Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm, By Stella Gibbons
Have yourself...a very Thirties Christmas
Sunday 27 November 2011
Stella Gibbons's short stories come, like Cold Comfort Farm, the novel that made her name, from another world, yet it's one we dimly recognise.
She is strictly a 1930s author, her world full of making-do, where single, middle-aged women abound, left bereft of potential husbands by the First World War. Many stories reflect that aftermath – Rhoda Harting in "The Little Christmas Tree" is one of those women who have "missed out"; spinster Elaine Garfield in "Sisters" is viewed as a "bit barmy" by her fellow villagers. But married women are just as unhappy, and desperate to leave their boring husbands. It's an oddly comforting and amusing collection, for all that dissatisfaction, and possibly a truer depiction of the times than we might think.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Jeremy Clarkson to host BBC's Have I Got News For You despite Top Gear exit
A historian gave the most British look of despair when someone screwed up Richard III's birthday at his reburial
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'