Review 1644: The 1936 Club! August Folly

This week it’s time for the 1936 Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book. For my first book published in 1936, I am delighted to review August Folly by Angela Thirkell. As usual with my first posting for the club, I am also listing the links for the books published in 1936 that I have reviewed previously:


Louise Palmer, who likes to manage things, has decided to put on a Greek play. This endeavor will involve the participation of most of the young people around the village of Worsted, including her summer guests, the Deans. Richard Tebbins, just up from Oxford with a poor third, is at the age when everything his parents do irritates him (although that’s usually earlier, in my experience). However, when he sets eyes on Mrs. Dean, his parents’ contemporary, he falls into puppy love. Mr. Fanshawe, the Deans’ guest, seems to be a confirmed bachelor, but he has always only loved young Helen Dean. However, he fears he is too old for her. These are just a few of the characters and subplots of Angela Thirkell’s fourth Barsetshire novel.

Sometime, I would like to read these novels in order, because although each one concentrates on different characters, they have characters that reappear in different books—presumably also plot lines. However, I used to randomly encounter the novels in bookstores and just picked up whatever I found.

August Folly is one of the more fun books, featuring eccentric academics, delightful children, realistic but absurd romances, and a cat, a donkey, and a bull. It is froth at its best. I was happy to revisit it for the 1936 Club and my Classics Club list.

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19 thoughts on “Review 1644: The 1936 Club! August Folly

  1. Constance April 12, 2021 / 1:19 pm

    I think this was the first Angela Thirkell I owned although I don’t remember it very well. I now have a complete set but did not exactly read them in order, although I tried, based on what was available at my library. I’d like to do a chronological reread!

  2. piningforthewest April 12, 2021 / 3:49 pm

    Like you I read these books just as I managed to obtain them, then decided to read them again in the correct order, but I’ve somehow come to a standstill with that project, I must get back to it. My favourites are the wartime books, I love it when Thirkell has a good old rant at the government and things such as rationing.

    • whatmeread April 12, 2021 / 5:11 pm

      Yes, she has one called something like Cheerfulness Breaks In that I just love.

  3. tracybham April 12, 2021 / 4:05 pm

    I have wanted to try some books by Angela Thirkell but don’t know where to start and I have a huge TBR pile. I also liked your list of 1936 books you have read and reviewed.

    • whatmeread April 12, 2021 / 5:14 pm

      Thanks! Well, the thing about her Barsetshire novels is that they have recurring characters and plots that I don’t think are entirely clear if you read them out of order like I did and so far apart. So, I would know I had seen a particular character before, but I wouldn’t remember anything about her or him. You might want to start with High Rising, which is her first. I just looked at the first seven, and out of those I have four, I have never heard of one, and I think I have read five. One of these days, I’m going to read these in order!

  4. Izabel Brekilien April 13, 2021 / 10:18 am

    I discovered and read Angela Thirkell for the first rather recently (Wild strawberriesj) but I too would like to read that series in order. She’s a wonderful read in times of gloomy pandemics !

  5. Simon T April 13, 2021 / 10:30 am

    I keep meaning to read them in order, and consequently I read none of them… or haven’t for years anyway. Thanks for adding this one to the club!

    • whatmeread April 13, 2021 / 10:35 am

      I intend to search out my copy of High Risings soon.

  6. Karen K. April 13, 2021 / 1:46 pm

    I’ve been reading them in order, but sometimes there are such long gaps in between that I’ve forgotten most of the characters! And this reminds me that it’s been a few months I read one and I still have about 15 on the TBR shelf. . .

    • whatmeread April 13, 2021 / 1:53 pm

      I have about 10, but I know I’m missing lots of them. Time to look about!

  7. Liz Dexter April 16, 2021 / 1:08 am

    I have three left of hers and have been able to read them in order as I picked up the Virago reissues – when I realised they were doing them slightly out of order (when I’d read one in the wrong place) I kept them till I had the set. I’m only going up to the end of the War though. A good pick for the 1936 club!

    • whatmeread April 16, 2021 / 10:54 am

      It does seem like her pre-war and war books are the best ones.

  8. Jane April 17, 2021 / 11:46 am

    This is going straight on my list, I love eccentric academics!

  9. neeruahcop April 17, 2021 / 3:01 pm

    Never heard of this author but seems like an interesting novel. Will try to get hold of the first in the series.

  10. mrbooks15 April 27, 2021 / 12:46 am

    This was in fact the first Thirkell I ever read and found it a great deal of fun.

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