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The Provincial Lady in London

(The Provincial Lady #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  924 ratings  ·  98 reviews
These highly acclaimed, delightful novels are written in diary form by the Provincial Lady, who lives in a country house with her husband, two children, the children's French governess, Cook and a few assorted helpers. The era of the 1930s is wittily and shrewdly recreated with amusing illustrations. The P.L. finds herself slogging through the mud of a collective farm, cop ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1932)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Delicious gem of a novel — even better than its predecessor! Told in a witty, telegraphic style, our delightful heroine, now a minor authoress, must balance caring for her children, navigating a foreign watering hole, soothing the frequently ruffled feathers of the French nanny who is always having a crise, and budgeting within the confines of her shockingly thin bank account (or, unfortunately, budgeting not quite within the confines of her bank account). All of this while trying to write a fol ...more
I have been interested in this book since I first saw it listed in the book catalogue, A Common Reader, a bookseller-by-post institution that I very much miss. Sometimes it was as good as reading an actual book. Anyhow, I was lucky enough to find this copy at a Friends of the Library book sale on the day that you buy books at the rate of a dollar a bag-full. We left with three bags full. Which reminds me of a rhyme. As mentioned in my review of Bridget Jones's Diary, I began reading this one aft ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books, humour
Quite delicious. I enjoyed it just as much as the first volume, but will read other things before continuing the Provincial Lady's saga so that I can continue to appreciate E M Delafield's quirky sense of humour. My favourite quote from this volume comes while she is in London and is joined by her husband Robert. During the course of a conversation over lunch:

"That reminds Robert: there is to be a concert in the Village next month for most deserving local object, and he has been asked to promise
April 5th - Pleasure at receiving notice of availability of book to borrow diminished when I arrive a site and find it is the second volume, not the first, which I was anticipating. Reflect that beggars - as in me - cannot be choosers and at any rate if one remains flexible there is no reason reading a series out of order must be a problem. Greatly enjoy memoirs and books in letter or diary form, so expect to enjoy this one. (Mem.: Ponder possibility of plot by publishers in releasing second vol ...more
From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:
E M Delafield was great friends with Margaret Mackworth, 2nd Viscountess Rhondda, and became a director of Time and Tide magazine.

When the editor "wanted some light middles", preferably in serial form, she promised to "think of something". And so it was, in 1930, Delafield began writing her largely autobiographical novels detailing the day-to-day life of a Devonshire-dwelling upper-middle class lady and her attempts to keep her somewhat ramshackle household fro
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, january-2017
I very much enjoyed the first book in Delafield's Provincial Lady series, and was keen to continue. The narrative voice, as it is in the original tome, is captivating and witty. One connects with the narrator at once; the reader is immediately part of her world, and all of the challenges which befall her. No old ground from the first book is covered in detail, but even if you haven't read the first tome for years and years, you are thrust right back into it, recalling forgotten details almost at ...more
Carla Remy
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
From 1933
This is the sequel to something like Diary of a Provincial Lady, which I once read. Okay, I didn't like this. Even Diary was pretty boring, but very funny. I often tell my cat he is being disquieting, and I got the word from that.
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of D.E. Stevenson, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr or even Jen Mann
E.M. Delafield (pen name of Elizabeth Dashwood) does not get the credit she is due. And I include myself in this criticism. It wasn’t until this sequel to
Diary of a Provincial Lady that I realized it. So many women writers — ranging from D.E. Stevenson (in her Mrs Tim Of The Regiment and its sequels) to Erma Bombeck to Jean Kerr to Jen Mann and many, many, many more — owe Delafield a debt of gratitude for introducing the humorous mother slyly chronicling her daily life. Why, every other blog on
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, humor
Perhaps even better than 'Diary of a Provincial Lady'! I really enjoyed this book:) The style is very straight-forward and almost unintentionally humorous. We are taken along on a ride through the Provincial Lady's life as she sets up a flat in London, from which to write. There are distractions aplenty and funny, almost anecdotal stories about her family and household staff. I'm looking forward to reading the next one, "Provincial Lady in America."

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Sep 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 8-star
This is a sequel to The Diary of a Provincial Lady and it's equally enjoyable. Since the publication of her first book has attained some financial success, the Provincial Lady acquires a London flat - husband Robert doesn't get much say in this and stays comfortably in Devon. In London, the P.L. (whose name we never find out) spends time with friends and their literary acquaintances. Old friends, hardly remembered, Pamela Pringle for one, show up, and P.L. is fascinated by her somewhat scandalou ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This books finds The Provincial Lady, now a celebrated author, taking a flat in London, ostensibly to get some writing done but instead mostly reluctantly socializing with a variety of amusing friends and acquaintances including scandalous old school chum Pamela Pringle and Emma the Bloomsbury Group hanger-on. If the original Diary of a Provincial lady were chocolate cake, this would be day old chocolate cake - almost as good but not quite, but you still wouldn't mind another piece.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: london, humour, middlebrow
Not as good as the first book, but enjoyable all the same.
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Lady in London continues the series which began with The Diary of a Provincial Lady. Delafield's Lady continues her fun chronicle of daily life, domestic incidents, and the spreading of her creative wings as a published writer.

