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Miss Peabody's Inheritance

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  119 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews

Miss Peabody, a lonely spinster in London, writes a fan letter to Diana Hopewell, an Australian novelist. In reply, Hopewell sends installments of her novel-in-progress, the zany adventures of a trio of gently lesbian ladies, a headmistress and two companions, touring Europe with a hapless student. With each mail delivery, Miss Peabody's involvement with the novelist and h

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Paperback, 157 pages
Published November 6th 1985 by Penguin Books (first published 1983)
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Don
Oct 25, 2010 Don rated it it was ok
I choose this letter after finding it on the epistolary list on the Seattle Public Library. Thought it would be interesting having been written by an Aussie author back in the early 1980's. It was a slow start and I gave up after 40 some pages. The writing is odd and seemed it was turning into a bit of oddly romantic love story between a woman author and a spinster...just not interested.
Justin Evans
Dec 08, 2015 Justin Evans rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
More than a few reviews of this delightful novel deduct points because the characters are mostly lesbians. To which I can only shake my head in bafflement. Who are these people?

Anyway, this is a wonderful comic novel wrapped up in a meta-fictional frame that adds just enough to justify itself. First, the comic novel: Miss Arabella Thorne (note the hyper-Trollopian name) runs a boarding school in Australia, falls for her students, takes one to Europe, is generally unpleasant to her jealous life-
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Lisa
I first read Miss Peabody’s Inheritance by Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007) back in 1990, long before I kept a reading journal much less a litblog, so I have no record of my impressions then, only vague, fond memories of enjoying it, as I enjoyed all her novels. It’s a pity, because it would be interesting to track back what I thought of the postmodern flourishes in Miss Peabody’s Inheritance, back then, when I had never heard of meta-fiction. (If the list at Wikipedia is anything to go by, I had re ...more
 Barb Bailey
May 26, 2008 Barb Bailey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, brit-lit
Caring for her bedridden mother and tied to her boring clerical job, Dorothy Peabody has few pleasures or friends. Through correspodence she befriends an author of novels from Australia. The authors letters include the progessive writtings of a newly developing novel.
When Dorothys mother passes away unexpectedly...she decices to take a holiday to Australia and look up her friend. When Dorothy gets there she finds the author has also just passed away and had been living in a hospital/convelesent
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Stefani Akins
Feb 02, 2014 Stefani Akins rated it really liked it
This is a relatively small book of only 157 pages, and as it is written in a lively manner and with a good dose of humour, it was a fast read. Most people today would, however, not consider an adult taking erotic interest in a schoolgirl "gently" anything but rather in the category of child abuse. Besides that, I'm afraid I have to subtract points for laziness in the category of German place names and the proper treatment of such; an unforgivable faux-pas when the geography is so well researched ...more
UQP Books
Feb 05, 2015 UQP Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Wickedly satirical.’ West Australian
Kate
Mar 04, 2012 Kate rated it did not like it
Shelves: england, read-in-2012
"Caring for her demanding, bedridden mother and confined to a dreary clerical job, Dorothy Peabody has few pleasures to sustain her until she begins a correspondence with the novelist Diana Hopewell. In this delightful story-within-a-story, the letters between a lonely, middle-aged Englishwoman and an Australian writer become a moving novel of love and the need to create. As the correspondence progresses, Miss Peabody becomes completely absorbed in the fictional travels of Hopewell's heroine, th ...more
Berthe
Apr 16, 2014 Berthe rated it liked it
A peculiarly entertaining romp, which gives me cause to smirk in my otherwise nerve wracking encounters with school principals! These women are eye poppingly kinky.
Mara
Some parts were interesting, mostly those that dealt with the main character and her quest to reconstruct her life after the death of her controlling mother. On the other hand, the novel-within-the-novel part bored me, probably because the characters were of the stock variety (despite their lesbianism).

The story was somewhere between 'meh' and 'liked it', but I must say that, I doubt I would have read it in its entirety were I not forced to write about it afterwards.
Jennifer
If I could give this 3.5 stars I would. I liked it even though the stories seemed a bit odd mostly because I think each of the main characters with the exception of Diana were well written. Each character was written well and the author did a nice job of capturing different varieties of the human spirit.
Jane
Mar 16, 2013 Jane rated it it was ok
This book was very strange and funny and then again strange. A novel within a novel and oh, my, I laughed but often thought, "Are you kidding me." It wasn't the right book for me at this time, but I kept reading or skimming because I had read good things about it. Oh yes, the timing is all.
Charlotte
Oct 25, 2008 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub-reads
fun.
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Monica Elizabeth Jolley was an award-winning writer who settled in Western Australia in the late 1950s. She was 53 years old when her first book was published, and she went on to publish fifteen novels (including an autobiographical trilogy), four short story collections, and three non-fiction books, publishing well into her 70s and achieving significant critical acclaim. She was also a pioneer of ...more
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