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Christmas at High Rising

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Originally published in the 1930s and 1940s and never before collected, these stories by the inimitable Angela Thirkell relate merry scenes of a trip to the pantomime, escapades on ice, a Christmas Day of gifts gone wrong, and an electrifying afternoon for Laura Morland and friends at Low Rising, not to mention the chatter of the arty set at a London private view. ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published November 21st 2013 by Virago Modern Classics (first published 1942)
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Dec 19, 2015 Nigeyb rated it liked it
Having (ultimately) thoroughly enjoyed High Rising, and after assiduous research, I discovered that Christmas at High Rising contains seven short stories, two with a Christmas theme, and an essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare’s plays.

The contents of Christmas at High Rising were originally published in magazines between 1928 and 1942. As the title suggests - and most significantly for me - some of the stories feature characters from High Rising including that loquacious and splendid young
Dec 29, 2013 Ali rated it it was amazing
This was a perfect little read for just before Christmas. Seven short stories – two having a Christmas theme, and an amusing essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare’s plays make up this lovely collection newly issued by Virago. All the pieces in this book were originally published in various journals and magazines between 1928 and 1942. The title – I imagine comes from the fact that five of these stories feature characters from the delicious novel High Rising – the first novel in Angela ...more
I've been enjoying Thirkell's books, as newly reprinted and with the gorgeous cover art by Mick Wiggins, and I decided to save this one for Christmas. I was therefore a bit disappointed to find, despite the title, cover and what I thought was strongly implied by the blurb, that there was only one Christmas-related story in this slim volume (unless you assume that pantomimes are only for Christmas, in which case there's two). A glance at the contents page will warn you that it's a possibility, ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing
Seven short stories and an essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare’s plays make up this amusing selection of Angela Thirkell’s writing. Both my mother and grandmother loved reading this author and I have read some of her work many years ago. It is good to see that her work is starting to be available again in e-book format and may thus reach new audiences.

These stories feature Tony Morland at various ages as well as his mother, Laura – a novelist, and the irascible biographer, George Knox. Lov
Burgundy Rose
Jul 24, 2014 Burgundy Rose rated it really liked it
A mostly wonderful selection of short stories - I enjoyed all except for one about Shakespeare which really didn't fit with the rest at all. Tony Morland is clearly Thirkell's best creation - his scenes and lines are incredibly hilarious and the stories about him and his mother Luara were my favourites. It's a shame Virago isn't reprinting the book that's apparently all about him (The Demon in the House). I thought the last story, about the trials of rationing - which I hadn't realised extended ...more
Deana David Lissenberg
Dec 13, 2013 Deana David Lissenberg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holiday
I love Angela Thirkell and this collection is absolutely hysterical. Any story that involves the character Tony is bound to be hilarious. Only two of the stories are Christmas stories-- perfect for the holidays, short and very, very funny.
Dec 29, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
I loved these short stories.
Just right for the holiday season and so very funny.
they had me laughing out loud!
I just wish the book was longer as it ended all too soon.
It's just made me want to readmore of her wonderful books!
Mar 26, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud funny
Jan 04, 2016 Val rated it it was ok
Shelves: byt-main
There is a Christmas story in this collection, but it has nothing to do with High Rising. In "Christmas at Mulberry Lodge" children Mary and William get unsuitable Christmas presents which don't last the day. William gets a clock, which he breaks, while Mary gets a wild animal, a hibernating dormouse, which dies when she wakes it up and lets it escape. The clock is later mended and they have a lovely funeral for the dormouse.
Five stories are about High Rising and three of them are set in the win
Fenella Watson
Only two or three of the 8 short stories are about Christmas. There was one more satirical essay on Shakespeare rather than a story which I skimmed and skipped over. Not in the mood for it, I think. But the last story was a poignant view into domestic life during World War II. How rationing affected normal life, and the culture of 1942 in Britain.

Most of the stories feature recurring characters of Thirkell's High Rising and Low Rising stories. Tony, the little boy who brags too much, really get
Nov 28, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
I do enjoy Angela Thirkell's writing, but I was disappointed in this collection of short stories and vignettes. I enjoyed those involving familiar characters from High and Low Rising, but struggled to stay focused on the others. The collection is called "Christmas at High Rising" yet only one story was set during Christmas and the skating story was set during February.

