Wednesday, the 11th of August, 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, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to 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 my pick is a comic adventure novel by Rose Macaulay, first published in 1956, The Towers of Trebizond. Emily Rose Macaulay or Rose Macaulay was an English writer who wrote fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Born in Rugby Warwickshire, she was educated at the Oxford High School for Girls and later at Oxford University. Her first novel, Abbots Verney was published in 1906. In 1957 she was made Dame Commander of the British Empire, and died 10 months later at age 77.

The Towers of Trebizond is her prize-winning final novel. The book traces the journey of an unusual group of companions (among them the narrator, Laurie and Aunt Dot) in Turkey from Istanbul to the legendary Trebizond. Along the way, they meet sorcerers, recalcitrant policeman and Billy Graham on tour with a group of Evangelists. The central thread of the book is humour but there are also more serious themes explored from heartbreak and lost love to the spectres of lost civilizations. Religion is also a theme. The novel is described as partly autobiographical. The book won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize the year it wwas published–1956.

A book group that I am part of on Goodreads (though I I haven’t been particularly active there lately) read this some years ago, and at the time I couldn’t get my hands on a copy. While the group had mixed reactions to it, I did end up adding it to my TBR mountain. The mixed opinions the group had did put me off picking it up back then, but I have been wondering about giving it a try at least. The book’s opening line, “‘Take my Camel, dear’, said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass“, is one of Macaulay’s most memorable quotes. And it does sound like fun, don’t you think?

Have you read this one? Or any other books by Rose Maccaulay? Which one/s and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Lisa’s pick this week is The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi, a book that I’ve been hearing a lot about but haven’t read so far. Find her post here.

6 thoughts on “Shelf Control #146: The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

    1. It does, doesn’t it? I’d completely forgotten about it and found it again, when I was going through books to find something to feature this week (In my defence, I have an e-copy, not a physical one–those I tend to forget about sometimes).

      Liked by 1 person

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