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Archive for May, 2009

Margery Allingham’s The Tiger in the Smoke (1952) is not only one of her greatest books, and possibly her best, but one of the true masterpieces of British mystery fiction. It is one of those books to which I am always somewhat nervous to return in case in should prove that my memory has played me false, that it is not really that good, that a re-reading will see its lustre dimmed, its quality lessened. (more…)

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My original comments…..

>>>A simple narrative and moral here. Nancy Moss is
a farmer’s daughter who has been away at school in ‘town’.
When she returns to the farm she is disgusted by
the eating and living habits, and her father’s expectations
that she will attend to household tasks. (more…)

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Mt original comments….

>>>Jonas Kindred (great name!) is a stern Puritan,
a domestic tyrant who rules his wife and daughter,
Sybil, with a rod of iron. When Sybil goes to
stay with her Aunt, who is definitely not a
Puritan, she learns of worldly pleasure.
Jonas however finds a serious young man,
Josiah, whom he wishes Sybil to marry and summons her
home; Josiah’s courtship consists of a series
of reproofs of Sybil’s dress and habits. (more…)

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Crabbe – Tale 5: The Patron

My original comments….

>>>This is a typically contradictory Tale which can be
read in two ways.

The story is, as usual, simple. A prosperous farmer’s
son, John, takes to writing poetry. When his father backs
a local Lord at an election, John writes a satiric verse in favour of this
Lord which brings him attention. (more…)

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Crabbe – Tale 4: Procrastination

My original comments…

>>>The basic story is simple. Young lovers Rupert and
Dinah do not got married because Dinah has a wealthy
aunt who basically manipulates Dinah into putting Rupert
off. He departs overseas to seek his fortune. (more…)

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Crabbe – Tales 1-3

I intend to proceed by reproducing the comments which I have so far written on Tales 1-7. These were posted to ECW (see link on right) and I apologise for the problems with formatting. I will then add a summary of any discussion which ensued and my responses. I start with Tales 1-3 taken together because Ellen and I had something of a general discussion which in many ways sets the tone for a lot of the issues that will recur in this commentary. (more…)

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An ITV film called Compulsion written by Joshua St Johnston and directed by Sarah Harding was shown on television on  4th May. It was claimed that Compulsion was ‘inspired by’ Middleton and Rowley’s  Jacobean tragedy The Changeling; as I could not even recall if I had seen, let alone read, this play I was impelled to go out and buy a book of Jacobean tragedies to see how this ‘inspiration’ operated and then to ponder some questions which the film created for me. (more…)

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