Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Room with a View, by E. M. Forster (1908)

          This is my favourite of E. M. Forster’s novels. It is guaranteed to put one in a good mood with the whole world – for how can one possibly feel quarrelsome when faced with youth, love, laughter, and … Continue reading

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Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter, by Pamela Jooste (1998)

     Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter is of special interest to me because it was sent to me by family in South Africa, travelling from Cape Town to Paris in my mother’s suitcase – and like several close relatives … Continue reading

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Did you know… the origin of the word “panic”?

     There is a wonderfully expressive colloquialism in French that goes: “Je me coucherai moins bête ce soir!” which literally translates as “I’ll be going to bed less stupid tonight!”, i.e. I’ve learned something since waking up this morning. Two … Continue reading

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Against the Grain, by Joris-Karl Huysmans (1884)

     Against the Grain (or A Rebours, in French) is the most famous work by French novelist and art critic Joris-Karl Huysmans. Oscar Wilde declared that it was what inspired him to write The Picture of Dorian Gray and, though … Continue reading

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The Camomile Lawn, by Mary Wesley (1984)

     A few days ago, sitting comfortably on the sofa, listening to popular 1940s songs by Vera Lynn, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee, the curtains drawn against yet another dark February day, I embarked upon Mary Wesley’s novel of wartime … Continue reading

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