The Lady still talks of village life in Devonshire, her domestic challenges, interactions with her domestic help, her skeptical husband Robert, and the young children Robin and Vicky. It is all with a certain amount of amusement -- half pointing out the eccentricities of f
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor

I wish I liked this series more. I'm an inveterate Britophile, and even I can't help seeing the nameless voice of these books as a snob. She does engage in a fair bit of self-deprecation, which helps. Still, it's difficult to empathize with someone whose biggest problem is finding and keeping good domestic help. At one point, she mentions how nice it would be to be rich. Her husband doesn't appear to do anything, other than eat, read the newspaper, and grumble about everything. Perhaps if he sou
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a follow up from the first book Diary of a Provincial Lady. This is rather funny and amazing series. Our provincial lady expands her interests to London and France and brings more interesting characters in the book by means of her amazing social life and her early life as a writer.
I think this book will make an easy read and most readers will find them absolutely glorious. I can't wait to get started on her American trip. I know it will be just as amazing. E. M. Delafield is a deli
Gabi Coatsworth
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
I loved The Diary of a Provincial Lady, because it's written exactly the style in which I imagine a harassed mother in the 1930's might write. This book follows on, and is just as funny. The problems the author has with finding extra staff and a way of furnishing a flat she has rented in London (so she can write)are not your everyday problems, but the way she writes about them made me smile and sometimes laugh aloud. Recommended for Anglophiles and people not maddened by upper middle class.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
If anything, this book is funnier than the first one ... I couldn't stop laughing. Clearly, I should have been reading these while in the hospital - they would have done me a world of good. What fun!! Bridget Jones is a piker compared to this!
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A delight from beginning to end! I challenge you to read this and not go through your day internally describing events as our Lady would. She is a scream and the stories and the characters involved ring true, which is what makes them so amusing. Looking forward to picking up the next installment.
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable account of the Provincial Lady's exploits in London and at home. Smiled amusedly throughout and laughed out loud at various points. Not great literature, but a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed her references to contemporary songs/plays/books--really gave a sense of the times.
Rather disappointed that this one wasn't as good as the previous one. Not sure whether I shall bother with the rest of the series.
Whistlers Mom
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fame and fortune change the quiet life of the Provincial Lady.

This book is the sequel to "Diary of a Provincial Lady." An author who writes a very successful book almost always tries to cash in by writing another one about the same characters. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Planned as a light-hearted book about an English housewife, "Diary" unexpectedly turned into a best-seller. The story of a quiet,conventional wife and mother who uses her diary to skewer her friends, neighbors, i
Sathya Sekar
Sep 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I went all out to get this book after completing the first book of this series. I was not disappointed by the book all though I can't say it was better than the first.

This phase of the Provincial Lady's life revolves more around London. Her provincial home and society is very much there but with the happy success of her first book, our endearing Lady is thrown into an elitist circle which is curious and condescending about her. She holds her own in the pages of her diary with her pen- she draws
Jul 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoying the prattlings of the Provincial Lady even if not reading her diaries in order.

Some interesting take aways about life for the British 1930's counterpart to the American suburban housewife:

1. Even though one has a cook and a housekeeper and the children are either at boarding school or home with a 24/7 governess or tutor, the Lady is frazzled with so much to do she rarely has time to keep the diary.

2. One of life's biggest stresses appears to relate to servants--how does one tell cook
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
(Shared read-aloud.)

The Provincial Lady is just as amusing here as in the first book. (view spoiler) The Provincial Lady's time in London feels like an endless round of not-quite-pleasant evenings at parties.  There are also references to more cosmopolitan (i.e. scandalous) doings than I recall from the first book, which was set in the country
Skylar Dorset
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book on a whim. (This seems to be common with me.) I was in the French Marketplace in New Orleans, and there was a secondhand book stall, and this book was there. The edition I bought was actually terrible because the cover told me nothing about the book, but I thought the title sounded interesting (and this is a lesson in how important it is to title your book well). So I bought it.

It turned out this book was HILARIOUS. It's the (fictional) diary of a woman who has written a mino
Kajoli Tankha
This second book was a drag. The narrator started to annoy me with her financial irresponsibility. I kept dropping it and then picking it up again since its atleast an easy read
Kathleen Vincenz
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading this pretty solid for several hours, I ended up talking to myself in the same cadence as the diary entries.

[Query: Was this a good book? Answer: Enjoyable, yes, but did it say anything?] This conviction intensified as am rather dissatisfied at ending.

I'm horrible at remembering names, and enjoyed how Provincial Lady referred to people she met at parties, like phenomenally slim creature with shaven eyebrows. I do the same but I need to add more flair to mine because I just say "Lo
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is not actually the edition I read. UAPL has an edition titled Diary of a Provincial Lady that combines all 4 books in one volume. It's written as diary entries and nothing happens, but somehow you just can't put it down. Diligence is rewarded in the next book when The Provincial Lady takes a flat in London, falls in with a louche crowd. Next book takes her on an American book tour and in the fourth war is imminent. Find it excellent description of lfe between the wars and how it feels to b ...more
Diana Higgins
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
I just love these books. My brother gave me the first one for Christmas several years ago and I had no idea what to expect, and then I fell in love with the voice of this fictional diarist.

I liked the first one better than this, but I enjoyed this one, too. I think it might be because for the first one, I had no expectations and then was wonderfully surprised, whereas for this one I was setting the bar high from the get-go.

It's hard to describe the tone of these, but a Newsday reviewer on the ba
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Edmée Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, née de la Pasture (9 June 1890 – 2 December 1943), commonly known as E. M. Delafield, was a prolific English author who is best-known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper-middle class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s, and its sequels in which the Provincial La ...more

Other books in the series

The Provincial Lady (5 books)
  • Diary of a Provincial Lady
  • The Provincial Lady in America
  • The Provincial Lady in Wartime
  • The Provincial Lady in Russia

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