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Rose Macaulay
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message 1: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
OK, not a favourite at all but, I intuit, a likely favourite of the future.

I mainly know about Rose Macaulay from The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War.

In The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War Lara Feigel explores the war time experiences of five writers: Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, Rose Macaulay, Henry Yorke (aka Henry Green), and Hilde Spiel. During the Blitz, and with the very real chance of not surviving the next 24 hours, the social classes mingled more freely, in the underground and the streets, and, in some cases, with partners and/or children evacuated, there was the opportunity for extra marital affairs.

So why post about Rose Macaulay now?

One of her books, Told By An Idiot, is discussed on the latest episode of the Backlisted podcast and, as usual, they made it and her sound very appealing.

message 2: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
So what's the all important RTTC verdict on Rose Macaulay?

message 3: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 25, 2018 04:37AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
I also recall a very tempting article about 'The World my Wilderness' by Rose Macaulay on the London fictions website.

Here's the article...

Here's the opening paragraph..

Rose Macaulay (1881—1958) published her penultimate novel, The World My Wilderness, in 1950, at the age of sixty-nine; yet she chose to place an adolescent at the centre of her narrative. This anticipates Colin MacInnes’ decision, in Absolute Beginners (1959), to explore a teenage perspective upon London, although if we examine the novels alongside each other, the gulf between them—in terms of characterization, atmosphere and cultural context—is striking. Where MacInnes portrays a late-fifties world in which the teenager represents a new Britain, consumerist, sexually liberated, scornful of traditional social divisions, and multicultural, Macaulay’s heroine, Barbary, is burdened by the trauma of the war (the novel is set in 1946). She can be seen as an embodiment of fears that are characteristic of the wealthier classes she comes from: that the war has destroyed deferential social structures which previously maintained order; that the new ‘post-war settlement’ will give the working classes a far stronger voice and influence than ever before.

Anyone read this?

Or anything else by Rose Macaulay?

'The World my Wilderness' by Rose Macaulay?

It is 1946 and the people of France and England are facing the aftermath of the war. Banished by her beautiful, indolent mother to England, Barbary Deniston is thrown into the care of her distinguished father and conventional stepmother. Having grown up in the sunshine of Provence, allowed to run wild with the Maquis, experienced collaboration, betrayal and death, Barbary finds it hard to adjust to the drab austerity of postwar London life.

Confused and unhappy, she discovers one day the flowering wastes around St Paul's. Here, in the bombed heart of London, she finds an echo of the wilderness of Provence and is forced to confront the wilderness within herself.

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11077 comments Mod
Told by an Idiot is not on kindle and paperback copies look expensive. The World my Wilderness is on kindle, as are a couple of others, including a biography. She looks fascinating, just my cup of tea, and I will look forward to the future nomination of a buddy read? I will just say that we have added a couple and Nicholas and Alexandra is pretty long, so it would be nice if you don't put them at the same time if you do pick one, as I would like to join in :)

message 5: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
Thanks for your research Susan

I'm not proposing a buddy read just yet but, should I do so, I'll make sure it doesn't clash with any others.

Of course, anyone else here is very welcome to initiate buddy reads too.

message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11077 comments Mod
Good news, Nigeyb. I agree with you that she looks very interesting and her books have a lot of appeal.

message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane (beyondedenrock) | 3 comments It's a while since I read either book, but I can warmly recommend The World My Wilderness and The Towers of Trebizond. The latter is uneven but it has some wonderful lines and moments, and the former is an little gem which I could happily read again. I've always meant to read more of her work but other books can be terribly distracting.

message 8: by Lynaia (new)

Lynaia | 468 comments I have 2 books by her, Keeping Up Appearances and Crewe Train but I have yet to read either one. I started to read The Towers of Trebizond once but I just couldn't get into it at that time and I needed to return it to the library before I really read much.

message 9: by Tania (new)

Tania | 1101 comments Another author I've been meaning to try for a long time and not managed to fit in yet.

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11077 comments Mod
Like Nigeyb, I came across her in The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War The Love-charm of Bombs Restless Lives in the Second World War by Lara Feigel which I recommend highly.

message 11: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4701 comments Mod
I have also been meaning to read something by her since reading The Love-charm of Bombs. I've just come across a mention of The World My Wilderness in a review of The Dancing Bear, which I'm currently reading.

message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan | 11077 comments Mod
I am also reading The Dancing Beat at the moment, Judy. Feels odd to be reading of freezing people in the middle of a mini heatwave...

message 13: by Jill (new)

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 706 comments Susan wrote: "I am also reading The Dancing Beat at the moment, Judy. Feels odd to be reading of freezing people in the middle of a mini heatwave..."

Also found it making me incredibly hungry!

message 14: by Tania (new)

Tania | 1101 comments Yesterday I finished Dangerous Ages which is one of her earlier, more obscure novels, but it has now been published in the British Library Women Writers series. I really loved this story about the 'dangers' facing women at every stage in their lives, beautifully written and I look forward to more of hers, which is good, because the other day I found The Towers of Trebizond in a charity shop.

message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
Thanks Tania

I’ve still yet to sample her work. Your positive comments have further stoked my enthusiasm

message 16: by Tania (new)

Tania | 1101 comments Hope you find the time, eventually.

message 17: by Tania (new)

Tania | 1101 comments I have just finished What Not: A Prophetic Comedy. It's not a favourite of mine, but it is very interesting. Just after WW1, the Ministry of Brains has been formed to make sure that any babies born will be intelectually superior by dictating who can marry and mate, ensuring good genes are passed on. It was written 14 (I think) years before Brave New World, and inspired Huxley's book, before dropping into obscurity.

message 18: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10734 comments Mod
Thanks Tania

message 19: by Ben (new)

Ben Keisler | 709 comments I'm enjoying Crewe Train very much. Very light and clever and feels very contemporary notwithstanding being written nearly 100 years ago!

But I can't remember how it got on my Internet Library want-to-read list! Did someone in this group recommend it?

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