By Barbara Pym
Very good girls is one in every of Barbara Pym’s richest and so much fun excessive comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in Fifties England. She is a type of “excellent women,” the shrewdpermanent, supportive, repressed girls who males take without any consideration. As Mildred will get embroiled within the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her good-looking, speeding husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar subsequent door—the novel provides a sequence of snapshots of human lifestyles as really, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing global of manners and repressed wants.
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Additional info for Excellent Women (Penguin Classics)
I have a fire and was just going to make some coffee. ’ ‘What a charming room,’ he said when we were in it. ’ I could not help being pleased at the implied compliment but felt bound to explain that most of the furniture had come from my old home. ‘Ah, yes,’ he paused, as if remembering something, ‘from the old rectory. ’ I went into the kitchen and busied myself making more coffee. ’ he said, coming in and watching me. ’ I explained that I had just finished supper and added that I found it rather a bother cooking just for myself.
Had he been a little drunk? I wondered. I believed the wine had made me feel a little unsteady too, but then I was not used to it and the whole evening had a fantastic air about it, as if it couldn’t really have happened. I lay awake feeling thirsty and obscurely worried about something. Well, there was really no need for me to see very much of the Napiers. Circumstances had thrown us together this evening but tomorrow we should all be keeping to ourselves. I did not suppose that Helena would remember her invitation to me to hear their paper at the learned society, so I would not expect it.
Julian was hanging up his biretta on a peg in the narrow hall. Next to it hung a rather new-looking panama hat. I had never seen him wearing it and it occurred to me that perhaps he had bought it to keep until its ribbon became rusty with age and the straw itself a greyish yellow. My father had worn just, such a hat and it always seemed to me to epitomise the wisdom of an old country clergyman, wisdom which Julian could not hope to attain for another twenty or thirty years. ‘A welcoming sort of place with a bright entrance,’ Julian repeated.