Reading Thirkell’s Barsetshire Series in Order: #3 The Demon in the House + #2 Wild Strawberries Wrap-up

Thanks to everyone who participated in reading the second book in the Barsetshire Series, Wild Strawberries! Please let me know if I missed anyone:

We didn’t have a lot of participants this time. I hope more will join us for the next book, which is The Demon in the House. Unfortunately, Virago hasn’t issued a new edition. I will be reading that this month and posting my review on Tuesday, August 31. I hope you will read along with me! Feel free to post your review links or make comments even if you read the novels at a different time.

And here’s our little badge, should you care to copy it.

23 thoughts on “Reading Thirkell’s Barsetshire Series in Order: #3 The Demon in the House + #2 Wild Strawberries Wrap-up

  1. Penelope Gough August 5, 2021 / 2:11 am

    I will probably not join in this month mainly because this book is either unavailable or when it is incredibly expensive and would come from the US so time is also a factor. I thought it would be interesting to read about the Demon. Although he was very annoying in the first book he made me laugh with his antics. I am very disappointed.

    • whatmeread August 5, 2021 / 10:38 am

      Oh, that’s too bad. I was able to find a reasonable copy, but then I am in the U. S. Did you look for a used one?

    • whatmeread August 5, 2021 / 10:40 am

      Oh, I see what you mean. I looked on Abebooks, and there were lots of copies in the U. S., but the first one I saw from the UK was priced at over $50. I wonder why that would be?

      • Penelope Gough August 5, 2021 / 4:22 pm

        Yes, and when I do the conversion to Australian dollars its a bit much. There was one from at $106.00! Is it rare? I looked on my second hand book sites and all the others are there in multiple editions but not that one.
        I will look forward to your review and the next one on the list will definitely be read. I have a copy already! Happy reading.

      • whatmeread August 12, 2021 / 3:09 pm

        Penelope, I don’t know if you noticed the comment below by Historical Fiction Is Fiction about finding an ecopy of The Demon in the house.

  2. Yvonne August 5, 2021 / 4:29 am

    I’m a bit behind, but have finally finished Wild Strawberries. I didn’t enjoy it as much as High Risings mainly due to not liking any of the characters except for Lady Emily.

  3. historicalfictionisfiction August 5, 2021 / 6:32 am

    Yesterday was rainy, rainy, rainy here in central FL, so I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day with Wild Strawberries and The Demon in the House.

    I love the opening scene of Wild Strawberries, with Emily Leslie shepherding the family to church. And Thirkell’s portrayal of family interactions are truly on the mark. I also enjoy her descriptive writing immensely.

    As for Tony Moreland, while he is funny, I’m also truly thankful he is confined by the covers of a book. As I am also that George Knox is so confined. Geez, those two could drive a body to. . .innapropriate actions!

    P.S. For some reason, the email historicalfictionisfiction came up when I began to post. why is that: it’s not my email. . .

    • whatmeread August 5, 2021 / 10:43 am

      Oh, that’s interesting. Please give me some sort of name so I can list you as a participant correctly. I think you must have come up that way last time, too.

      • historicalfictionisfiction August 5, 2021 / 11:25 am

        My first name i Sue, but let’s keep the other name. (As long as I get your emails, I’m good!) I think it was the first line of a review about a book I posted on here. Maybe about “A Gentleman in Moscow”. . .I really disliked the way the author completely ignored the reality of the times in that book. . .

        What I particularly like about reading authors such as Thirkell–as well as Elizabeth Cadell, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, D. E. Stevenson, Margery Sharpe, Barbara Pym, and other “grand dames” –is that they are representative of their eras. The reader can get a truer sense of what life was like at the time.

        For example, we just finished reading “Excellent Women” by Barbara Pym for our library book club. It was published in 1952, and is about those single women who undertake all the boring, onerous duties of daily life in English villages–and probably cities, for that matter. The novel is satire, but the “excellent woman” stereotype permeates women’s literature of that era. There is one at least in every single novel by the women authors I’ve listed: sometimes the excellent woman is a mousy, shy, underappreciated, long-suffering quiet type; other times she is a sharp-tongued competent “old cat” who keeps everybody in the village in line.

        Anne Knox was an “excellent woman” until she gained her merit badge by marrying George. . .myself, I’d rather stay single than have that man droning in my ears the live-long day!

      • whatmeread August 5, 2021 / 11:32 am

        I think that’s an “excellent” point, and I immediately thought of Anne Knox even before I got to that paragraph of your comment. Yes, George is a bore!

      • whatmeread August 5, 2021 / 11:33 am

        Further, I must also agree that I’m enjoying this re-publication of so many books by women of the early 20th century by several different publishers.

  4. Yvonne August 5, 2021 / 6:45 pm

    Forgot to add that I’ll be joining in this month. A copy of The Demon in the House was proving hard to find, but I finally found a second-hand, large print copy. So all’s good for this month!

  5. Liz Dexter August 8, 2021 / 11:14 am

    Yes, no copies and no e-book of The Demon in the House to be had for less than £26 or so in the UK. Very odd. I wonder why Virago didn’t reissue it – is there something shocking or libellous in it? Thank you for linking to my other review!

    • whatmeread August 8, 2021 / 12:54 pm

      No, I’m guessing they are reissuing the most popular books. Not available in ebook either? That’s surprising.

    • whatmeread August 8, 2021 / 12:58 pm

      Let me just say to you, Liz, and Penelope that not reading this one probably won’t interfere at all with your general understanding of the series. It’s mostly just about Tony and his antics.

    • whatmeread August 12, 2021 / 3:10 pm

      Liz, if you didn’t notice it before, Historical Fiction Is Fiction posted a comment below about finding an ecopy of The Demon in the House.

  6. historicalfictionisfiction August 8, 2021 / 4:51 pm

    For any of you ladies who are interested, you can borrow a copy of “Demon in the House” from Internet Archives. It’s the first book shown when you type in the title.

    The checkout is free, but you may have to register. I use it to obtain out-of-print texts. Another good source of older material is Project Gutenberg.

  7. Penelope Gough August 12, 2021 / 5:50 pm

    Thank you all. I renewed my password for Internet Archive and found The Demon. Had an hour’s read and will do so again soon. I’m torn between amusement and desperation at that child’s antics. But am so happy to have found the copy as was disappointed to be foiled so early in the reading of all the books. Thanks again!!!

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