I can so see myself as a provincial bookwitch, diary-writing and coping with a hopeless husband and two child-like children, not to mention my difficult staff!
Never having read E M Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady before, I am finding this is exactly my kind of thing. I’ve not quite finished it, as I am wanting to make it last until Christmas, but wanted to tell you that you might need this book, or you could slip it into someone’s stocking.
Because this little volume is so gorgeous and so small and so pale blue (with a most attractive painting of a reclining bookwitch on the dustwrapper), with gold edged pages, and so small (yes, I know I already mentioned this) that it will actually fit in people’s stockings, unlike many other stocking fillers. And I’d not realised it’d be so small, but that just makes it more perfect. It will fit in your pocket, or your small handbag, while still offering nearly 200 pages of diary.
‘Shall she, says Lady B., ring for my car? Refrain from replying that no amount of ringing will bring my car to the door all by itself, and say instead that I walked.’
Now, isn’t that just the kind of thing you’d want to write in a diary? It’s so tiresome to be ‘poor’ and be chased by the bank, when the Lady Bs in your life require you to live above your means.
The one thing that would make reading the diary better, would be an instant knowledge of French; as there is a little too much – that matters – in that language. But then, I suppose in my diary I will have to make a feature of lack of French. And I won’t have three staff, while regularly visiting the pawnbroker.
First published in 1930, you feel you are there.
(There will be 100 books in the Macmillan Collector’s Library. That’s a lot of stocking fillers.)