High Rising

High RisingSuccessful Lady Novelist Laura Morland And Her Boisterous Young Son Tony Set Off To Spend Christmas At Her Country Home In The Sleepy Surrounds Of High Rising But Laura S Wealthy Friend And Neighbour George Knox Has Taken On A Scheming Secretary Whose Designs On Marriage To Her Employer Threaten The Delicate Social Fabric Of The Village Can Clever, Practical Laura Rescue George From Miss Grey S Clutches And, What S , Help His Daughter Miss Sibyl Knox To Secure Her Longed For Engagement Utterly Charming And Very Funny, High Rising Is Irresistible Comic Entertainment

Angela Margaret Mackail was born on January 30, 1890 at 27 Young Street, Kensington Square, London Her grandfather was Sir Edward Burne Jones the pre Raphaelite painter and partner in the design firm of Morris and Company for whom he designed many stained glass windows seven of which are in St Margaret s Church in Rottingdean, West Sussex Her grandmother was Georgiana Macdonald, one of a

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  • Paperback
  • 276 pages
  • High Rising
  • Angela Thirkell
  • English
  • 18 April 2018
  • 9781844088836

10 thoughts on “High Rising

  1. says:

    I loved this cover Just charming I didn t love much else about this book.I think I was expecting too much from this early work Very few authors are immediately brilliant But for me there were a lot of characters at the start, a lot of not much happening in the middle a predictable ending that wrapped things up a bit too tidily I don t think Alexander McCall Smith s introduction of my edition added much to my understanding However, Wikipedia s biography of Mrs Thirkell is fascinating Her own life would have coloured some of her own views for example that marriage isn t always necessary for a middle aged woman who can support herself These ideas would have been revolutionary for the time.I liked how our heroine loved her son Tom but didn t always like him I wasn t so fond of the digs at Jews view spoiler how seriously did Thirkell mean these The secondary male lead is Jewish other than the digs, Thirkell depicts him fondly hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Well written, mildly amusing novel of small town, upper middle class English people having interactions and conversations Dull romances and petty rivalries Could have used plot and less boys talking about trains I ll most likely read another of her books sooner or later.This edition has quite a lot of typos, of the sort that are almost certainly the fault of careless production missing punctuation, accidental unneeded paragraph spacing, that sort of thing.

  3. says:

    I have had a selection of Angela Thirkell s books on my shelves for a few years now, but I have been reluctant to read them Because I knew that they were part of a series, albeit loosely linked, that it seemed would be difficult to collect in its entirety Because I haven t read Trollope s Chronicles of Barchester despite making a few attempts on the first book in the series and I know that Angela Thirkell borrowed Trollope s setting, and there are links and references for lovers of both authors to appreciate.But my resolve weakened when Virago added a couple of Thirkells to the Modern Classics list, and then a couple , and I believe there are another couple coming in the spring Suddenly the books seemed gettable And I dismissed the Trollope argument I ve started the first of his Palliser novels as a long, slow read and I m not prepared to let these lovely new editions sit unread while I work my way through the Palliser novels and then go back for another attempt at the Chronicles of Barchester After all, there s always the possibility of re reading if I fall in love with both.And the final, winning, argument to pick up High Rising Mrs Thirkell s first Barchester novel was that it was published in 1933 Both of my parents were born in that year, and so I wanted something special to fill that year in my Century of Books.Now I have read High Rising I can say, firmly and clearly that I did the right thing I loved it I really can t think of another author who has mixed charm, wit, cosiness and sparkle to such wonderful effect.The lynch pin of the story is Laura Morland, the widowed mother of four sons Three have grown and flown the nest, leaving just young Tony, who is the very model of an enthusiastic, infuriating, schoolboy at home to entertain and frustrate his mother When her husband died she took up writing middlebrow novels to support her family.She achieved a level of success that left her very comfortably off.I was so taken with Laura I found her warm hearted, thoughtful, capable in the very best of ways, but not to much so She is fallible, she is self deprecating, and it is so easy to feel that she is a friend.The story comes from an outsider being thrown into or I really should say elbowing her way into a settled society in High Rising and the neighbouring Low Rising.There s Miss Todd, who cares for her elderly mother who is physically and mentally frail, and who makes pin money as Laura s secretary There s Laura maid, Stoker, who is loyal, seemingly incurious but actually all knowing There s George Knox, a successful biographer, a wonderful raconteur, and a dear friend of Laura There s his daughter Sibyl, who Laura views as the daughter she never had, and who is smitten with Laura s publisher, Adrian Coates As he is with her.A whole raft of wonderful characters.The outsider is Miss Grey, who becomes secretary to Mr Knox She is wonderfully capable, she can be charming, but she has set her sights on becoming Mrs Knox, and will use whatever means she can to achieve her objective Some are fair but most are foul, and George s friends are quick to label her The Incubus and he himself is completely oblivious.It falls to Laura to sort out the problem of Miss Grey, and to bring Sibyl and Adrian together.It s a simple story, but it plays out beautifully, because it is adorned with so many lovely dialogues, so many interesting incidents and because everything works beautifully with the characters and their situations.I do so hope that I will meet some of those characters again, in other books in the series.I can t say that High Rising is perfect The story is uneven there are one or two racial references that would have been acceptable then, but not now and there were one or two moments when I realised that Angela Thirkell could only see the world from the perspective of her own class But none of those faults were unforgivable, especially in an early novel, and I am so looking forward to reading stories set in Barsetshire.It s a wonderful recipe charm, wit, cosiness and sparkle

