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Some Tame Gazelle
Barbara Pym
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Some Tame Gazelle

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,401 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Barbara Pym is a master at capturing the subtle mayhem that takes place in the apparent quiet of the English countryside. Some Tame Gazelle, first published in Britain nearly 50 years ago, was the first of Pym's nine novels, all being reprinted by Mayer Bell.

In the fictional village of Some Tame Gazelle, spinsters, clerics, and eccentrics are the order of the day. Fifty-so

Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1984 by Audio Book Contractors (first published 1950)
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Mary Ronan Drew
Rereading Barbara Pym periodically is enlightening. When I first encountered her books I thought they were somewhat amusing but not in the least profound. As I grow older I recognize how perceptive her depiction is of unmarried middle aged women whose lives have constricted to the daily round and the common task with its small pleasures and pains.

Pym was born in 1913 and was 37 when Some Tame Gazelle was published in 1950, but she showed a remarkable sensitivity to women in their 50s, spinsters,
A Barbara Pym novel for me is the greatest of guilty pleasures. Though this is not my favorite of her novels, it was a wonderful reminder of all the reasons that I adore her.

The story of two spinster sisters in a tiny township in England, where the most exciting news is the arrival of a new curate for the church, should not be page turning reading. But, I will tell you that no one is better at developing the simple lives of wonderfully complex people like Barbara Pym. I hesitate to compare her
Barbara Pym started writing this, her first novel, in her twenties. Basing the characters on herself and her sister and friends, she placed them, middle-aged, in a parochial setting in the countryside.

Sisters Belinda (Pym) and Harriet (Pym's sister Hilary) are confirmed spinsters sharing a house and a life filled with gardening, church activities and endless speculation about other people's comings and goings. Belinda carries a torch for the Archdeacon, who is unhappily married to prickly Agath
In the middle of the 1930s, not long after she came down from Oxford, the young Barbara Pym wrote her first novel. She borrowed a title from Thomas Haynes Bayley.

"Some tame gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Something to love, oh, something to love!"

Its significance wasn’t clear to me at first, but as I read understood.

And then Barbara Pym imagined how she and her sister might be, thirty years in the future. She creates that world, perfect in every detail, a future built on the world she knew that wo
Loes Dissel
From the opening line of this novel you are safely and deliciously in Pym Country writes Mavis Cheek in her introduction. That's exactly where I've been during this read.
Laurel Hicks
I really enjoy Barbara Pym's quiet, peppery humor. I wish she were better known. I thoroughly approve of the way this book ends.
Oh this is my third Barbara Pym and she's fast becoming a complete delight. The literary equivalent of sinking your teeth into a delicious afternoon tea. This was wickedly funny, spinsters, vicars, the dilemmas of knitting socks. No-one captures the absurdities of English village life like Pym.
The older I get, the more seriously I take Barbara Pym. Reading this book it strikes me that what she writes is very funny, and also very sad. Reading this after Cranford brings out parallels as well, and some anger -- anger about how we treat Barbara Pym and her sort of book, anger than no one in her books would ever express.

The women in these books are so easy to dismiss as trivial, and obsessed with trivialities: is the local church service too high, will I be disgraced at the jumble sale, i
SOME TAME GAZELLE. (1950). Barbara Pym. *****.
This was Ms. Pym’s first novel, and clearly showed the talent that was to flow from her pen in succeeding years. The title comes from a poem by Thomas Haynes Bayly:
Some tame gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Somethng to love, oh, something to love!
The gazelle (or dove) referred to takes on the form of a curate or curates in the village where two sisters, now approaching spinsterhood, live together and spend their lives helping their neighbors and, espe
Some tame gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Something to love, oh, something to love!
---Thomas Haynes Bayly

