E. M. Delafield The Provincial Lady Goes Further is the immediate sequel to Diary of a Provincial Lady - and life mirrors art.
Our Provincial Lady has found herself, unexpectedly, with a literary success on her hands! She is suddenly 'somebody', both in her Devonshire environs and in London, where she establishes a bolthole - ostensibly so she could concentrate on the much-awaited sequel, but also so that she can enjoy the fruits of being a best-selling author!
In real life, this sequel was the first of many to come, as E. M. Delafield worked imaginatively to satisfy the public demand for antidotes to modernism - especially the hauteur of the Bloomsbury Set.
In art, The Provincial Lady Goes Further, using the same diary format, proves to be just as amusing (if not more so) as its predecessor, and full of pointed observations about her targets - in this case fashionable London of the 1930s (it was published in 1932).
Reader Georgina Sutton again delights in the tones of an upper-class lady, who, up from the country and immersed semi-willingly in artistic and fashionable environs, can't quite equate the posing, the outrageous dresses and equally outrageous behaviour with her eminently well-grounded sense of humour.
E. M. Delafield 'Lady B. stays to tea. (Mem.: Bread-and-butter too thick. Speak to Ethel.) We talk some more about bulbs, the Dutch School of Painting, our Vicar's wife, sciatica, and All Quiet on the Western Front. (Query: is it possible to cultivate the art of conversation when living in the country all the year round?)'
If the question suggests a qualified answer, there is no doubt that the art of diary writing is alive and well and very, very funny in Devonshire in the 1920s. At least in the hands of E. M. Delafield. Though poles apart in many ways, Bridget Jones's Diary could not have existed without her sometimes arch, often lofty, but deeply English upper middle class forbear.
Diary of a Provincial Lady is a classic of its time, revealing the thoughts and concerns of a Lady embedded in family life and the mores of comfortable country life. She has a husband 'raised to the peerage', two children and servants; she is burdened by the superior Lady Boxe, the tiresome vicar's wife and the constant temptation to live beyond her monthly household allowance. But she soldiers on, recording her days with acute observation, wit, self-deprecation and colour.
A balance to the Bloomsbury intensity of the day, this is a classic that has never been out of print and now comes to life in this pitch-perfect reading by Georgina Sutton.
E. M. Delafield Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (1890-1943), was a prolific English author who wrote under the pseudonym E. M. Delafield. She is best known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle-class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s.
In 'Squirrel in a Cage', she tells the story of the ending of a relationship between two lovers. The narrative moves fluidly between the real thoughts of each of the lovers, Sacha Michaelson and Ian Berringer, and their actual conversation where each speaks but without saying what they really mean.
E. M. Delafield Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (1890-1943), was a prolific English author who wrote under the pseudonym E. M. Delafield. She is best known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady , which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle-class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s.
Sophy Mason Comes Back is a ghost story. An English governess in France disappeared mysteriously 41 years previously and was never seen again. The psychic, Fenwick, discovers the gruesome tale of her fate.
E. M. Delafield No one could have been more surprised than our Provincial Lady to receive an invitation from her American agent to travel transatlantic and embark upon a programme of lectures and signings. She was particularly amazed because, having received an overture sometime before and feeling that she would rather stay in the English countryside, she requested that they meet quite a few ‘requirements’ before she would agree to go.
They met every stipulation. ‘Am completely thrown on my beam-ends by this. Can I possibly be worth this?’ And so off she goes. And, courtesy of her diary, we have an entertaining account of her shipboard life, her arrival and immediate encounters with enthusiasm - which sometimes stretches her credulity, and English patience. It is all go, window-shopping on Fifth Avenue, cocktails, meetings with a wide range of writers, society ladies, and even an old acquaintance. And then there are the book shop signings, the lectures to the good, the great - and the lesser great. It is a whirlwind. How does our Provincial Lady respond to all this after the slower pace (really? What about the domestic dramas?) in her country home? Georgina Sutton once again represents her with vigour, humour and a lively personality. This is book 3 in the Provincial Lady series.