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The Squire

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Paperback, 270 pages
Published July 7th 1987 by Penguin Books (first published 1938)
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Jul 15, 2016 Kirsty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enid Bagnold’s The Squire, first published in 1938, was one of Persephone’s two new additions for Autumn 2013. The novel’s preface has been written by Anne Sebba, and is both informative and well constructed. The Squire was written over a period of ‘some fifteen years’, and was informed by the births of Bagnold’s four children between 1921 and 1930. As Sebba states, ‘she [Bagnold] realised that she wanted to write not only about birth but also to explore in detail the intimate and growing relati ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Thomas rated it it was ok
I wanted to like it but found it rather tedious.
Jan 12, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
This book has become one of my favorites. Bagnold writes beautifully of motherhood, labor, birth, aging, and mortality. "This short, this fearful loveliness, in which men and women, heroic and baffled, struggling to wisdom, age as they struggle; wrestle upwards and drop into the ground. This marriage, this association with matter, what a high-handed experiment, but what admirable victims! Man, with his eye on death, draws his foot from the womb. There is not time for anything, yet there is time ...more
May 08, 2016 Ali rated it really liked it
The Squire is a book which has more recently been re-issued by Persephone books, my edition however a nice original Virago green. Enid Bagnold – the author of four adult novels was also the author of the famous children’s story National Velvet. In this novel she celebrates childbirth and motherhood and the changing nature of a woman’s life – her prose is richly sensuous, languorous like the slow, contented movements of a woman heavy with child.

“The children seemed to cast their Precursors like
Susan Dillon
Jan 12, 2014 Susan Dillon rated it really liked it
Old fashioned in style -- I think the novel was set in the 1930s, but it could have been set much earlier because there are absolutely no references to current events, fashion or popular culture. Perhaps that is one of the points of the novel: that the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood never change essentially. I was moved by "the squire's" appreciation of the individuality of each of her growing children and of her awareness of her own mortality as she gives birth for the ...more
May 09, 2014 Susann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone
I liked some of the child birthing and rearing observations, especially her conversation with Lucy at the very end, but I had little interest in her other ideas. If you can get over the class thing (which is a huge task as you think about all the mothers raising their young without quite so many employees), Bagnold's portrayal of the servant problem is fascinating.
Apr 08, 2014 Brandee rated it it was ok
I so, so looked forward to this book. It seemed to have all I wanted: pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and details about the emotions and domesticity of each phase set in 1930s England. But I didn't much care for it, though I dog-eared many pages for perfectly sublime passages with which I could relate. I did get some sense, from those, of a "private" sharing which usually wasn't recorded in writing of that time period. Even today, if you talk too much about your own birthing and motherhood, if ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Elaine rated it liked it
I liked it and found the subject of the book interesting. I did find Bagnold's prose a bit flowery and high blown at times. The topic of childbirth and motherhood in general was engaging to read about and I wish that there were more novels exploring it in a fictional way. I felt that my judgment of Bagnold's novelist's skills were some what clouded by notions that she is not highly thought of critically.
Jun 11, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really a domestic little book about a woman who is pregnant for the Nth time. The men are away. I found it really cozy and charming. I own two copies, one in paper and one hard cover (it was originally titled "The Door of Life").
Charlotte Fairbairn
Jun 07, 2013 Charlotte Fairbairn rated it it was amazing
For mothers, wives, lovers of great writing, this is a majestic read. Full of amazing insights about children; very funny about the travails of being an employer; wonderful about womanhood. I recommend this with the only reservation that women/mothers will relate to it more than men might.
Belinda G
May 25, 2016 Belinda G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-this, 2016
I didn't *love* the squire herself, and some of the side characters were less than interesting, but the descriptions of motherhood and child rearing were beautiful.
Ash Shalvey-Phelan
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Feb 20, 2016
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May 27, 2014
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Nov 02, 2016
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Jul 05, 2015
Marnie Wellar
Marnie Wellar rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2014
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Emma Holtrust rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2015
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Jan 30, 2014
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May 25, 2016
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Violet Valentine rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2016
Kate rated it liked it
Jul 09, 2016
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Dolly Dimple rated it liked it
Sep 07, 2011
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Lizzy Ruffles rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Stuart Woollard
Stuart Woollard rated it it was ok
Feb 03, 2016
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Nov 23, 2016
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Mar 23, 2009
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Apr 30, 2015
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Apr 09, 2013
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Audrey rated it it was amazing
Dec 28, 2008
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British writer of novels and plays, best known for National Velvet and The Chalk Garden.

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“In a strange way', she thought, 'these absences suit my nature though not my heart. I love him, I miss him, but I have time to put on my humanity again.” 0 likes
“The children seemed to cast their Precursors like shadows about the house, sometimes tangibly, in the sound of a voice, sometimes by suggestion, because it was striking the hour for their return from a walk, sometimes mysteriously, because inside the shell of their mother's head the children were painted like angels on the roof of a chapel.” 0 likes
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