  4. says:

    Oh, how odious The pompously verbose but good hearted author George Knox has hired a loathsome new secretary who seems determined to manipulate him into marriage This causes no end of trouble, irritating his good friend and fellow author Laura Morland The lovely but quite happily widowed Mrs Morland tries to set things right, but she s often distracted by her energetic train obsessed youngest son or her lovestruck publisher or the tribulations and or celebrations of one of her fellow residents of High Rising Mrs Morland thinks of herself as an author of good bad books lively, highly popular but lowbrow stories set in the fashion world Along with Laura Morland, who returns in several of Thirkell s later books, other characters in High Rising include rambunctious children, loyal but opinionated servants, devoted secretaries who nevertheless have their own agendas, an unflappable schoolmaster s wife, an infatuated doctor, and several hopeful but undeclared lovers both young and old High Rising is the first of Angela Thirkell s witty and entertaining Barsetshire novels, which borrow their fictional setting in the English countryside from Anthony Trollope s Chronicles of Barsetshire Thrikell s books are loosely connected stories with overlapping characters, most of them written at about the time they take place in this case High Rising was set and written between the two world wars Thirkell may have seen herself as something of a Mrs Morland After leaving two husbands behind, Thirkell supported herself and her sons by writing a book a year, successful books that she felt compared unfavorably to her beloved Proust, Austen and Dickens and that she didn t expect or want her cultured, well educated friends to read I, however, find her books great fun No one can write diverting lowbrow literature like a classics steeped highbrow author see also Dorothy Sayers.

  5. says:

    High Rising is about as substantial as a souffl , but who doesn t enjoy a souffl when the mood is right Angela Thirkell 1890 1961 wrote many works of fiction and non fiction Her fictional books, which include 29 novels set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, were very popular in their day High Rising is the first of the Barsetshire novels and was originally published in 1933 It was republished as a Virago Modern Classic in 2012 Successful novelist Laura Morland, and her boisterous young son Tony, set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising Laura s wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village How will Laura resolve these and other issues facing the inhabitants of High Rising I was bored and unamused by the opening chapters and thought the characters snobbish and judgemental My negativity was not helped by the odd bit of casual racism which features in many books from this era and reflected the prevailing social attitudes of the era However, I am very glad I stuck with the book as it became steadily enjoyable and entertaining By the time I approached the end of the book I was completely entranced charmed by the quirky and idiosyncratic characters and I did not want the book to end I am disappointed to learn that very few of these characters feature in the other books in the series.In summary, High Rising is a light, amusing and enjoyable book which provides some great insights into the life of English middle class households during the early 1930s and gets progressively better with each passing chapter I look forward to reading books by Angela Thirkell.3 5

  6. says:

    This first novel in the Barsetshire series was definitely entertaining and full of mundane intrigues, but it wasn t as engrossing as I had been hoping for I found the characters to be somewhat dull, and while I did see the humour in the characters and the situations they found themselves in, I did not find the story that hilarious This is one of those books that didn t really leave me with much feeling or thought I just feel like it was okay and have no strong emotions about it Therefore, this review is rather short, but rest assured that this novel was interesting, indeed just not interesting enough for me to continue on reading this series in the future.

  7. says:

