Wednesday, the 8th of July, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is from Angela Thirkell’s Barsetshire series, the third book in fact, The Demon in the House. The Barsetshire series is a set of almost thirty books by Thirkell set in Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire but with her own unique stories and set of characters. Of these, I’ve read August Folly (1936) before which is book 4 and was a delightful little tale set around a group of people, young and not so young, rehearsing for an amateur performance of Hippolytus. They fall in and out of love, or think that they have but are ultimately shaken back to their senses (most of them anyway). Born in January 1890, Thirkell was the granddaughter of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the painter and also cousin to Rudyard Kipling. Her brother Denis Mackail was a successful novelist as well (I’ve read one of his books which was great fun.) She started writing early in life and wrote children’s stories, and novels, writing a book almost every year.

The Demon in the House (1934) is about a little boy-twelve or thirteen–Tony Morland who is charming but can also be utterly infuriating. ‘Grown ups and children alike are ground into submission by his everlasting chatter and overweening “self-esteem”.’ But there are a couple of grown ups, Dr Ford, and Sylvia Gould the swimming instructor who come somewhere close to quashing the little pest. The book narrates his adventures.

I don’t know why (and not that there will actually turn out to be much comparison) but reading the description had me thinking of P.G. Wodehouse’s two books Piccadilly Jim, and The Little Nugget (the latter I still haven’t read) featuring the obnoxious and spoiled Ogden ‘Oggie’ Ford. I think Tony Morland sounds nothing like Oggie who smoked and gambled and even made deals with kidnappers, but is perhaps something on the same lines for the adults dealing with him.

Anyway, having enjoyed Thirkell’s books previously, I am rather interested to pick up more of the Barsetshire books. The description does make wonder, though, how I’ll react to Tony–I’ll have to read to find out!

Have you read this one or any of Thirkell’s other books? Which ones and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Cover image from Goodreads; book description from Goodreads (here), and fadedpage (here); and author info: Goodreads (here), fadedpage (here)

Find Lisa’s pick this week here: Journey by James Michener, an author I enjoy very much, and Chery’s pick, A New Tradition by Tonya Knappes, a Christmas romance here

2 thoughts on “Shelf Control #98: The Demon in the House by Angela Thirkell

    1. The other cover that Goodreads has is rather misleading too–or perhaps intentional, for her looks fairly sweet in it. Mine’s an e-copy (public domain) –shows just the hardback cover but without the jacket so just a blue background with the title embossed.


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