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Miss Buncle (1964)

by D. E. Stevenson

Series: Miss Buncle (1-2)

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1930s (100)

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One fine summer's morning the sun peeped over the hills and looked down upon the valley of Silverstream (Miss Buncle's Book)
"We had better move," said Mr. Abbott casually.  (Miss Buncle Married)
The idea for Miss Buncle's Book came to me while I was sitting in a bus.   The woman next to me said to her friend "Everyone knows all about everyone in our village.  If I had time, I'd write a book about them."   Harmless words, perhaps, but they were uttered in a threatening manner -- with concentrated fury -- more as if the speaker would have liked to pour boiling oil upon her neighbors than to immortalize them in print. (Author's introduction)
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Two of the beloved author's most popular novels, Miss Buncle's Book and the sparkling sequel, Miss Buncle Married, are now available together in this omnibus volume for which D. E. Stevenson has written a new introduction.   In it, she explains how the gay, adventuresome character, Barbara Buncle, was born:

"Everyone knows all about everyone in our village.   If I had time I'd write a book about them," said a lady sitting next to Miss Stevenson on a bus one day.  Miss Stevenson, having both the time and the talent, did just that.

In Miss Buncle's Book, Barbara Buncle, finding her dividends falling off, choose authorship in lieu of chicken raising, and puts the entire village of Silverstream into a book which she entitles "Chronicles of an English Village."   When the publisher reads the manuscript, he changes the title to Disturber of the Peace, which it certainly was.  Miss Buncle's unintentionally direct and pointed pen arouse a storm of protest in the course of which her usually tranquil life is ruffled by vengeful villagers in search of as the author.   Only marriage to the publisher saves Miss Buncle from her irate neighbors.

Taking up where Miss Buncle's Book left off, Miss Buncle Married describes Barbara's experience as a wife providing a charming comedy of life in an old-fashioned English country town.  Among the assorted villagers of Wandlebury, she stumbles into more hilarious adventures, unwittingly plays the matchmaker, and manages to write another spirited manuscript with most of her fingers still in other people's pies.

A double portion of wholesome entertainment, MISS BUNCLE offers those unfamiliar with D. E. Stevenson a marvelous introduction to her work.  To confirmed Stevenson fans, it is an irresistible treat.

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