Diary of a Provincial Ladyby E. M. Delafield
When Diary of a Provincial Lady was first publlished in 1933, critics on both sides of hte Atlantic greeted it with enthusiasm.....This charming, delightful and extremely funny book was named by booksellers in England the o.p. novel most deserving of republication.
She converts the small and familiar dullness of life into laughterThe TIMES
I reread, for the nth time, E. M. Delafield's dry, caustic Diary of a Provincial Lady, and howled with laughterIndia Knight
I finished the book in one sitting, leaving the children unbathed, dogs unwalked, a husband unfed, and giving alternate cries of joy and recognition throughoutJully Cooper
Meet the Author
E. M. Delafield (1890-1943) was born in Steyning, Sussex, the elder daughter of Count Henry Philip Ducarel de la Pasture, of Llandogo Priory, Monmouthshire, and Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle, daughter of Edward William Bonham. Her mother was also a well-known novelist, writing as Mrs Henry de la Pasture.
In 1911, Delafield was accepted as a postulant by a French religious order but left upon learning her sister was planning to join another enclosed order, so as to avoid the separation. Her account of her experience, The Brides of Heaven, was written in 1931 and eventually published in her biography.
Delafield worked as a nurse in a Voluntary Aid Detachment in Exeter at the outbreak of World War I and her first novel, Zella Sees Herself, was published in 1917. She continued to publish one or two novels every year until nearly the end of her life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I've read this wonderfully funny book numerous times and continue to be amazed at the author's wit, gentle self deprecation and insight into what truly goes on when a very British woman in the 30s lives her life in her head and a very English village. Hysterical!
A witty satire -- an absolute hoot!
Full stars for content but considerably less for NOOK presentation. The scan of content into NOOK format very distracting. Paginations off , lots of problems with scan of French words and phrases. Odd additions and presentations of punctuation.
Am determined to write impressions from this book in the style of "the Provincial Lady" herself. Am doubtful however as to the outcomes of this effort as my highest labors would not reach the dry frank witticism she displays. Provincial Lady does her best to satisfy the wishes of silent husband (... "Robert, this morning, complains of insufficient breakfast. Cannot feel that porridge, scrambled eggs, toast, marmalade, scones, brown bread and coffee give adequate grounds for this, but admit that porridge is slightly burnt...."), intimidating cook, beloved children (... "Robin - whom I refer to in a detached way as "the boy" so that she shan't think I am foolish about him..., "Vicky,.... Enquires abruptly whether, if she died, I should cry?"), Mademoiselle (the nanny), Gardner and all kinds of friends and neighbors including the tiring Lady Birkenshop, "our vicar's wife" and the hated Mrs. B. ("query: Is not a common hate one of the strongest links in human nature?... answer, most regrettably, in the affirmative.") This is the same women world. Husband is as usual quiet and does not give any consolation and the Lady struggles to please everyone and not forget herself and her own wishes (and health) on the way. How very sad to discover it was the same (woman) world even 70 years ago ... Book is so very candid and manages to capture the ever lasting nuances of human behavior ("Mem: Candid and intelligent self examination as to motive, etc., often leads to very distressing revelations...."), little lies, social pretenses and the day to day struggles. Funny and entertaining yet can be tiring at times - since the day to day life is indeed tiring . Very very British and thus charming.