Books in the Park

23 Jun

Today Ellie and I were intending to while away some hours chatting and reading in a cafe (just the thing for a lazy Saturday) but a mysterious absence of rain meant we ended up in the park instead.

A sunny bench served as the perfect spot for…

Bright Young People is non-fiction that reads like a novel. The romps and jaunts of the glittering cast of Guinesses, Mitfords & Posonbys feel familiar as many have been immortalised in the fiction of the Jazz Age, albeit under different guises. D J Taylor’s fascinating chronicle of the 1920s pleasure-seekers looks beyond the baths & bottles parties and treasure hunts across London to the broken social bonds and spectre of war behind the gloss. I’d like to think that the Bright Young People with their partiality for theatricality and dressing up would approve that their exploits are inspiring a whole new generation of hipsters to don flapper finery, down cocktails and dance the night away in the rash of 1920s nights springing up across London – but probably they are far too busy carrying on the party to care…


Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning novel Wolf Hall provoked some differences of opinion in the Pick Me Up household; we either loved it, hated it or couldn’t quite muster the enthusiasm to take it on. Being the one who loved it, and a fan of minutely (perhaps overly) detailed historical novels in general, I’m exploring some of Mantel’s other works. I’m finding A Place of Greater Safety engrossing but quite a mental challenge, probably because (despite having studied it) I’m a little shaky on the ins and outs of the French Revolution, which the novel describes. I was rather startled to discover that there were several key characters I’m sure I’d never heard of before. But if you’re a fan of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies you’ll probably like it as the technique is similar – a study of, and elaboration upon, the figures at the centre of a whirlwind of political history.

Grace x


2 Responses to “Books in the Park”

  1. Vickie Lester June 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    You might also enjoy Beverley Nichols personal memoir of the era, “The Sweet & Twenties” — and yes, he’s best known for his very amusing gardening/bio series.

  2. Loulou July 1, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    If the Guinesses and Posonbys are half as interesting as the Mitfords, I’ll be very happy reading this book. I loved The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. They’re all so interesting! Perhaps we should start writing to each other!?

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