September 15th, 2010

First Light

First Light was a glum recreation of the life of a Battle of Britain fighter pilot. Budget constraints had thinned 92 Squadron down to the wing commander and four other blokes- two of whom didn't say very much. Geoffrey Wellum, characterised by a senior officer as "a cocky young bastard", went from being tongue-tied and gauche to tongue-tied and battle-weary. Maybe life in an RAF mess in 1940 was all clipped, callous one-liners and long brooding silences- when one thought about the dead it was bad form to name- but I'm not convinced. Somehow (this is where the budget went) they got hold hold of four or five Spitfires. The Spitfires were lovely.

This Morning's Post

This morning's post brings four novels by Rose Macaulay- variously purchased secondhand from Amazon, iLibris and eBay. They're all relatively modern paperback editions. It's good to know that her work is being kept in print.

Or that some of it is. Certain titles remain very hard to find. Ailz suggests a holiday in Hay on Wye- secondhand bookshop capital of the world- to track them down. That would be good!

Literary reputation is a funny thing. Macaulay has points in common with Virginia Woolf and rather more with Evelyn Waugh and seems to me to be as good a writer as either of them- yet they're established modern classics and she isn't. I really don't understand why.