Private Enterprise

I finally finished reading Private Enterprise by Angela Thirkell. This book comes before the first one I read by this author, County Chronicle. Both books have similar plots, kind of a gentle soap opera, some domestic entanglements, people getting to know one another, falling in and out of love, that sort of thing. Nothing too exciting happens; she reminds me of Jane Austen in that sense. Ms. Thirkell has a good sense of humor, and her characters are lovable, very English, and slightly provincial and muddle-headed in an endearing way. Thirkell wrote about thirty books. I think one or two a year would be a good way to slow down and realize that who marries whom and how the family members treat one another is as important to the state of the union as who’s in charge of the government. Or maybe those domestic details are rather more important. Some quotes:

“Kate looked at him with the slightly exasperated affection that the most loving of wives may have for the best and most affectionate of husbands. For it is well known that men understand absolutely nothing.”

“Mrs. Brandon in her generous way would have liked to see her son and indeed everyone including the Pope married with large healthy families.”

“I always think,” said Mrs. Dean, . . .”that if people are wicked to their Royalty, there is a kind of curse on them. . . . I mean people who kill Kings and Queens bring bad luck.”
Colin said what about Charles the First.
“That,” said Mrs. Dean firmly, “was entirely Cromwell’s fault and one would not have liked him at all. But we didn’t kill Queen Henrietta Maria and her children.”
“I know what Mother means,” said Jessica. “Look at the French guillotining the King and the Queen and torturing the Dauphin. They’ve never had a decent Government since and serve them jolly well right and I hope they never will.”

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  1. Pingback: Advanced Reading Survey: Cranford by Mrs. Gaskell at Semicolon

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