    This was a flat out delight with a few very mild drawbacks.I enjoyed the setting immensely and the characters were a delight with one exception, but not for the reason you d think Laura, the chief viewpoint character, is funny and kind but with a biting wit when she wants one Her friends in their small community are good companions in every way that matters and it took no time at all to become wrapped up in their lives and concerns.Which is good because the novel is firmly ensconced in a pretty narrow band of concerns chiefly the shifting though solid relationships amongst the small town setting in a fictional district near enough London for day trips Thirkell has a very evocative style that is anchored in the lives of her fascinating characters Think P.G Wodehouse, though with Wooster and Jeeves combined into a single character who is competent and wise, but prone to sentimentality and matchmaking.Three things to note that may harm your enjoyment, however.First, this book has a female villain who is hard to take by being both irrational an relentless She was kind of a caricature and I hated every scene that included her in it It was fortunate that she was mostly an off screen foil, making her presence a light one for all she was forever spoiling things To be clear, it s not that she was a villain or that she was pretty much the only character opposed to Laura and her confidantes My problem was, rather, that she was so one dimensional and hardly a worthy opponent at all.Second, any book written so long ago will have stylistic patterns that feel foreign to modern readers and this is no exception Thirkell is really close in time to P.G Wodehouse and her style is frankly similar I don t know if that s deliberate on Thirkell s part or if it s merely an artifact of being proximate in time and thus reading tastes I didn t have a hard time with it and rather enjoyed it , but it bears mentioning if you plan on giving it a try The biggest disconnects I noticed were the tendency to take short jags into random viewpoints and the occasional jaunts into backstory.Third, the edition I read is a very bad joke Moyer Bell the listed publisher should be ashamed of the truly poor copy editing this book received which is assuming it received any It s obviously derived from an OCR scan of some previous printing but if a human looked at it before they went to press, that human was blind or illiterate Stray periods dot the paragraphs, as do the occasional stray colons and quotes and apostrophes always after letters that might have, through fading, left strong points in likely positions And some vowels get transfigured, mainly a s for o s as in far in place of for The story was engaging enough that I plowed through it, but any lesser author would have been much harder to get through I made sure this review is tied to the correct cover image and publisher, so if you see that image, know you have the inferior edition and look for a better one if you can find it.Anyway, I m sure I ll start working my way through Thirkell s oeuvre, now She was wonderfully prolific and I understand they all share the same setting I only hope they have better publishers I may have to start collecting editions if all the ones in the library are by these same jokers

  8. says:

    A wonderful comedy Like most healthy men he thought that any illness was death. So he dismissed her from his mind, where indeed she had never held any very prominent placeA language and humor of Thirkell is simply splendid It is a great example of an intelligent comedy Marvellous characters which reader meets in one period of their life There is a little romance but for me the novel is built of two things 1 perfectly chosen and described characters2 parts with child s point of view.I love Tony He suffered from what his mother called a determination of words to the mouth, and nothing except sleep appeared to check his flow of valueless conversation. Why didn t you come when I called you asked the justly indignant Laura I didn t hear you till the third time I have had such a good time with this book I am happy that there are many other Thirkell s novel which I haven t read yet.For information I recommend Jane s review.PS I have found out right now, that The Demon in the House is about the adventures of Tony I must read it as soon as I find a copy.

  9. says:

    I had a hard time slogging through this book I don t know if I m just getting past my love affair with the cozy British novel or what, but I couldn t find a thing to like about any of the characters in this book And the constant negative references to Jews, as well as a couple random comments about Indians and South Americans, wore on me I read a lot of fiction from the late 19th and early 20th century, so I know racism was common and I generally roll my eyes inwardly and move on, but Thirkell used it than I ve seen it just about anywhere I m surprised people haven t commented on it.About 1 3 of the way it, I was ready to give up, but other reviewers said the second half gets much interesting Two thirds in, I began to wonder if they meant the last third is where it gets better Finally, I was so close to the end, I just finished the damn thing I ll never read another Thirkell What a cast of snobby, self involved, insular, boring players worried about things that just don t matter I was reminded though of a novel I enjoyed much , that was actually funny and lampooned village types instead of racial ones, and had a similar main character of woman trying to make a living as a writer and finding a good friend in her editor If you want to read a better book than High Rising, written nearly the same year, consider Miss Buncle s Book.Oh, and if you are going to read High Rising despite my negative review, make SURE you avoid the version I had November 1st 2007 by Moyer Bell , which had at least 100 periods, commas, uppercase letters, and line breaks placed randomly in the middles of sentences, which made for difficult parsing.

  10. says:

    Social comedy at its most entertaining, in that most charmed period of hindsight twentieth century British upper middle class rural England between the Wars Mr Knox employs Miss Grey as his secretary socially a difficult position for her, provoking any amount of razor sharp questioning requiring serious deliberation Unconnected to that, Laura Morland s young son Tony, a caricature of a boy if ever there was one, writes a highly amusing Valentine to his mother Exploring off piste elucidates that at his prep school, the shrimp like Master Wesendonck shares his unusual surname with Richard Wagner s song cycle, the Wesendonck Lieder, written whilst Wagner was engaged in composing Tristan und Isolde Sure enough, much of the utterly delectable social comedy within High Rising is founded upon conflicts of flesh and of spirit An incubus works afoot or ought that be a succubus all ultimately ends with comforting hot water bottles, tea and satisfying the village thirst for talk Yet I wouldn t class this as a cozy novel The humour inherent within Thirkell s razor sharp observation and timing lifts this book far above any possible accusation of pot boiler How sadly isolated present day online social interaction appears by comparison.This is fiction that will reward re reading good value for money Surely it cannot be long before High Rising is adapted for stage and television

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