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Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym

Some Tame Gazelle (original 1950; edition 1983)

by Barbara Pym

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6702614,303 (3.96)1 / 131
Title:Some Tame Gazelle
Authors:Barbara Pym
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Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym (1950)


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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Delightful. A light read that is nonetheless very deep. Quietly, it makes one marvel. ( )
  Laura400 | Jan 6, 2014 |
One of her most amusing books, I enjoyed this even more having read A Very Private Eye because she based some of the characters on individuals she knew at Oxford. ( )
  PatsyMurray | Nov 28, 2013 |
A book in the glorious British tradition of gentle village comedy inhabited by the full range of spinsters, clergymen and a melancholic, romantic count. ( )
  veracite | Apr 5, 2013 |
This isn't my favorite of Barbara Pym's books, but it still gave me a lot to think about. (Possible spoilers, but this isn't a suspense novel!) Two spinster sisters live in an English village. My memory of most of Pym's books is that the protagonists tend to be Anglo-Catholic, but these sisters are firmly low church. Belinda nurses a long, unrequited love for their vicar, an Archdeacon, whom she has known since student days. (He is married to another.) Harriet expends a great deal of emotional and practical energy on whoever happens to be the curate in residence. A few things happen during the course of the novel. Belinda comes to realize that everyone needs someone or something to love. This was the first of Pym's novels. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
LibrayThing’s Virago Group is reading twelve of Barbara Pym’s mid-twentieth century novels to celebrate the centenary of her birth. This happens to be the only Pym that I’ve already read, and I enjoyed it just as much this time around.

This was originally recommended by a reader after I reviewed Miss Read’s charming journals of English country life in the 1950s.

Also set in an English country village and in the same time period, the style is more reminiscent of Jane Austen than Miss Read. Some Tame Gazelle, first published in Britain nearly 50 years ago, was the first of Pym’s nine novels.

Barbara Pym is a master at capturing the subtle mayhem that takes place in the apparent quiet of the English countryside. Fifty-something sisters Harriet and Belinda Bede live a comfortable, settled existence. Belinda, the quieter of the pair, has for years been secretly in love with the town’s pompous (and married) archdeacon, whose odd sermons leave members of his flock in muddled confusion. Harriet, meanwhile, a bubbly extrovert, fends off proposal after proposal of marriage. The arrival of Mr. Mold and Bishop Grote disturb the peace of the village and leave the sisters wondering if they’ll ever return to the order of their daily routines.

Nearly every sentence is a sly poke at upper middle class sensibilities in rural English villages. I very much enjoyed this! Four stars for its wry humour.

Read this if: you’re a fan of gentle English humour. 4 stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Feb 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Pymprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cheek, MavisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, JessieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turle, BernardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zazo, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Some tame gazelle, or some gentle dove:
Something to love, oh, something to love!

Thomas Haynes Bailey
First words
The new curate seemed quite a nice young man, but what a pity it was that his combinations showed, tucked carelessly into his socks, when he sat down.
"Look", Harriet cried, for she had been so absorbed in her task of `strengthening' a pair of corsets with elastic thread that she had not noticed the Archdeacon creeping up the drive. ... she bundled the corsets under a cushion in one of the armchairs; Belinda noticed to her horror that they were imperfectly hidden and planted herself firmly in front of the chair.
She began to find ways of making things better and more bearable.
In future Belinda would continue to find such consolation as she needed in our greater English poets, when she was not gardening or making vests for the poor in Pimlico.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile, has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years. Then into their quiet comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each takes to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586053697, Paperback)

Front and back covers have some random creasing. Edge wear and a very small tear on bottom edge of spine. Front inside page has a "running man" stamp, no other marks and intact. Ships very quickly and packaged carefully!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Then, into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each take to calling on the sisters for rather unsettling reasons.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Legacy Library: Barbara Pym

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