Two reasonably content spinster sisters live together in a small town. Harriet "dotes" on young curates, having them over for meals and taking them presents, while our main character Belinda has spent thirty years gently nursing a flame for her college boyfriend, long since married and a clergyman in the same town.
Some Tame Gazelle
Some Tame Gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Something to love, oh something to love!
(Thomas Haynes Bayly)
My first read of 2013, and the first read of two reading challenges. Some Tame Gazelle fitted into my month of re-reading, and the Barbara Pym centenary readalong with members of the Libraryuthing Virago group and other Pym fans.
Some Tame Gazelle was Barbara Pym’s first published novel; published in 1950 it was in fact written much earlier. Pym was writing the novel while she hers
Roger Pettit
Barbara Pym may not be the the very best novelist that has ever put pen to paper. But she is unquestionably my favourite. She has provided me with more hours of pure reading pleasure than any other writer I can think of (only Agatha Christie, whose detective stories I devoured when I was a teenager and who, with Enid Blyton, is primarily responsible for my love of reading, comes close). Yes, Ms Pym's stories are usually set in what now seems like an almost vanished world of genteel Anglo-Catholi ...more
This book was the selection for July for my local book club. It's not my typical fare and I don't know if I would've read it if it hadn't been for my club. But I found it to be an entertaining tale, if a bit dry. I have never read Pride and Prejudice, but I imagine this is a similar kind of tale. I enjoy stories set in England, but I tend to prefer cozy mysteries.

The dialogue is witty and the social commentary is humorous and somewhat biting. I enjoyed the interpersonal relationships in such a
loved this the 2nd time around and think i will love it more and more with each future read.

ohhhh happy to be reading this again! the first paragraph is so funny and great!!!
"the new curate seemed quite a nice young man, but what a pity it was that his combinations showed, tucked carelessly into his socks, when he sat down. Belinda had noticed it when they had met him for the first time at the vicarage last week and had felt quite embarrassed. Perhaps Harriet could say something t
Published in 1950, it's a wonderful if somewhat bittersweet tale of two sisters, Belinda and Harriet single women in a time when women were expected to marry or live in a very coded way. Belinda has been holding a torch for Henry, the archdeacon for 30 years since he chose to marry Agatha. Harriet spends her time pampering every new vicar that arrives in the village, refusing marriage proposals from a middle age Italian Count. It's every day life at his simplest but also at it's most poignant. L ...more
In the 80's the Pym novels were re-issued, and the author received very belated adulation for her work. At that time, I binged on Pym and now I am re-reading some of the novels for perhaps the third time.

For me, the fascination is in comparing the lives of her educated, middle-class women with ours today. In some of the other books her "excellent women" work in non-profit associations or semi-academic positions. Not so, for the University graduates in Some Tame Gazelle. Their lives are small, re
This was my first Pym, although she was recommended to me years ago on Amazon; I picked up a few ancient paperback editions from my local used book store over the years and put them on the "to-read" shelf. I just finished "Some Tame Gazelle" last night, and I really enjoyed it. I know Pym's been compared to Austen, and I see that, but I also think, as a NYT reviewer says on the cover of my edition, ". . .Barbara Pym is funnier!" Reading her makes me feel like I do when I read Anthony Trollope: t ...more
I love the many references in this book to stopping everything one is doing and having tea around 4pm. Tea is taken the proper English way with milk plus cakes and biscuits are served. In this little English village, the two 40-something sisters have a lovely life of inviting the clergy and anyone new who visits over for dinner. I couldn't get over how a few times during the story, a man who stop over to propose to one of the sisters after only being in her acquaintance once or twice. I guess ha ...more
Barbara Pym is not for everyone...Her main characters are always maiden ladies of a certain age living in small villages in England sometime after WWII. They are engaged in fastidious (yet hilarious) tasks usually involving the parsonage and a young, unsuspecting curate who will need to eat their boiled chicken dinners before he leaves for another post. They dissect all encounters with food, neighbors, men, clothing, dust, and the garden. There is the upmost respect for librarians and anyone who ...more
Un libro senza infamia e senza lode, una commedia ambientata nell'Inghilterra di inizio Novecento che vede protagoniste due sorelle, simpatiche zitelle, alle prese con la loro quotidianità, e il loro rapporto con le varie figure religiose, in un piccolo paesino della campagna inglese.

