Monday, 10 August 2009

Stella Dorothea Gibbons

I've read about two-thirds of the beautifully written Villette. The sombre tone of this autobiographical novel is hardly surprising as it was written after Charlotte had lost both Emily and Anne. Lucy Snowe has something of the resilience of Jane Eyre, but a more melancholy, reflective nature and I'm intrigued as to how this will end.

I'm going to read Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons next and I'm hoping for an enjoyable novel with nothing nasty in the woodshed! In Sunday's You magazine there was an interesting piece on the origins of The Lady magazine. Apparently Stella Gibbons wrote Cold Comfort Farm while working in the editorial department in the early 1930's. There was also a nice long article on Persephone Books.

9 comments:

audfrogg said...

This is a book I could never get into.. going to have to reattempt to enjoy this, as I've had another friend recommend it to me as well...

Have you read any of the other stories by Kate Chopin...aside from The Awakening, that is... ?

Anyways, glad I decided to blog-surf today!

Sarah said...

Villette is sombre but wonderful, and its ending is wrenching. (There's quite a debate about what eactly the ending is, and I'm afriad I think it's the worst option.)

Nightingale Wood was funny and touching although not in CCF's league. I hope you enjoy it!

zawan said...

Hi Nicola, you're reading House of Mirth; hasn't that been adapted into a movie by the same name, something having to do with a house inhabited by a couple or something like that? Is the main character a main woman?

verity said...

I have been looking forwardto reading Nightingale Wood for a long time.

I loved Vilette BTW

Darlene said...

Rather spooky that through a Google Alert for anything Persephone I ended up here and you've written about Villette. A novel I just so happened to try and track down today in three bookshops. Goosebumps. Nightingale Wood was lovely by the way, not terribly riveting but sometimes lovely is just what you need.

Vintage Reading said...

audfrogg, Hi, yes I've read The Awakening and I'm well overdue to read it. It's a beautiful novella. I think there were some short stories, too in my edition of The Awakening but I can't remember them very well.

Sarah, yes, I've chosen Nightingale Wood because I'm going to need some light relief after Villette! I'm not a huge fan of Cold Comfort Farm to be honest, I liked it well enough but was never quite sure what genre she was satirising.

Zawan, I've been looking at your impressive blog. I can't believe you are only thirteen! The same age as my daughters! Enjoy your reading and blogging. (The central character in HoM is Lily Bart and the title is, I think, a bleak comment on her prospects as a poor women trying to keep up with wealthy American society.)

Verity, I'm really looking forward to NW. Villette is brilliant, but so, so sad.

Darlene, yes, every bookshop seems to have countless copies of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre but little else of the Bronte's output. I often find these coincidences in the book blogging world - maybe it's just because we have such excellent taste!!

musingsfromthesofa said...

Last time I looked there was nothing of Stella Gibbons in print except CCF. Will have to look up Nightingale Wood at once.

Green Road said...

I've only ever heard of Cold Comfort Farm being mentioned with Stella Gibbons' name, I'd never heard of Nightingale Wood. I will have to track down a copy in my library.

Vintage Reading said...

musingsfromthesofa and Green Road, I wasn't aware of any other Gibbons novels in print until I read reviews of Nightingale Wood on other blogs. Can't for the life of me remember which blogs they were though. Stella Gibbons was quite a prolific writer. I like the sound of Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm.