It’s time for our reviews of August Folly, the fourth book in Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire series. I just reviewed this book last April, so I’ll link back to my original review for most of my comments and the plot synopsis. My post covers some other observations I have after my reread.
First, I was struck by Thirkell’s depiction of Richard Tebbins, because it is so typical of adolescent behavior. His mother adores him to the neglect of his (more deserving) sister Margaret, but of course he is embarrassed by everything his parents do and then feels guilty about his rudeness to them. His passion for Mrs. Dean is absurd but, I think, very true to the behavior of an infatuated youth, and he finally begins to grow up later in the novel.
Of the two love affairs, the novel concentrates more on the one between Margaret and Laurence Dean, but I was more interested in the one between Charles Fanshawe and the much younger Helen Dean.
There are lots of comic characters in this novel. The managing Mrs. Palmer is almost unbearable at times (as is the fussing Mrs. Tebbins), but both of them show other sides. And that’s what I like about Thirkell. She creates some hilarious characters, but most of them, except perhaps Moxon, the curate, show other, more sympathetic sides, or the humor is gentle, not mocking. I wasn’t much taken with the conversations between the donkey and the cat, but that’s a minor criticism and a very small part of the book.
11 thoughts on “Review 1730: #ThirkellBar! August Folly Recap”
Oh, darn it, this completely escaped my attention! Are you reading Summer Half in October, because if yes, I’m in. You’ve now reached the books that are completely new to me!
Yes, I am. Now’s the time to get a head start! I hadn’t read that one before either.
Happily for me, I already have a copy on my kindle.
Another delight to read. There were two main romances I realise, well, one infatuation, but there was lots of folly which was great. Even Mr and Mrs Dean who obviously had a loving relationship, Fanshawe seemed to be devoted to Mrs Dean and certainly Mrs Tebbins still had a crush on Fanshawe. The staging of the play was a riot and I just love it. I’m full of admiration for this author who manages to pull so many plots and subplots together all the while managing to portray a wonderful summer holiday with all the usual worries of the young and old. Poor old Moxin. I tried to like him, not to find him ridiculous, but sadly no go.
I also loved the way the author managed to mention several times the Demon from our last read.
Thanks, this reading is marvellous.I
You’ll see a lot more of the Demon in Summer Half. I’m glad you’re having so much fun reading these.
These sound like so much fun…
I hope you can find some.
Goodness, I forgot this one had the Tebbins – but I do recall I read this in an August – good work from me there, I feel! https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/book-reviews-the-reef-and-august-folly-virago-and-some-20booksofsummer-swaps-avaa-books/