December 14th, 2016


A Harp In Lowndes Square: Rachel Ferguson

So here's this a novel by a writer I'd never come across before who died in the 1950s. nineweaving recommended it in her most recent post. She said there were ghosts in it and that was enough to get me started.  And there are ghosts- excellent ghosts- but Ferguson is very good at lots of other things too:  families, sibling relationships, female sexuality, actors, the theatre, London- oh, all sorts. She has a post-Einsteinian fascination with the peculiarities of time, a Jamesian ear and eye for the subtleties of human behaviour, a sardonic humour, and a love of the outre, bohemian and bizarre. The novel covers a period from the 1890s to the middle of the Great War and is very perceptive about the social and psychic changes that those who were children at the fag end of the Victorian era had to live through. The writing is rich, textured, full of lights and shadows- and the story-telling- with its deeply engaging narrator, lovable characters, hateable villain and mystery to unravel- is compelling.

OK, I kept thinking, why isn't Ferguson better known? This is a great book.


I gave way to pressure- mainly internal- a couple of days back and put the Christmas tree up. I like the twinkling lights but nobody else does.

The horses' owner just delivered them some Christmas cheer in the form of a  load of hay that smells like a brewery. I guess its been laid up in a barn fermenting...

We have one or two people we need to send cards to. Ailz just dealt with a couple by way of Moonpig. I understand Christmas card sales are down this year because why would you send cards to people you're constantly twittering at?  I'd be glad to see the back of them altogether.

Christmas is like a big feathery duvet pulled up around the ears- cosy, comforting and restrictive.