Booktopia is delighted to be able to draw your attention to The Bloomsbury Group.
This is a wonderful series of lost novels from the early twentieth century, books recommended by readers for readers, being brought back into print by Bloomsbury Publishing for a new audience.
Literary bloggers, authors and friends of Bloomsbury Publishing have shared their suggestions of cherished books worthy of revival.
These novels are the perfect gift for that friend who has read everything – we bet they haven’t read these shamefully forgotten gems.
The titles are:
By Paul Gallico
Introducing the indomitable, endearing charlady, Mrs Harris…
Mrs Harris is a salt-of-the-earth London charlady who cheerfully cleans the houses of the rich. One day, when tidying Lady Dant’s wardrobe, she comes across the most beautiful thing she has ever seen in her life – a Dior dress.
‘Mrs Harris is one of the great creations of fiction – so real that you feel you know her, yet truly magical as well. I can never have enough of her’ Justine Picardie
By E.F. Benson
From the author of the much-loved Mapp and Lucia series comes an unforgettable small-town heroine.
Reigning over a social merry-go-round of dinners and parties, Mrs Ames is the undisputed queen bee of Riseborough. That is, until vivacious new villager Mrs Evans catches the eye of both her son and her husband.
‘An extraordinary study in comedy and quite the best thing artistically that Mr Benson has done so far’ New York Times
By Rohan O’Grady
When recently-orphaned Barnaby Gaunt is sent to stay with his uncle on a beautiful remote island off the coast of Canada, he is all set to have the perfect summer holiday. Except for one small problem: his uncle is trying to kill him.
‘There must be a reason we have never heard of Rohan O’Grady for all these years — but I cannot find it in the pages of Let’s Kill Uncle. A thrilling, original book, exquisitely written, and unforgettable — a classic, rediscovered’ Hanan al-Shaykh
By Rachel Ferguson
A charming novel from the 1930s that revels in young innocence prior to the First World War and celebrates the fantasies of childhood.
‘The Brontes Went to Woolworths is about the imagination. It is marvellously successful’ A.S Byatt
By Joyce Dennys
Told through letters and charmingly illustrated by the author, this novel is a hilarious, wry, but often very moving portrait of life in rural wartime Britain.
‘I haven’t read anything so funny for many years. They rank alongside E M Delafield’s The Diary Of A Provincial Lady, and George and Weedon Grossmiths’ The Diary of A Nobody‘ Susan Hill.
By Joyce Dennys
The charming sequel to the much-loved Henrietta’s War
The war is now in its third year and although nothing can dent the unwavering patriotism of Henrietta and her friends, everyone in the Devonshire village has their anxious moments.
‘Dennys writes in simple, elegant prose about garden parties and elderly colonels, about flighty young women and daunting, tweedy ladies avid to repel the invader with their own hands; and the comedy she describes is embellished by little drawings as accomplished as her prose’ Irish Times.
By Frank Baker
An endlessly surprising fairy tale from the 1930s, introducing an unforgettable heroine and a story that shows that anything is possible with a little imagination
‘A fantasy of the most hilarious description. Miss Hargreaves may be the utterest lunacy – a tissue of moonshine – but it is the kind of novel, I fancy, that is badly wanted at the moment, and its central idea is one which has rarely, if, indeed, ever, been used before’ Sunday Times
By Ada Leverson
The twists and turns of romance, misunderstanding and domestic life in Edwardian London entwine in this pin-sharp comedy by the woman Oscar Wilde called his ‘Sphinx’
‘Saki meets Jane Austen in the delectable Edwardian comedies of Ada Leverson. A great discovery awaits her new readers’ Barry Humphries.
By Wolf Makowitz
A magical 1950s tale of hopes and dreams that reveals the spirit of East End’s vibrant immigrant community and the charm of a little imagination
‘A small miracle. He writes of the teeming streets round the Whitechapel Road with such glowing warmth and love that they come triumphantly alive. Wolf Mankowitz, you are not a star. You are a planet’ Daily Express.
By D.E. Stevenson
Ever observant, always witty and more than a little mischievous, the Mrs Tim diaries reveal a timeless tale of a young woman often out of her depth, but, always with an eye for the amusing side of life.
‘The writer’s unflagging humour, her shrewd, worldly wisdom, and her extremely realistic pictures of garrison life make it all good reading … delightful’ Times Literary Supplement.