This is my first Musing Monday, but I’m excited to participate!
About how many books (roughly) would you say you own?
This is a sad question for me to answer. According to Shelfari I used to own 288, which may seem a little paltry to the other book bloggers. But they were my 288 books. Unfortunately, I had to sell them. I was moving and short on green (although I’m Canadian so I should say I was short on brown, red, green, purple and blue). I have to say, it was a sad day when I hauled my load to the used book store (books are heavy!). Now the books I own fill about half a small bookshelf. I’ll just go into a corner now and weep…
However, one cannot be overly sad when reading “Cold Comfort Farm” by Stella Gibbons;
Here’s the blurb from Amazon.com;
In Gibbons’s classic tale, first published in 1932, a resourceful young heroine finds herself in the gloomy, overwrought world of a Hardy or Bronte novel and proceeds to organize everyone out of their romantic tragedies into the pleasures of normal life. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19, chooses to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, where cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless, and the proprietors, the dour Starkadder family, are tyrannized by Flora’s mysterious aunt, who controls the household from a locked room. Flora’s confident and clever management of an alarming cast of eccentrics is only half the pleasure of this novel. The other half is Gibbons’s wicked sendup of romantic cliches, from the mad woman in the attic to the druidical peasants with their West Country accents and mystical herbs. Anne Massey’s skillful rendering of a variety of accents will make this story more accessible to American audiences. Recommended for both literary and popular collections.
I loved, loved, loved this novel. I didn’t even mind that it poked fun at some authors that I have enjoyed, such as the description points out, Hardy and Lawrence. I really liked the idea of taking the more ridiculous features of novels and setting them right, so to speak. This past school year I took quite a few literature classes focusing on 19th Century England and earlier. It was a relief to finally have the madwomen from the attic taken downstairs and the women of nature having had sense talked into them. As much as I like the idea of nature as a character in novels, Gibbons does point out the over the top description of landscape in works such as those of D.H. Lawrence. Top marks for this book.