Barbara Pym . . .

Currently reading . . .

Off to Dumfries last Wednesday to the Audiology Dept. for hearing test and for hearing aid to be serviced. I am to get whole new hearing air when the new mould is ready – of my current one is was said that they don’t make that sort any more. So not much reading progress today. The building is what used to be the Royal Infirmary, and by the time I had walked from the car to reception, and then on again to the Audiology Department my poor old legs were suffering badly. And by this time the petrol stations were mostly out of petrol, so it was lucky I had enough to get there. I am to return for a new hearing aid in about 6 weeks time. Will there be any petrol then ?

I have now finished reading the above book. It is a sort of biography of Barbara Pym centred very much on her own notebooks and diaries and by study of her books which often contain people with character traits based on herself or on people she has met and studied. She suffered a long period in later life when nothing she wrote was accepted for publication. Undeterred, but saddened she continued to write and eventually a change of heart by one publisher led to a book being published, being well reviewed and setting off a hurried scramble among others to cash in on public demand. All this is explained in some detail in the book and was due to nothing more than a change of direction in the publishing industry to concentrate solely on profits and to disregard good writing. I have not read any of her novels yet, but an order has already gone in to abebooks on the subject and I hope to put that right. It is an interesting and informative read as a commentary on the times in which she lived as well, and I recommend it to your attention.

About Ian

Retired Clergyman, and former RAF person. Lives in SW Scotland. One wife. Two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren scattered across UK, Europe and the USA.
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