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on 6 July 2014
This is a very disappointing book, even for a fan who has read and reread all of her other books. First of all, it's mis-titled. It's a book of 8 short stories published in various magazines between 1928 and 1942, most of which have nothing to do with Christmas.The stories that do involve High Rising with Tony Morland and George Knox as key characters seem to be caricatures of caricatures. And "The Private View" I found incomprehensible. I really enjoyed only two: "Shakespeare Did Not Dine Out," which spoofs dinner parties in his plays, and "A Nice Day in Town," which is about the frustrations of life in England in 1942 when you could buy almost nothing and none of the fish seemed fresh.

I bought this book having been warned by Amazon reviewers that it was short and not her best work. But being a fan, I bought it anyway. And I'm sorry I did. Most of the stories read as if Thirkell was contracted to write for a magazine and had to come up with something to meet a deadline. If you must own everything AT wrote, then I guess like me you will buy it. But if you have never read anything of hers, please, please do not start here. Get one of her earliest novels which are simply delightful.
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on 8 January 2014
Angela Thirkell is little known but writes with elegant and sly wit, describing the improbable inhabitants of High Rising, including the irrepressible Tony, mostly set in 1930's England. Some of the stories are set elsewhere but the deft touch of Mrs. Thirkell in rendering the absurdities of modern life into comedies of manners is unexcelled. Like spun sugar the stories melt on the mind and leave it hungry for more.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 December 2015
Having (ultimately) thoroughly enjoyed High Rising, and after assiduous research, I discovered that Christmas at High Rising contains seven short stories, two with a Christmas theme, and an essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare’s plays.

The contents of Christmas at High Rising were originally published in magazines between 1928 and 1942. As the title suggests - and most significantly for me - some of the stories feature characters from High Rising including that loquacious and splendid young fellow Tony Morland, garrulous George Knox, no nonsense Dr Ford, and the wonderful Laura Morland. After hankering for more of the cast of High Rising, I was hoping Christmas at High Rising would satisfy my hankering for more Morland magic.

The book’s title is a little misleading. There is no unifying theme to the book - not all of the stories are connected with High Rising or indeed Christmas. The book, a mere 146 pages, contains seven short stories and an essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare’s plays.

If High Rising was the main feature then Christmas at High Rising are the DVD extras, and if, like me, you enjoyed High Rising, then Christmas at High Rising is worth reading for the bonus stories. If not, then move along, nothing to see here.
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on 12 May 2014
I enjoyed this book. I have only just discovered Angela Thirkell and so glad I have. She is very amusing and I readily indulged in reading the book. I do recommend this to anyone. It is full of funny social comment and witty conversation.
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on 18 April 2014
As a newcomer to Angela Thirkell, this little book is a good first read to get the flavour of High Rising and the characters therein. I have also read the first novel, High Rising, so far, and I very much like Mrs. Morland and her son Tony, who is quite an upfront schoolboy, especially when it comes to trains and his model railway, etc. There is a good cross-section of residents in the villages that make up the storylines. Reading an author from a past period is always interesting as it is also of historical interest, too.
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This is a collection of short stories but only two of the eight stories are actually about Christmas, despite the title and Christmassy cover. This was an incredibly inoffensive read about days gone by. It was relaxing in the way Wodehouse is, you know nothing terrible will transpire. I’ll lend this to my Mum now (if I lend a book to my Mum or not is generally a good test of a book’s enjoyment value and rudeness rating). I have never read anything else by Thirkell, so I don’t know how it compares with her novels.
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Seven short stories and an essay about dinner parties in Shakespeare's plays make up this amusing selection of Angela Thirkell's writing. Both my mother and grandmother loved reading this author and I have read some of her work many years ago. It is good to see that her work is starting to be available again in e-book format and may thus reach new audiences.

These stories feature Tony Morland at various ages as well as his mother, Laura - a novelist, and the irascible biographer, George Knox. Love him or hate him, Tony Morland, the archetypal know it all school boy provides several amusing incidents in this lively collection of stories originally published in the nineteen thirties and forties.

My particular favourites in this collection are the first story - `Pantomime' and `A Nice Day in Town'. In `Pantomime' George Knox is full of the Christmas spirit and decides to take a party of children to the pantomime with predictable results. `A Nice Day in Town' sees Laura Morland battling with rationing and a series of errands on a trip to London. This collection is an entertaining and relaxing read showing ways of life which have virtually disappeared in the twenty first century.
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VINE VOICEon 8 February 2014
This is a set of eight pieces, most of which are set at High Rising, the home of Laura Morland. It's a very slim volume and of the stories, two are very weak (the ones not set at High Rising, proving that Thirkell was right to remain loyal to Barsetshire in her novels) and a third is a non-fiction humorous essay on Shakespeare.
I loved the best of the stories though, especially Pantomime and St Valentine's Holiday. It's nice that Stoker the char lady has a bit of fun too, instead of remaining inside all the time. Here she joins the children, sliding along the frozen lake.
In the last installment, A Nice Day in Town, there is a hint of sadness as, towards the end and despite the jokes, we realize that Tony is a train-mad schoolboy no longer. A thin volume - I wish it were more chubby like Laura or indeed as stout as Stoker - but despite the acerbity, some of these tales are warm and witty mini-masterpieces and indeed it would be mean to deprive Laura, her family and friends of a Yuletide present of five stars.
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on 12 January 2014
I enjoyed this book, the plot, the period in which the story takes place and the fact that this was a new author for me with more books to read! Always a great discovery!
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on 27 September 2014
I usually love these older books, such as Mapp and Lucia, or Paying Guests, but this one, I am sorry it just left me cold.
The book is made up of several short stories with a winter theme running through them, which is nice.
The Characters haven't aged well, and come over for me very one sided, and I just couldn't warm to anyone of them.
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