WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH A glorious collection of stories from the author of Cold Comfort Farm. The title story tells of a typical Christmas at the farm before the coming of Flora Poste. It is a parody of the worst sort of family Christmas: Adam Lambsbreath dresses up as Father Christmas in two of Judith's red shawls. There are unsuitable presents, unpleasant insertions into the pudding and Aunt Ada Doom orders Amos to carve the turkey, adding: 'Ay, would it were a vulture, 'twere more fitting!'
Robert Poste's child is back at Cold Comfort Farm. But all is not well. Flora finds the farm transformed into a twee haven filled with Toby jugs and peasant pottery, and rooms labelled 'Quiete Retreate' and 'Greate laundrie'. It is, Flora winces, 'exactly like being locked in the Victoria and Albert Museum after closing time'. Worse, the farm is hosting a conference of the pretentious International Thinkers Group - a group made up of the 'sadistic owl' Mr Peccavi, loathsome Mr Mybug and the overpowering Mrs Ernestine Thump. And worst of all, there are no Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm. All the he-cousins have gone abroad to make their fortunes and the female cousins are having a pretty thin time of it. Once again the sensible Flora decides to take the situation in hand.
Brother and sister, Constance and Kenneth Fielding live in calm respectability, just out of reach of London and the Blitz. But when a series of uninvited guests converge upon them – from a Balkan exile to Ken’s old flame and the siblings’ own raffish father – the household struggles to preserve its precious peace. In this full house, in a quiet corner of suburbia, no one expects to find romance.
Set on the eve of World War II in a resort on the east coast of England, The Rich House follows the love affairs of six young people and their intertwined adorations. Encircling their lives is Archibald Early, a once-famous actor, his housekeeper and his grandson Ted. These three tip the balance, and relationships shift, but even war cannot halt the passions of the young.
The Tower Guesthouse lies nestled between the beech woods of Buckinghamshire. It is run by the unlikely partnership of balmy Miss Padsoe and young, cockney Miss Baker - divided by class and age, they are determined to dislike each other. Through their tale and the interwoven tribulations of two young lovers, Gibbons's sparkling novel explores the heart of friendship and what unites us.
When Nell Sely moves from sleepy Dorset to Hampstead she leaves behind a childhood of dull teas and oppressive rules for the freedom of the big city. Naive and only nineteen, she becomes embroiled with the wayward John Gaunt and falls in with London's bohemian crowd. In this city of seductive, shifting morals, smoke-filled jazz-clubs and glamorous espresso bars, Nell must master her new found independence and learn to strike her own course.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LYNNE TRUSS 'Stella Gibbons is the Jane Austen of the twentieth century' The Times Set in wartime London, Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles, a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is not the type that attracts men. Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sunny temperament and keeps her service boys 'ever so cheery'. When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives. Margaret slavishly adores Challis and his artistic circle; Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind. This is a delightfully comic and wistful tale of love and longing.
My American follows the lives and loves of Amy Lee and Robert Vorst: from a chance childhood meeting to the comic, tragic and romantic trysts that follow. Amy, a baker's daughter, has dreams of becoming a writer, whilst Robert is destined to be a doctor. Later, embarking on a lecture tour in Depression-era America, she is reminded of her childhood friend and endeavours to find him.
Uprooted from war-torn London, Alda Lucie-Brown and her three daughters start a new life at Pine Cottage in rural Sussex. Unsuited to a quiet life, Alda attempts to orchestrate - with varying degrees of success - the love affairs of her neighbours. Her unwilling subjects include an Italian POW, a Communist field-hand, a battery-chicken farmer and her intelligent friend Jean.
Cold Comfort Farm is a comic novel by English author Stella Gibbons, published in 1932. It parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life popular at the time, by writers such as Mary Webb. Following the death of her parents, the book and 's heroine, Flora Poste, finds she is possessed and quot;of every art and grace save that of earning her own living and quot;. She decides to take advantage of the fact that and quot;no limits are set, either by society or one and 's own conscience, to the amount one may impose on one and 's relatives and quot;, and settles on visiting her distant relatives at the isolated Cold Comfort Farm in the fictional village of Howling in Sussex. The inhabitants of the farm – Aunt Ada Doom, the Starkadders, and their extended family and workers – feel obliged to take her in to atone for an unspecified wrong once done to her father.