Belinda e Harriet, così si chiamano le due "donzelle", sono molto diverse tra loro sia fisicamente che caratterialmente: la prima è minuta e spesso passa del tutto inosservata, riservata e gentile, ha un atteggiamen
Amazing how enjoyable a well written book can be, even if nothing spectacular happens, the setting is some English village or other, and the protagonists are on the surface rather boring people, spinsters and clergymen mostly past their prime. But I'm not the only one to like Barbara Pym's offerings, so she must have done something right. More like this, please!!!
Wonderful book, wonderful author. I don't know whether to mourn that I have missed reading these books for the past years, or rejoice because I have so many hours of enjoyment ahead reading more of Pym's books.
This was Barbara Pym's first novel written when she was twenty one. It tells the tale of Harriet and Belinda, two spinsters of the parish and their entanglements with curates and archbishops respectively. It has all of Pym's favourite motifs including the liberal use of quotes from sources as diverse as Tacitus and the Victorian poets, a wry sense of humour aand a great eye for clothes and food. This is a more endearing and less poignant work than some of her later novels with both Belinda and H ...more
Margaret Sullivan
Absolutely delightful! If Jane Austen had been alive and writing in the 1930s, this is just the type of book she might write. Middle-aged spinster Belinda Bede lives with her sister Harriet in a small English village. She's been in love with the vicar since they were in college together, but he's married to someone else; and Harriet gets crushes on each curate in turn. I loved how the characters are all middle-aged, but get as silly and have as many proposals and marriages as the young people in ...more
Barbara Pym observed Life keenly, writing novels of relationships, comedies of manners, played out around her. Some Tame Gazelle is exactly that; a novel whose exquisitely portrayed principle characters and perfectly crafted plotlines produces no great surprises; just a certain vaguely unsettling, worrisome, nagging inner sixth sense that one has already met such recognisable scenes before, in real life. Pym’s gifts for English social comedy arise from a more self-assured source than those of EF ...more
Even for me, who likes nothing better than a book about not much, this was a bit too much not much. Our focus is on Harriet and Belinda, two English spinster sisters living in a small village who have so little going on in their lives that all revolves around their interactions with the local curate and Archdeacon and his revolving door of visitor, which includes Bishops and librarians (Some of who feel the need to propose to the spinster sisters after only knowing them, in mixed company, for a ...more
This book is about the humdrum lives of two middle-aged spinster sisters. Belinda, the eldest sister, nurses an unrequited (and unrequitable) love for the Vicar, who is married to someone else. Harriet, the youngest, fusses over young curates and refuses the repeated proposals of an Italian count. There is a bit more to the plot than that, but not a lot. It should have been totally boring, but it wasn't, thanks to the way she explored her characters' quirks and foibles. This wasn't in an unpleas ...more
Quietly funny, like most of Pym's novels. Small scales of love and life in an English village, many matters of church and dinner. Reading Pym is a great comfort, like tea on a chill morning, or waking after the first good sleep in a while. Recommended for cloudy afternoons and fretful minds.
Rita	 Marie
As much as I enjoyed this book, I can't at all agree with those who dub Barbara Pym the "twentieth century Jane Austen." Unlike Austen's characters, Pym's do not develop or change. They stay as they are, and as the novel unfolds we learn more about them, how they think and feel, and how they came to be as they are. "Some Tame Gazelle" is more a vignette or portrait than a story.

That said, it's a wonderful portrait. Two middle-aged sisters, each quite different from the other, live peacefully to
This is one of my favourite Pym books. Belinda is so cuttingly observant, matching sharp little quotes with people and events. Harriet is plump, comfortable, and a nice pairing for Belinda's proper, sensible, middle class Englishness because of her love of luxury and ability to simply be and enjoy.
Both are "committed spinsters" in a generally happy way, Belinda being a little more prone to sentimental attachment because of the Archdeacon. Because of this she can, at times, be a little melancholy
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After studying English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II.

The turning point for Pym came with a famous article in the Times Literary Supplement in which two prominent names, Lord David Cecil and Philip Larkin, nominated her as the most underrated writer of the century. Pym and Larkin had kept up a private correspondence over a period o
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“But surely liking the same things for dinner is one of the deepest and most lasting things you could possibly have in common with anyone,' argued Dr. Parnell. 'After all, the emotions of the heart are very transitory, or so I believe; I should think it makes one much happier to be well-fed than well-loved.” 3 likes
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