All in all a quick read and one most Thirkell's fans will enjoy, but best if read following a few of the full length High Rising
Sarah Tipper
Jul 19, 2015 Sarah Tipper rated it liked it
This is a collection of short stories but only two of the eight stories are actually about Christmas, despite the title and Christmassy cover. This was an incredibly inoffensive read about days gone by. It was relaxing in the way Wodehouse is, you know nothing terrible will transpire. I’ll lend this to my Mum now (if I lend a book to my Mum or not is generally a good test of a book’s enjoyment value and rudeness rating). I have never read anything else by Thirkell, so I don’t know how it ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Cece rated it liked it
Short stories featuring the popular characters from Thirkell's Barsetshire series. Unlike other readers, I find that a little of young Tony goes a long way, but it is pleasant to meet other "old friends" at various stages of their development. The title is misleading, as the stories are not all holiday-themed.
Jan 13, 2015 Caro rated it liked it
It's always good to get a glimpse of Tony Morland, as well as his mother and the long-suffering George Knox, in these half-dozen stories I had not read before. Unfortunately, one story outside the Barchester canon includes some very offensive language about Italians, presumably standard in 1934 for some English people though very jarring today. Otherwise pleasant though hardly memorable.
Jan 03, 2014 Knitme23 rated it liked it
This is not really "Christmas at High Rising" ; it's "A collection of Thirkell's writing, some of which has to do with Christmas, and some of which maybe didn't need to be collected at all." But, in general, I wanted to read the collection and am glad I did!
Dec 09, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a collection of 8 short stories, published in magazines at various times from 1928 to 1942. Fun to read something by Thirkell that I haven't already read! Any of them could have been lifted from one of her books - same style, characters, humor.
Dec 13, 2014 Kirsty rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas
3.5 stars

Amusing collection of 7 stories and one essay, 5 of which involve the characters in High Rising. There are two Christmas stories, an entertaining essay on Shakespeare and dinner parties, and one war time story.
Dec 21, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, new
I am in love with clever women writing clever, funny stories about people's ordinary lives in the 20s, 30s and 40s at the moment. It's just a thing. And this is a beautiful example of it. I must find some of her novels to enjoy, and also stop my inner/writing voice from talking like Barbara Pym.
Mar 22, 2016 cloudyskye rated it really liked it
A nice collection of little stories, some with, some without Mrs Morland and her Barsetshire friends. The last one, set and written in wartime Britain (1942), was my favourite. As usual, not much happens, but Angela Thirkell's apt observations and dry wit are so worth it.
Jan 01, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I didn't particularly enjoy these stories. They were rather random. My favorite, by far, was the last story, titled 'A Nice Day in Town'. It had some interesting tidbits about rationing during World War 2 in London and a nice ending.
Sonia Gensler
Only a couple of Christmas stories in this collection, but still a worthwhile read. 90% of the stories involve characters from HIGH RISING, so be sure to read that one first. (It is set almost entirely during Christmas, btw!)
Verity W
Dec 31, 2014 Verity W rated it liked it
Not my favourite of the Thirkell's I've read in 2014, but this is a very enjoyable collection of short stories featuring characters that we've already come across - and some new ones - set in Thirkell's world. A nice Christmas treat.
Alisha Trenalone
Jul 04, 2014 Alisha Trenalone rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Short stories, some with a few characters that are familiar from Thirkell's series. Those ones are particularly funny.
Dec 13, 2014 JoAnn rated it liked it
3.5 / 4 stars

Lovely stories with many familiar characters, but not as much Christmas as I was expecting.
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Amazon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2014 Hannah rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014
Couple stories I really liked but overall not a strong collection. Also only a few related to Christmas!
Jan 11, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable gift from England - clever writing that reveals and dryly pokes fun at different personalities.
Dec 24, 2015 Annie rated it liked it
Fun in places but overall was just nice, and nothing particularly special. Even though I love Angela Thirkell, I'd recommend other Christmas collections over this one!
A mostly disappointing collection of short stories. Her style of writing does not seem to be successfully transplanted into a short story. A few hits but mostly misses.
❂ Jennifer
3.5 stars

A small collection of short stories that Thirkell wrote for various publications during her career.

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Angela Margaret Mackail was born on January 30, 1890 at 27 Young Street, Kensington Square, London. Her grandfather was Sir Edward Burne-Jones the pre-Raphaelite painter and partner in the design firm of Morris and Company for whom he designed many stained glass windows - seven of which are in St Margaret's Church in Rottingdean, West Sussex. Her grandmother was Georgiana Macdonald, one of a ...more
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