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24+ teosta 921 jäsentä 16 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Christina Hardyment is the author of more than ten books on literature and social history, including Writing Britain: Wastelands to 'Wonderlands and The World of Arthur Ransoms, She is also the editor of Pleasures of the Garden: A Literary Anthology.
Image credit: Mug shot for the Oxford Literary Festival, 2015.

Tekijän teokset

MALORY: The Life and Times of King Arthur's Chronicler (2005) 246 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint's Trunk (1984) 109 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe (1987) 104 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
Literary Trails: British Writers in Their Landscapes (2000) 82 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Novel Houses: Twenty Famous Fictional Dwellings (2019) 44 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands (2012) 28 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The World of Arthur Ransome (2012) 20 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Pleasures of the Garden: A Literary Anthology (2010) 18 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Writing the Thames (2016) 12 kappaletta

Associated Works

How to Run Your Home Without Help (1949) — Preface, eräät painokset115 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Distilled enthusiasms (1992) — Johdanto — 2 kappaletta
The Arthur Ransome Society : transcripts from the literary weekends (1993) — Avustaja, eräät painokset1 kappale
Collecting our thoughts (2015) — Avustaja — 1 kappale
Mixed moss, 2023 (2023) — Avustaja — 1 kappale

Merkitty avainsanalla




I keep dipping into Novel Houses: Twenty Famous Fictional Houses by Christina Hardyment. This was published by Oxford’s Bodleian Library so the novels are primarily by British authors. I bought the book purely on the basis of the charm promised by a chapter on Bilbo’s own BagEnd, but additional chapters cover discussion of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead and Mervyn Peak’s Gormenghast. . One of the things that perhaps disappoints is that there are not as many descriptive quotes from each of the books as one might have wished. The chapter on BagEnd includes the initial paragraph describing Bilbo’s comfortable Hobbit hole, but then veers off into biographical details of Tolkien’s life rather than discussing the handy pantries that any hospitable Hobbit would require in a home. Similarly, in discussing Mansfield Park, Hardyment doesn’t mention the nursery where Fanny Price is housed. There were such contrasts between the way Mrs Norris managed it (cheerless and fireless) compared with the comforts that Sir Thomas was willing to allow her. That nursery is the only place Fanny feels safe.

If there’s an oddness about this book, it is that the chapters tend to be more about the lives of the various authors and their attitudes than about the fictional houses created in their novels. That said, each chapter reveals new glimpses of what fueled the imagination of these writers. Equally engaging for the reader are the numerous color illustrations and photographs of jacket covers, authors, and occasionally specific rooms that provided inspiration for various settings.

The thing about books like this is they tend to be left quietly on the shelf as a sort of reference book, the kind one only dips into occasionally. There is a chronological order imposed as an organizational approach but the chapters don’t otherwise need to be read in any linear fashion. So where the chapter covering works by Vita Sackville-West might be skipped in one mood, in another mood, you can read it at another point and feel inspired to learn more about Knole, the country house appearing in [The Edwardians]. (Used copies of that novel as well as Sackville-West’s history of Knole are now en route to me.)

From a personal perspective, I don’t share the author’s fondness for [Cold Comfort Farm] and I don’t quite follow the logic that the author used when she decided to include [Uncle Tom’s Cabin] in this collection – the only American title selected. Ostensibly, Stowe’s novel provides an example of a Christian household at risk but Hardymen might just as readily substituted Hiram’s Hospital from Trollope’s [The Warden]. That novel (from roughly the same period) also hinges on ethical consideration of those living on the edge.

Still, as a whole, the book is a pleasant means of touring homes (large and small) that live in our memories.
… (lisätietoja)
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jillmwo | Sep 3, 2023 |
Home Comfort has a lot of good information in it. Unfortunately, it also reads like a rough draft. Hardyment seems to have decided on an organizational structure for the book, written her chapters, and then completely ignored how the actual content of those chapters should have reshaped her narrative.

Of course, this is the same author who fails time and time again to define obscure domestic terms and sprinkles the dates of her references with a stingy, arbitrary hand. Without footnotes or anything more precise than a general bibliography—and given Hardyment's penchant for jumping from century to century in the same paragraph—piecing together a chronology of domestic developments was like putting my brain through a laundry mangle.

And the descriptions of said domestic developments? They made little to no sense until the fourth or fifth reading, and most of the time, they didn't match up with any of the chosen photographs or illustrations. And if you thought those disconnected photographs and illustrations would have helpful captions, expanding upon the text—well. Why create helpful captions when you can cut and paste a vague sentence from a nearby paragraph instead?

And then there's the missing commas and incorrect page references....

If you decide to read this book, you might consider seeking a solid chronological grounding of basic home types first (something like Rybczynski's Home: A Short History of an Idea would work), and reading chapters 1, 10, and 11, with their explanation of household infrastructure, before any of the others ought to help with the brain-mangling frustration. Even so, a soothing pot of tea—or shot of bourbon—would not go amiss.

… (lisätietoja)
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slimikin | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 27, 2022 |
A delightful wander through the landscape of the Swallows and Amazons books of Arthur Ransome. Christina Hardyment, on foot and by water, alone and with family and friends, seeks out the locations and people that inspired Arthur Ransome as he wrote his classic children's books. As this book was written in the 1980s she was able to meet many people who knew Ransome as well as meeting some of the children, now old, who became characters in the books (e.g. Titty and Brigit - although she never pinned down a single inspiration for Nancy Blackett). She also touches on earlier writings that shaped his character and love of sailing, birds, and fishing. It makes you want to take a trip to the Lake District, Norfolk Broads, Suffolk waters and the Hebrides. The deep love of sailing and outdoor life that shines in Ransome's work also shines in this book. The photos (from the 30s and contemporary) and drawings and maps are a bonus. You really need to be a Ransome fan to read this, if you are it's a treat!… (lisätietoja)
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Figgles | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 19, 2020 |
Ransome's relationship with Estonia in his time as the Guardian's Russian correspondent is covered on pages 59/60, with further information about his time in Estonia on pages 60-62. Lots of illustrations and swift, short chapters. The energy Ransome must have had is hard to believe let alone the constant movement from one place to the other.
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jon1lambert | 1 muu arvostelu | Sep 19, 2018 |



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Diana Matthews Contributor
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Nicholas Floyer Contributor
Keith Paull Contributor
Arthur Ransome Contributor
David Hamilton Contributor
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Chris Stephenson Contributor
John Cowen Contributor
Elizabeth Drury Contributor
Greg Palmer Contributor
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