One of the great comic novels and a beautifully judged satire of post-war Britain, Excellent Women’s elegant prose and deliciously light tone remain as fresh today as they did nearly seventy years ago. A charming comedy of manners, social climbing and a frightfully English type of forbidden love, Pym’s seminal novel is a true classic.
Mildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks.
One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially as Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, has a soft spot for dashing young Rockingham Napier. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest and most touching.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 237 g
Dimensions: 200 x 130 x 21 mm
'One of the finest examples of high comedy.' - Lord David Cecil
'I don't think I've ever before recommended a novel as one that everybody will enjoy and yet - even with a certain assurance - I'm prepared to vouch for Excellent Women.' - Marghanita Laski, Observer
'I pick up her books with joy, as though I were meeting an old, dear friend who comforts me, extends my vision and makes me roar with laughter.' - Jilly Cooper
'One of the most endearingly amusing English novels of the twentieth century.' - Alexander McCall Smith
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