks Without Straw through the library system in the 80s before it was republished as PL in Russia) but I'd never run into this one smile
(btw to anyone else interested, lots of copies on Abebooks for £2.04 inc shipping . . . )

Thegoosenotthegander Sun 21-Dec-14 11:05:44

Just had to say that I LOVE diary of a PL! It is my all time favourite book. I have read and reread it. Thanks so much mmmack for the daughter's book. Will track it down.

I also like diary of a farmer's wife which is a real diary written by a farmer's wife in the late 1800s ( if I remember right). Interesting and often funny too.

Quangle Sun 21-Dec-14 19:05:33

Love diaries of a provincial lady and a nobody. Don't forget Adrian Mole

And yes to Can Any Mother help Me.

Also quite enjoyed Love Nina which is a series of letters from a nanny in Primrose Hill to her sister. Laughing at posh bohemian folk.

iseenodust Sun 21-Dec-14 19:16:49

My War Diary just given to a friend for Christmas, looked good & not too heavy going.

NCIS Sun 21-Dec-14 19:25:35

Diary of a Provincial Lady has got me through three labours and numerous train journeys/colds general in need of comfort times. It is my favourite book of all time.
Try Henrietta's War or Mrs Miniver for similar types of book.

NCIS Sun 21-Dec-14 19:30:38

Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald looks good too. Mrs Miniver isn't on kindle yet unfortunately.

LizzieVereker Sun 21-Dec-14 19:39:57

Second Diary of a Nobody, it's very funny - you can't believe how old it is.

tobee Wed 24-Dec-14 18:51:40

Ooooh yes to "Can Any Mother Help Me?" But also the Mrs Tim books by D E Stevenson. They are quite similar in era and style to Diary of a Provincial Lady. That might be a good thing or too much the same.

Also "Life With Mother - To the Very End" not a diary but selection of weekly columns from The Guardian by Michelle Hanson. Set in modern times and true but be prepared for tears if you like it.

tobee Wed 24-Dec-14 19:19:04

And also there's Angela Thirkell. Similar era not a diary.

tobee Wed 24-Dec-14 19:21:01

Thanks btw. Just ordered Provincial Daughter and downloaded Margaret Forster on Kindle. My Christmas present to me.

meandjulio Wed 24-Dec-14 19:21:56

The Eliza Stories? I'll be honest, I haven't actually read them, but I heard them a few years ago on Radio 4 with Mark Heap - they may still be on iplayer somewhere. I thought they were hilarious.

ZombieApocalypse Wed 24-Dec-14 19:33:23

Hmm. I really enjoyed Diary of a Provincial Lesbian by VG Lee but it's contemporary rather than historical.

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