Review 1725: Cluny Brown

Best of Ten!

Mr. Porritt, the plumber, is worried about his niece, young Cluny Brown, because, he says, she does not know her place. Why, the other day she went to the Ritz just to see what it was like. When he catches Cluny about to take a bath in a gentleman’s lovely bathtub after she made a plumbing call, Mr. Porritt decides to take advice and send Cluny into service.

She ends up as a parlor maid in Devonshire for Lady Carmel and Sir Henry. There, although she’s not very adept at being a parlor maid, she finds she likes the country and she befriends a golden lab belonging to Colonel Duff-Graham, who allows her to take the dog out for walks.

In the meantime, Lady Carmel’s son Andrew has met Mr. Belinski, an eminent man of letters who has had to abruptly flee Poland and is barely getting by. Andrew invites Mr. Belinski to stay at his parents’ manor, where he can write. Andrew himself is preparing to propose to the beautiful Betty Cream.

Cluny is struck by Mr. Wilson, the chemist, and he rearranges his shop’s closing day to take walks with her. There’s something about Cluny, who is direct and forthright and doesn’t seem to understand customary boundaries.

This is a wonderful comic novel, absolutely delightful, and my first by Margery Sharp (I have reviewed one that I read after this one). I’ll be looking for more.

The Stone of Chastity

Beneath the Visiting Moon

Joanna Godden


6 thoughts on “Review 1725: Cluny Brown

  1. historicalfictionisfiction September 21, 2021 / 9:24 am

    One of my favorite Margery Sharps. . .Cluny was one of those uncelebrated women who lived life on her own terms. I’ve always loved her visit to the Ritz. . .getting ready to read “The Stone of Chastity,” one I missed. Have you ever read the Miss Bianca (The rescuers) kid series? that’s margery sharp, too. . .a very talented writer.

      • historicalfictionisfiction September 21, 2021 / 9:53 am

        They’re cute! Total fantasy, but Miss Bianca is quite the mouse! With as fast as you seem to read, you’d probably go through them in a couple of hours.

      • whatmeread September 21, 2021 / 9:58 am

        I occasionally read kids’ books, so I might give one or two a try.

    • whatmeread September 23, 2021 / 5:25 pm

      This is my favorite so far of hers.

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