The Clothes They Stood Up In is Alan Bennett's first story. Like Charles Dickens' novels which were first published in magazines, it originally appeared in the London Review of Books - which the author says 'seems to me (and not just because I occasionally contribute to it) the liveliest, most serious and also the most radical literary periodical we have'.… (more)
Mrs Ransome ventured into Mr Anwar's. She passed the shop many times as it was midway between the flats and St John's Wood High Street; indeed she remembered it opening and the little draper's and babies' knitwear shop which it had replaced and where she had been a loyal customer. That had been kept by a Miss Dorsey, from whom over the years she had bought the occasional tray cloth or hank of Sylko but, on a much more regular basis, plain brown paper packets of what in those days were called towels. The closing-down of the shop in the late Sixties bad left Mrs Ransome anxious and unprotected and it came as a genuine surprise on venturing into Timothy White's to find that technology in this intimate department had lately made great strides which were unreflected in Miss Dorsey's ancient stock, of which Mrs Ransome, as the last of a dwindling clientele, had been almost the sole consumer.