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The Diary of a Provincial Lady Paperback – 15 Nov 1984


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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (15 Nov 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860685225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860685227
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.6 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

I finished the book in one sitting, leaving the children unbathed, dogs unwalked, a husband unfed, and giving alternate cries of joy and recognition throughout (Jully Cooper)

I reread, for the nth time, E. M. Delafield's dry, caustic Diary of a Provincial Lady, and howled with laughter (India Knight)

Glorious, simply glorious (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

She converts the small and familiar dullness of life into laughter (The TIMES)

Book Description

* A delightful and witty celebration of the suburban British housewife

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November 7th.-Plant the indoor bulbs. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. Golding on 14 July 2007
Format: Paperback
"Robert says nothing". But what was he thinking?

The Provincial Lady fascinates me: her way of life, her comments about the social standards predominating before the last war. It could all be rather boring but somehow the way she talks isn't. And I catch something different everytime I re-read the book or listen to the audio cassettes.

There were still shades of the the PL's world left during my childhood in the early 1950's: the baker and grocer still called; my Mum wrote and posted copious notes to companies - ordering, complaining, thanking - as well as writing regular long letters to relatives and friends (she rarely used the phone as it was too expensive); the dreaded visit to the bank manager when finances got tight; everything paid cash and careful records kept of income and expednditure which had to balance every week.
My father was very much head of the house and everything was referred to him - unlike Robert though, he said a good deal, most of it critical.

I would recommend the Provincial Lady books to my future daughter-in-law as a good read, and I hope she would find them just as fascinating. The humour and the quality of the writing must surely appeal to any generation.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rosie's overworked maid on 19 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
warm, witty and although it was originally published in the thirties I can still relate to the main character much more than I can relate to Bridget Jones. Some great episodes, especially with the trips to the pawnbroker! A really good bedtime book as it can be read in small chunks, and isn't too demanding of tired brains!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Mar 1999
Format: Paperback
This is in fact three volumes collected into one. They are the amusing diaries of a middle-class Englishwoman covering the 1930s and wartime. While they are not really laugh out loud they do bring a smile, often of recognition. The simple domestic incidents are retold very much in the style that most of us use to tell of funny things that happen to us - a bit flippant and exagerated. This book is best read in small doses (it originally appeared as a series of features in a magazine). I would recommend this book most highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Visualiser on 18 April 2006
Format: Paperback
This diary, plus the later ones in which the author visits America and then works in a forces' canteen in wartime, is a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for a middle class woman in the 1930s. My favourite snippet, from ...Goes Further, is when she visits Boston and at a party asks a young man if he thinks television will ever become a part of everyday life. He looks at her as if she were mad!

The humour is intelligent and infectious and the narrative voice very real despite the 'diary' style.

Don't miss it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jim.. on 6 Jan 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
this is a great read, very funny, and I think anyone would enjoy reading this, I liked seeing the funny drawings too, had me in stitches
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By GrannyFran on 1 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback
If you buy only one book in your life, make sure its this one. I have read five times (something I never usually do) and always find something in it that I missed previously. It makes me belly laugh out loud every time. Full of truly wonderful characters from Our Vicars Wife to Helen Wheels the cat. It's a real treasure and one that I will take with me through life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
Now really the title of this book does kind of tell you what's coming. This is a fictional `Diary of a Provincial Lady' though having a wander through the internet etc it turns out that actually this was quite an autobiographical volume of E.M. Delafield's work. We follow our narrator through a year of village life as she copes with village life, marriage, children, cooks, neighbours and the like for just under a year. That is pretty much the premise of the book, throw in some very dry, wry, deadpan humour and a bunch of rather wonderfully bizarre local characters and there you have a novel that you will sit grinning through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pb on 11 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my wife and she is devouring it. Absolutely loves it. Says it is one of the best reads.
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