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What to read after Stella Gibbons and Nancy Mitford?

(71 Posts)
MsMarple Wed 07-Sep-16 22:24:31

I've been immersed in a happy time-warp recently with Cold Comfort Farm and Love in a Cold Climate, and I'm not ready to come back to the real world yet!

I have some Barbara Pym books at the ready, but what else can I try that is early 20thC and funny?

BestIsWest Wed 07-Sep-16 22:26:55

PG Wodehouse?

Rifka Wed 07-Sep-16 22:29:15

Georgette Heyer!

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Wed 07-Sep-16 22:33:20

It's a bit earlier, but Diary of a Nobody is one of my all-time favourites. Also, the short stories of Saki are brilliant. Evelyn Waugh? Anthony Powell? I second the idea of P. G. Wodehouse - every word a gem!

YesILikeItToo Wed 07-Sep-16 22:40:30

Molly Keane. Disintegrating Irish gentry humorously rendered.

RustyBear Wed 07-Sep-16 22:45:33

Monica Dickens (Charles' granddaughter) wrote 3 very funny (though semi-fictionalised) accounts of her jobs before and during WWII - My turn to make the tea (journalist) One Pair of Hands cook/housemaid) and One Pair of Feet (nurse)

carrieswar Wed 07-Sep-16 22:46:11

Have you read Dodie Smith's I capture the castle?

flightywoman Wed 07-Sep-16 22:49:07

Get yourself to Persephone Books, there's lots to choose from across a range of time periods.

Tea With Mr Rochester by France's Towers is a book of lovely short stories.

Or I'd recommend Dorothy Whipple. She's FAB!

MsMarple Wed 07-Sep-16 22:49:42

Oooh thank you, I'll definitely look out for all those. Off to cruise the online library catalogue!

lilyfire Wed 07-Sep-16 22:49:55

Mapp and Lucia books? I'm reading the Cazalet chronicles at moment and vaguely surprised I'm not living in a country estate in the 1930s.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 07-Sep-16 22:56:47

I think you'll enjoy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
Also try some Dorothy L Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey books - they are very funny even though they are "crime" fiction and beautiful period pieces.
And definitely some PG Wodehouse.

I recently read Angela Thirkell's "High Rising" which has the funniest descriptions of a small boy's obsessions that I've ever read. The rest of it is pretty funny too.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 07-Sep-16 22:57:09

yy to Mapp and Lucia too.

icingonthewall Wed 07-Sep-16 22:58:25

Yes, Persephone is a really good source
Try Saplings, by Noel Streatfeild
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Or for something quite different, how about Antonia White - Frost in May?
Elizabeth and her German Garden?

None really funny though, I have to say...

MsMarple Wed 07-Sep-16 23:22:51

Oh yes lilyfire that is exactly the effect I am looking for!

And thank you PerspicaciaTIck I do love a bit of vintage crime, so that sounds perfect. Probably slack of me not to have tried the Lord Peter ones before.

Izzy24 Wed 07-Sep-16 23:27:21

Elizabeth Jane Howard Cazalet chronicles.

flightywoman Wed 07-Sep-16 23:31:25

OH, for vintage crime look at Clifton Robbins, they're from the 30s, they've just been republished in ebook by The Abandoned Bookshop. Of their time but not massively dated. I'm enjoying the first one very much!

flightywoman Wed 07-Sep-16 23:33:25

Here you go!

MsMarple Wed 07-Sep-16 23:34:53

Thanks flightywoman I will check those out. I have read a couple of the British Library reissued Vintage Crime ones (for an odd Christmas treat: a nice snowy murder...) and really enjoyed them.

Potatofish Thu 08-Sep-16 00:24:32

Another vote for Molly Keane - very black humour, brilliant characterisation, definitely kinship to Mitford at her best, set in disintegrating Anglo-Irish Big Houses. Start with Good Behaviour.

Marmighty Thu 08-Sep-16 02:04:48

Diary of a provincial lady by EM Delafield - absolutely hilarious

gailforce1 Thu 08-Sep-16 18:44:27

Word of warning about the Persephone website - be prepared to lose all track of time!

clippityclop Thu 08-Sep-16 18:47:57

Another vote for the Cazalets. I also have a soft spot for Rosamund Pilcher's Shellseekers.

Laquila Thu 08-Sep-16 18:51:02

If you like a bit of mirder-mystery then try the Dandy Gilver series, by Catriona McPherson - I've spent many a happy hour on the bath reading these. They're set in 1920s/30s Scotland - very funny and cleverly-observed, with a female protagonist/heroine.

RitchyBestingFace Thu 08-Sep-16 18:52:10

The Brontes Went to Woolworths - can't remember who wrote it but very similar in content to Mitfords / Dodie Smith and in style to Miss Pettigrew.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos - the book is just excellent.

I would also recommend Damon Runyan - a bit different in that it's set in 1920s broadway & prohibition gangsters but has the same brilliant comic characters, ironic & unreliable narrator and wit.

I tried PG Wodehouse after Mitfords but can't stick it. Many others can.

RitchyBestingFace Thu 08-Sep-16 18:54:20

I'd also try Angel by Elizabeth Taylor - set in early 20th century but written, I think, in 1950s.

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