Three Thirkell Novels

Lovely new issues!
The Demon in the House
Growing Up
Pomfret Towers, by Angela Thirkell

At the beginning of the summer, I read Summer Half and just had so much fun with it; it was ages since I'd read any Thirkell, and lots of bloggers seemed to be reading her, which put me in the mood.  I told a friend about it and lent her Pomfret Towers, and then I checked a couple more out of the library -- two titles I've enjoyed but do not own.  On the trip to Utah, I found out that Thirkell was just right for fitting into the corners of the days, and since my friend (also my Utah hostess) was done with the one I'd lent her, I had two to read.  All of which is to say that I've had kind of a Thirkelly summer and it's been lovely.

The Demon in the House is a bit unusual, because it's about Tony Morland, who is a little boy of twelve.  He is the youngest son of Mrs. Morland, a popular recurring Barsetshire character and a novelist who writes spy thrillers set in a fashionable dressmakers' establishment.  Tony wreaks havoc wherever he goes, and he is a wonderful portrait of thoughtless, selfish, completely lovable boyness.

Growing Up is a favorite of mine, so I need a copy of my own!  It's set in 1942, and the Lydia who was an Amazon-esque teenager is now a young married woman, considerably more civilized but still the same Lydia.  She and her officer husband (whose romance is told in an earlier novel I cannot name) are boarding with Sir Harry and Lady Waring, who are living cosily in their old servants' quarters while most of the manor house is let to a government outfit.  They are also hosting their niece Leslie, who has overworked herself and then gotten torpedoed, and who needs some recovery time.  A really enjoyable novel.

What does this even mean??
Pomfret Towers is set much earlier, in about 1938.  Alice Barton, delicate and debilitatingly shy, is invited to a country house weekend with Lord and Lady Pomfret, and she would rather die than go, but go she must.  Luckily an older girl takes her under her wing, and Alice learns to deal with society and falls romantically in love with a brooding artist while everybody else has their adventures too.  This one is another favorite of mine, which is why I recommended it to my friend.  Despite the really astoundingly hideous cover on my 80s paperback.  Get the new edition, is my advice!


  1. Thanks for the heads up! I've only read one Thirkell and I enjoyed it...I think it was called The Headmistress.

  2. I’m getting excited about the Thirkell journey still ahead of me. I’ve acquired 3 more since reading my first 2 months ago. Although of course, I’m now trying to go back & read in chronological order!

  3. That does sound like a delightful way to enjoy the summer!


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