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October 2018



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Neglected Classics: Radio Catches Up

Thanks to Susie Vereker, I’ve just read this list of the 50 Most Annoying Things About the Internet. I’m sure people could add to it. Now for a good thing about the internet: reading people’s book recommendations. Not necessarily the latest books, but older, perhaps out of print books which the writer loves.

Radio 4’s A Good Read has been doing this for years; guests introduce a book they’ve enjoyed to be chatted about. Now Open Book
is catching up, with two weeks on Neglected Classics, all recommended by established writers.

The List

William Boyd
The Polyglots by William Gerhardie
Susan Hill
The Rector's Daughter by F M Mayor
Hari Kunzru
A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
Ruth Rendell
Many Dimensions by Charles Williams
Colm Toibin
Esther Waters by George Moore
Programme Two: Sunday 25 October
Beryl Bainbridge
The Quest for Corvo by A J A Symons
Howard Jacobson
Rasselas by Samuel Johnson
Val McDermid
Carol by Patricia Highsmith
Michael Morpurgo
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
Joanna Trollope
Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope

I’ve read Rasselas, The Snow Goose and A Hero of Our Time. Oh ho, I’ve just spotted a copy of Esther Waters on the landing. I should follow Susan Hill’s excellent example and read it.

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Oh, we read The Snow Goose at school. I should add that to my post listing 'Things I Read At School'. I can't remember anything about it though.
I read several of Paul Gallico's books when I was at school: Thomasina, another cat one I forget the name of and Flowers for Mrs Harris. I can't remember anything about TSG either!
I have only read The Snow Goose, but I think I've seen an old b/w film of Esther Waters. Not that that really counts.
Starting to look as though The Snow Goose is not neglected at all.

I've never seen the film of Esther Waters and just found it here. Dirk Bogarde!
I do recall it being a good afternoon's viewing.

There was a TV film version of Mrs Harris Goes To Paris quite recently which I also enjoyed. I have lowbrow and oldfashioned tastes when it comes to films.


The Rector's Daughter is heartbreaking, I was delighted when Susan Hill included it in her top 40 in Howards End is on the Landing - and Miss Mackenzie I remember for the wonderfully funny dinnerparty when the hostess is so far out of her depth. Maybe the BBC should listen to R4 for ideas for TV adaptations ... Vanessa Feltz was excellent talking about Noel Streatfeild's Saplings a few days ago ... so many wonderful books that have never been on television and yet they foist that appalling Emma on us!
I listened to the programme and The Rector's Daughter and Esther Waters were the ones I thought I must read.

I heard Vanesa Feltz. Saplings was on the radio fairly recently. Drama is certainly more varied on radio than on TV.

I'm still half-watching Emma while knitting; it gets worse every week!


I agree that there is a horrible fascination in seeing just how bad it can get ... Miss Bates is well-done, though, don't you think? Romola Garai reminds me every time I see her of those awful pop-eyed faces the Duchess of York pulled when she coming down the aisle at her wedding. Gurning and galumphing ... Jane Austen must be spinning in her grave!


At the ball, rather than first lady of Highbury, she behaved like a sixth former at a prom. I haven't made up my mind about Miss Bates, much as I like Tamsin Greig. She and Mrs Elton are great comic characters (there's so much humour in the book getting lost!) and that's not coming over.
Thank you for posting the list - I heard someone talking about it on the radio and then forgot to go and look to see what was to be included. I'm delighted to see Charles Williams, there, he's a great favourite of mine (and very much an acquired taste, I fear). The Quest for Corvo is fun, and I read all of Paul Gallico as a child. I think there was a TV version of Esther Waters, as well as the film, but I did read it, too - very gloomy.

Thanks also for your comments on Emma - I abondoned it after the first episode, and I'm glad that you confirm my prejudices.