Excellent Women

Excellent Women

4.9 7
by Barbara Pym
     
 

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Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the rediscovery of the author's entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a

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Overview

Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the rediscovery of the author's entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950s, one of those 'excellent women' who tend to get involved in other people's lives - such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[One of] the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years. (Lord David Cecil)

A startling reminder that solitude may be chosen and that a lively, full novel can be constructed entirely within the precincts of that regressive virtue, feminine patience. (John Updike, The New Yorker)

Reading Barbara Pym is . . . a wonderful experience, full of unduplicable perceptions, sensations, and soul-stirrings. (Newsweek)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452267305
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1988
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,096,992
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Philip Larkin
So there it stands, the world above the Thames: what stays longest with the reader once the amusement, the satire, the alert ear and exact eye have all been acknowledged? Partly it is the underlying lonliness of life...the absence of self-pity, the scrupulousness of one's relations with others, the small blame of comfort...the sparkle her novels had on first acquaintace has been succeeded by the deeper brilliance of established art.
From the Publisher
[One of] the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years. (Lord David Cecil)

A startling reminder that solitude may be chosen and that a lively, full novel can be constructed entirely within the precincts of that regressive virtue, feminine patience. (John Updike, The New Yorker)

Reading Barbara Pym is . . . a wonderful experience, full of unduplicable perceptions, sensations, and soul-stirrings. (Newsweek)

Meet the Author

Barbara Pym (1913–1980) was an English novelist educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Her novels, on the surface a comedy of manners of village life, looked deeply at the relationships between men and women. When in 1977 the Times Literary Supplement (London) asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the previous seventy-five years, Barbara Pym was the only one named by two critics. After sixteen years between published novels, her Quartet in Autumn was treated as a major literary event and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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