Archives for posts with tag: literature


I’m really excited about the forthcoming publication of Sarah Waters’ new book, The Paying Guests. The first chapter is currently available to read here, and it certainly gets off to a brilliant start! – Rachel

ps. Whilst Old Fashioned Girls are in Yorkshire, we’re going to be taking a little break from the blog. We’ll see you when we get back!


I have been rediscovering the joys of Barbara Pym over the past few days – her wit and exquisite attention to period detail are second to none. Virago’s bright and colourful editions make a smart addition to any book shelf, too. Enjoy! – Rachel


I’ve just finished reading this wonderful book, by an author who is totally new to me. I am so excited to read the rest of her work; I haven’t enjoyed¬†discovering a new voice so much in a very long time. You must all read Molly Fox’s Birthday; I loved every minute. Such a lovely, thoughtful, beautifully written novel. Perfect for reading in the garden during these balmy summer evenings! – Rachel


If you thought Baileys was just that drink you consume out of desperation when all other alcohol in the cupboard has disappeared, you’d be wrong. They now have literary pretensions, and are sponsoring the former Orange Women’s Prize for Fiction. The longlist, announced last week, looks very interesting. Some I’ve already read, which makes a change, but there are many more that I haven’t come across. I’m looking forward to giving some of these a try, and supporting women writers while I’m at it. – Rachel


This interesting review in The Guardian reminded me that I am yet to pick this book up, despite having got it in hardback when it first came out. Now it’s in paperback, and much more affordable, it should reach a wider audience and rightly so. Any book about two of my favourite early 20th century novelists, Elizabeth Bowen and Henry Green, must be worth a read. Enjoy! – Rachel


I loved this article about the importance of comfort reading for children, and adults too. So many wonderful authors are mentioned by the writer, who seems to be a kindred spirit of Old Fashioned Girls, and her words are an excellent reminder that literature’s value lies not in its literariness, but in the pleasure it gives its readers. English teachers are often pressured to force children into reading more ‘challenging’ texts, but I’d never really considered how much my younger students need the safety and security of their childhood favourites in that difficult transition between primary and secondary school. Maybe we should have a class read of something indulgent. Though the problem is, I don’t think they’d be that in to my childhood favourites…Malory Towers, anyone? – Rachel


Hesperus Press have started reissuing favourite children’s classics from the 19th and 20th centuries, in beautifully designed paperbacks with charming illustrations. For those of us who grew up on a diet of Frances Hodgson Burnett and E Nesbit, this is excellent news indeed and is introducing me to authors of a similar ilk who I never tried as a child. I’m currently devouring The Runaways by Elizabeth Goudge; lovely escapism for a rainy day. – Rachel


If you’re interested in the Booker Prize, the winner of which will be revealed next Tuesday, then you might like to watch these videos where people argue the case for their favourite shortlisted novel. I’m going to try and read all of the shortlisted books this year; dabbling in the latest offerings of the literary world has been surprisingly stimulating! – Rachel

what_maisie_knew_ver2I saw this film over the weekend and loved it. Inspired by the Henry James novel, the film is a modern representation of a child’s perception of adult relationships. The film offers a truly heart-wrenching glimpse into the life of a supposedly privileged child, and the stellar cast assembled ensure the film cuts deep to the soul without resorting to melodrama. I haven’t read this Henry James novel, but am now tempted to do so. ¬†– Miranda¬†