Visions of England , Roy Strong
Puck of Pook’s Hill, Rudyard Kipling
Have I got Views for You, Boris Johnson
Dead Man’s Folly, Agatha Christie.
Malcolm Saville, a Friendship Remembered, Viv Turner
Lone Pine London, Malcolm Saville
The Secret of the Gorge, Malcolm Saville
Charles Dickens , Claire Tomalin
Rewards and Fairies, Rudyard Kipling
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
Parts of Dickens, Peter Ackroyd
Charles Dickens, Ladybird Adventures from History by L du Garde Peach
Agatha Raisin As the Pig Turns, M C Beaton
I chose the cover of Dead Man’s Folly to illustrate last month’s books because it’s so unusual for a detective novel. Don’t you think it looks more like something by Angela Thirkell? It’s a book club edition.
The month was heavy on Dickens and what a delight to read David Copperfield again. There are whole sections I would cut out and there’s dreary Agnes to cope with but it matters not; I just love it. Although I have a nice edition of the book, I read it on the Kindle for convenience, as I did the two Kipling books. It’s years since I read them and I was impressed all over again by what a great storyteller Kipling was. I really prefer Puck of Pook’s Hill to Rewards and Fairies and my favourite story is A Soldier of the Wall, about a Roman centurion. Kipling’s love of his part of Sussex shines through both books. Then there’s the poetry. I wonder how many people realize that so many of Kipling’s best known poems were published as links to these stories? Here’s just four: If, A Smuggler’s Song, The Way through the Woods, Harp Song of the Dane Women. That’s the one beginning
‘What is a woman that you forsake her,
And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
To go with the old grey Widow-maker?’
The books by and about Malcolm Saville were read for review, so I won’t say anything about them here. In the latest Agatha Raisin book, the one the library wants back ASAP, Agatha practically falls over bodies as is her wont. She’s answered police questions so often now that the nick must be as familiar as her cottage yet the idiots there are always suspecting her of involvement in the grisly crimes she investigates. I like the way each book follows directly from the one before and brings in the familiar cast of her friends, acquaintances, employees and ex-husbands.