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Jenny Wren (Jenny Wren)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
On their father's death, Jenny and Dahlia Rendall, with their mother Louisa, move across the river to the heights of Upper Radstowe. Here they try to make a living by taking in lodgers. But their neighbours eye this all-female household with alarm and distrust -- especially when a local farmer takes to calling on Louisa, now an attractive, if not entirely respectable ...more
Paperback, 364 pages
Published May 20th 1985 by Virago (first published 1932)
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Dec 27, 2012 Ali rated it really liked it
“In the sloping, one sided street called Beulah Mount, no two houses are alike. Some of them are flat fronted, a few are bow-windowed and some have flimsy, roofed balconies outside the first floor windows, and these, even when in need of painting, give an effect of diminished but persistent gaiety to a terrace built in an age of leisure and of privilege.”
Jenny and her older sister Dahlia Rendall have recently moved from their old home at the white farm, in the countryside to a house in Upper Rad
Sep 23, 2016 Carla rated it really liked it
A charming, ironic novel of class differences and romantic disappointments. E.H. Young, writing in the 1930s, handles the themes of the limitations of her heroines (a beautiful widow, and her two daughters who mus eke out a living by taking lodgers) while at the same time presenting her male characters (especially Jenny's would-be lover, Edwin) with extreme sympathy. There is no sugar-coated ending; and it's left to the reader to judge the choices of the three women. A novel of humor and ...more
Feb 16, 2009 Carrie rated it really liked it
n the 1980's Penguin began to publish a series called Virago Modern Classics. They are not "classics" in the sense of Dickens and Austen, but rather are reprintings of novels written by women in the 20's, 30's and 40's which had been largely forgotten by the 1980's. Persephone Books in London does a similar thing today. Anyways, being a fan of fiction from that era and of women's writing and somewhat of magpie, I have begun collecting the Virago books when I see them at used bookstores. They are ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Interesting and old-fashioned read. Set in the early 20th century, I kept feeling like it was in the 1880s. The story focuses on Jenny, her sister Dahlia, and their widowed mother, who are running a boarding house in an English city based on Bristol. Really highlights the role of women and social class at the time.
Dec 19, 2012 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england
Well-written reminder of the limited options available to women in the 1930s, not to mention the power of class to influence lives. The introduction to this edition (best read afterward) has an excellent analysis of the novel and backstory on the author.
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Born Emily Hilda Young.

Although almost completely forgotten by recent generations, E. H. Young was a best-selling novelist of her time. She was born the daughter of a shipbroker and attended Gateshead Secondary School (a higher grade school later renamed Gateshead Grammar School) and Penrhos College, Colwyn Bay, Wales. In 1902, at the age of 22, she married Arthur Daniell, a solicitor from Bristol
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