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Feb. 24th, 2009

When she was about 14 my mother loved the author Angela Thirkell. She recently re-read one of Thirkell’s books that she had so enjoyed and was appalled: “What was I thinking? It’s unpleasant, stuffy and snobbish. On top of which, for no good reason, there’s just page after page of reported speech. It’s dreadful.”

Her disappointment was slightly tempered by finding the following passage, for which there wasn’t really any excuse even in the 1930s. There is a carousel, with boats, aeroplanes, horses and an ostrich, which Delia is riding side-saddle,

and under her direction, Mr. Grant took possession of the cock [whose orbit was within that of the ostrich].

“I knew it was you on the ostrich,” she said to Delia. “I told Noel you’d be here, didn’t I, Noel?” she added to Mr. Merton who had climbed up [on to the carousel] after her. “I say, someone’s on my cock.” …

Mr. Grant, really quite glad of an excuse to dismount, offered his cock to Lydia, who immediately flung a leg over it, explaining that she had put on a frock with pleats on purpose, as she always felt sick if she rode sideways.
As my mother said, “You can’t tell me that there was a time when that wasn’t funny”.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
I need the title of that book, because TA would LOVE it.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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