Wednesday the 24th of April, and time for Shelf Control once again. Shelf Control is a feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles. If you want to join in, every Wednesday, simply pick a book from your TBR pile (or mountain, as mine is:) ), and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page and do share your links in the comments below as well, as I’d love to see your picks!

This is the final Shelf Control post in April, and I have yet another book today published in the 1930s (which is my reading theme for the month). Today’s pick is Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell. This book was first published in 1934. This is second in a series of thirty-two books that Thirkell set in the fictional county of Barshetshire, created by Antony Trollope. He wrote six Chronicles of Barsetshire.

What it’s all about: The story is centered on the Leslie family of Rushwater House, where Lady Emily reigns amidst confusion and turmoil. Mr Leslie has taken off on a cruise to the “Northern Capitals of Europe”. Agnes, the daughter of the house is home on a visit with her children. Two other sons deal with their problems and try to find their own paths. One grandson, Martin is fast growing up. There is a cousin Mary, also there on a visit. And there’s more of a cast to add to the confusion–French tenants, and a social leech, Mr Holt. Wild Strawberries takes us on an amusing journey into all their lives and interactions!

Angela Thirkell
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Angela Thirkell, was an English and Australian novelist. Daughter of John Mackail and Margaret Burne-Jones, she was a first cousin once removed to Rudyard Kipling. Her brother Denis Mackail was also a novelist, best known these days I think for Greenery Street republished by Persephone books in 2002. [Going off on a tangent here, but Mackail’s work was praised by Wodehouse in one of his books, and the one book I’ve read by him, Romance to the Rescue was really good fun, very Wodehousian.] Thirkell’s works are described as having ‘satirical exuberance’. She has written a handful of standalone books, besides the Barsetshire Chronicles. Find out more about Angela Thirkell on Wikipedia (here) and from the Angela Thirkell Society of North America here.

I read one of her Barshetshire books a couple of years ago, August Folly (1936) which was a delightful comedy of manners set around an amateur performance of Hippolytus being rehearsed in a village amidst which many f the characters fall in love or fancy themselves in love, only to be shaken back into reality and their senses eventually. Based on that reading experience, I so expect Wild Strawberries to be a fun and crazy journey as well!

Have you read this book or any of Thirkell’s other Barshetshire books? If any other/s which one/s? Did you enjoy them? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

All the information about the book and Thirkell, are as always from Wikipedia and Goodreads, and about August Folly, from my own review.

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #41: Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell

  1. No, sadly no Trollope or Thirkell has yet crossed my path, but my bookish motto is Never say never so who knows? Currently I’m enjoying the first volume of a Robertson Davies trilogy, and I think I’d be happy to explore his fictional world a bit more before considering Barsetshire. (But then I’ve resisted the allure of Hardy’s Wessex for some while…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Precisely. I’d recommend both, Trollope very strongly since I’ve read I think 11 or 12 of his books so far and enjoyed all of them. Thirkell I’ve only read one of so far and it was a really amusing one.

      Is this Fifth Business, which you’d mentioned earlier. A book group of mine read it last year (?) and I think I did track down a copy though didn’t get down to reading it since I couldn’t make the time at that point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is Fifth Business, which I’ve nearly finished having raced through it (well, ‘race’ is rather strong for me, perhaps ‘pleasurably trek’ describes it better). Must review it before considering the next instalment; I think you’d enjoy it, Mallika.

        I think the better half might have some Trollope on her shelves, I ought to have a look-see.

        Liked by 1 person

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