HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

High Rising (1933)

by Angela Thirkell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Barsetshire Books (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6874234,259 (3.83)223
Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement? Utterly charming and very funny, High Rising is irresistible comic entertainment.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 223 mentions

English (40)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
High Rising is rather a delightful nothing. I perhaps should like Thirkell more than I do, seeing as how she sits somewhere between my favourite novelist Barbara Pym and one of my more obscure pleasures, E.F. Benson, author of the Mapp and Lucia series. Thirkell is much kinder to her characters than Benson is (although not without a sense of cosmic justice), and her character examinations are less sharp than Pym's - not lacking in sharpness, mind you.

High Rising is the first in a series of almost 30 novels, which Thirkell wrote over the course of her lifetime, chronicling the same county (a century removed) from Trollope's more famous 19th century novels. So perhaps later in life, when I have run out of material, I will return here. Lengthy series in which little happens beyond character analysis are hard to find, and right up my alley. For now, though I will leave it to more interested parties. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
This is Angela Thirkell's first book in the Barsetshire series. Quite enjoyable, but not as humorous as [b:Northbridge Rectory|835444|Northbridge Rectory|Angela Thirkell|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178768577s/835444.jpg|821058]. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
High Rising is a delightful novel. It’s the first of a 30-book series known as the Barsetshire chronicles. These books are social comedy, focussed on matrimony and generally lighthearted and humorous. High Rising’s witty style, its clearly developed and mostly sympathetic characters, its plot surprises, and gentle satire of the conventions of social comedy made it a pleasure to read.

The story is set in the early part of the 20th century in the fictitious rural county of Barset, where main character Laura Morland has a summer cottage in the village of High Rising. Laura is a successful “good bad writer” of mysteries, who is “happily widowed” with no wish to change her station. Laura lives with the youngest of her four sons, Tony, whose all consuming interest in trains and incessant talking make him obnoxious and boring to everyone but himself. He is a great source of humor in the novel. Another writer lives in the adjoining village of Low Rising. George Knox, also widowed, writes successful historical biographies. With George lives Sybil, his twenty-year old daughter, and lots of dogs, puppies, and horses, which Tony loves almost as much as trains. And also part of the Knox household is George’s brand new secretary, Una.

The plot is set in motion when George’s longtime secretary leaves to care for a sister in ill health, and George has to hire someone new. He selects Una Grey from a list of applicants, an attractive young woman very competent in all she sets out to do, be it typing, running the household, nursing the sick, or general management of everyone. It soon becomes clear to all except George that Una plans to marry him, and in general dismay, the servants, his daughter, and his closest friends, Laura among them, set out to prevent such an undesirable match.

Scenes and evolving relationships are developed carefully, characters are well established, and the novel moves at a good pace to its somewhat surprising conclusion. Thirkell’s writing is witty and clear, making for a well-crafted and satisfying story that I can recommend without reservation. ( )
  dianelouise100 | Apr 5, 2023 |
Angela Thirkell is a good writer. I think I'd like to try some more of her books.
That said, it's hard for me to know exactly what to say about "High Rising." It feels like a transition between old-fashioned and modern, and for that reason I'm not sure fans of old-fashioned atmosphere would be totally satisfied, though I personally lean towards liking it a good deal.

Laura Morland, a widow (probably in her 40's) with the last of her 4 sons still at home, writes novels for a living. But this isn't about her writing career. Instead it's about her neighbors and their little dramas and joys and sorrows. It's an ironic book and often funny. Whether it's her quick-witted, self-sacrificing secretary, her scholarly and eccentric neighbor who loves to hear himself talk, or any of the other characters, it's fun to read. It's not a love story, although a couple of engagements do happen...it's just a few months in the life of these friends and neighbors. The things that happen loom large in the moment but are, in reality, fairly small. The kind of book where the ending isn't really a big deal, it's more about just taking each page and enjoying the flow of events. Reminded me somewhat of D.E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle books. ( )
1 vote Alishadt | Feb 25, 2023 |
Jane Austen famously said that in writing Emma, she'd set out to create "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." Reading High Rising was like reading a photo negative version of Emma: Angela Thirkell clearly thought she was writing a lovable, heart-of-gold scatterbrain main character in Laura Morland, but I found her absolutely insufferable. No matter how much the other characters insisted that Mrs Morland was lovely and just so kind, her thoughts and actions showed her to be a petty, mean-spirited, and insular snob—and the mouthpiece for some pretty appalling bigotry.

And before someone jumps at me for saying "But it was the 1930s! Standards for what was acceptable were different then!": that is true to an extent, but I can also honestly say that I've read lots of other fiction first published in the Twenties and Thirties that didn't have main characters regularly spout antisemitic, anti-Irish, and anti-Black sentiments with every sign of narrative approval. One of the comic relief/male romantic partners also at one point just randomly comes out with "The marriage customs [...] of the Arunta tribe, a revolting set of Australian aboriginals, are alone enough to justify their extirpation by rum, missionaries, or any other destroying element." Wow! Holy shit! Love a bit of cheerleading for genocide in what's supposed to be a light romantic comedy!

Not that the romance is much to write home about: dull and unconvincing and rote. Thirkell is not an author I care to read any further. ( )
  siriaeve | Dec 16, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thirkell, Angelaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bond, JillyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colmer, RoyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Alexander McCallIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stegers, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, MayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
To my father and mother
First words
The headmaster's wife twisted herself round in her chair to talk to Mrs Morland, who was sitting in the row just behind her.
Angela Thirkell is today relatively unknown, by no means as familiar as Benson or Trollope, or even Nancy Mitford, writers with whom she is sometimes compared. (Introduction)
Quotations
‘It’s not highbrow. I’ve just got to work. You see, my husband was nothing but an expense to me while he was alive, and naturally he is no help to me now he’s dead, so I thought if I could write some rather good bad books, it would help with the boys’ education’.
`With our immense resources [said the publisher] we can give you double the advertisement you are at present having. If you have something new and delightful in preparation, and are not yet committed to Coates, may we have the pleasure of having a first sight of your manuscript?’

`Well, you see,’ said Laura, `what I say about advertising is, if you spend all that money on advertisements, it’s got to come off my royalties, hasn’t it?’
Oh the exhaustingness of the healthy young!   Laura had once offered to edit a book called Why I Hate my Children, but though Adrian Coates had offered her every encouragement, and every mother of her acquaintance had offered to contribute, it had never taken shape.   (Chap. II: “High Rising”)
“And I know I'm a fool, and anyway I can't understand poetry except the bits in anthologies, but I couldn't understand yours at all.”  (Chap. IV: “Christmas Eve”)
Indeed she had never known intimately that pale and shadowy lady, who enjoyed ill health until she went too far and let herself die.   (Chap. VII: “An Author at Home”)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement? Utterly charming and very funny, High Rising is irresistible comic entertainment.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
VIRAGO EDITION: Successful novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous son, Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what 's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement?

Irresistibly entertaining and witty, High Rising, originally published in 1933, was the first of Angela Thirkell's celebrated classic comedies.
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.83)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 5
2.5 5
3 36
3.5 31
4 95
4.5 10
5 31

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 209,017,735 books! | Top bar: Always visible