I haven’t read anything by Barbara Pym for about 30 years, I started reading her books in 1977 when Lord David Cecil said that she was a modern day Jane Austen, so obviously I had to give her a go like many other people, and I wasn’t disappointed.
She began to write Crampton Hodnet in 1939 just after the outbreak of war but war work got in the way and so it wasn’t actually published until 1985, after Barbara Pym had died.
I suppose a lot of the ingredients of Barbara Pym books are similar to Jane Austen’s – vicars, tea parties, humour, splendid spinsters, worried wives, bright young things, annoying relatives, bitchiness and gossip. Most of all though it’s the sharp observation of human beings which I like. Anyway it all adds up to an entertaining read which is set mainly in Oxford.
It was just what I needed to make me laugh after my exasperating experience with the character of Charity in the previous book which I read.