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Love on a Branch Line by John Hadfield
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Love on a Branch Line (1959)

by John Hadfield

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A lovely happy book about Jasper, a discontented civil servant sent into the English countryside to audit a tiny and obscure government department. The department is located at the country home of an eccentric lord and his family; Jasper is fascinated and disturbed by what he finds there. Sly and funny.
2 vote Pencils | Feb 5, 2010 |
This book is, quite simply, perfection. Should join Barbara Pym, Wodehouse, Saki and Kenneth Graham on the required reading list for all aspiring Anglophiles. ( )
4 vote Goldengrove | Mar 27, 2009 |
Read this after seeing the TV adaptation. It is quite similar in style to cold comfort farm. I enjoyed it a lot. ( )
2 vote LibraryLou | Apr 3, 2007 |
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Epigraph
The woods of Arcady are dead,
And over is their antique joy;
Of old the world on dreaming fed;
Grey Truth is now her painted toy;
Yet still she turns her restless head . . . .
W.B. YEATS
Dedication
For Anna
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'Yes, I know; Jasper is a bore.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
'... The 'Branch Line' is an Emett-like affair which transports the reader from the silly realities of our present world to the much more sensible and immensely more enjoyable depths of an almost mythical East Anglia, where a backwoodsman peer lives in a private railway train, playing vintage jazz as an accompaniment to the amorous dalliance of three gorgeously amoral daughters. To his magnificent ancestral seat, now tenanted by a government department, comes a young man from Whitehall with a neatly furled umbrella and a bruised heart. His tour of inspection involves him in further disturbances of the heart, some extraordinary moonlight encounters, a drinking scene of classic proportions, a traction engine rally, and a comic cricket match which is the first serious rival to that of Macdonell's England, Their England to appear in English fiction. ...' (Hutchinson & Co blurb)
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