South Riding Paperback – 6 Jan 2011
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"a fascinating depiction of a time and place... in its celebration of social spirit, and in Burton's final urging of her girls to serve yet also to challenge and question and strive, it feels both timely and necessary" --The Observer
"Rich in humour and worldly insight... this panoramic story of local politics stands as testament not only to Holtby's strong belief in public service, but her affection for the people and "rain-rinsed green" landscapes of her native Yorkshire" --The Independent
A new TV tie-in edition of Winifred Holtby's classic novel South Riding, accompanying Andrew Davies's three-part adaptation for BBC1See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Winifred Holtby was a strong socialist and she could have made stock villans from the local bigwigs and heros out of the working class. What she does do however is create real people with good and bad sides. The local squire is shown to real prtoblems of his own, a mad wife and daughter and no money, while some of the working class fiqures are shown to be shiftless. In its humanity this book is on a par with its near contempory 'Grapes of Wraith.' It is also a very good read with a host of figures remarkable in their realism.
Winifred Holtby died young and this is her only major work. Indeed she knew she was dying as she wrote it. Read it and it will not let you down.
The nineteen seventies TV series is a good adoptation also worth a look.
If you want to known what it was like to live in nineteen thirties provincial England this book will tell you. One of the best books I have ever read.
Sarah Burton is a dedicated and idealistic teacher who returns to her home county to become headmistress of a girls' high school.
Emma Beddows is the first woman alderman in the district and her work is the focus of her life now that her children are grown.
The dialogues and the developing relationship between those two dedicated but different women are quite wonderful, and there is much more besides.
Robert Carne is a county councilor and a struggling gentleman farmer. His wife is in an asylum and he worries that their daughter Midge will inherit her mental illness.
Lydia Holly loves learning and Sarah believes she has more potential than any other child she has taught but, when her mother dies after one pregnancy too many, her father pulls her out of school to look after her younger siblings.
And so many more - councilors, teachers, pupils, farm workers, townsfolk, all of the people that make up a community and all with their own story.
Their paths, of course, cross and Winifred Holtby tells all of their stories, mixing them and balancing them perfectly.
The characterization is absolutely wonderful, right across the social spectrum.
And there are so many wonderful words and ideas, so many wonderful moments. I really can't praise this book enough.
South Riding is a quite wonderful picture of provincial England in the 1930s.
The cast of this novel is huge, with more than a hundred characters (listed handily after the introduction), but it never feels overpopulated or confusing. In fact, they are what makes South Riding such a great read. I felt as though I knew each and every one of those characters, even if we only had a nodding acquaintance. It is testament to Winifred Holtbyfs writing skill that she manages to create such a wide variety of characters with equal authenticity; I believe in Midge Carne, who is young, female, highly strung and unthinkingly cruel, just as much as I believe in Castle, who is an elderly, male, gentle salt of the earth type. I particularly liked the fact that no character is as straightforward as they at first seem, and not in a gimmicky everyone-has-a-dark-secret way, but in a these-are-all-real-people-with depth way. They arenft defined by their quirks, but these help to gain a deeper insight into the characters and why they behave the way they do. Councillor Snaith at home with his cats was a particular favourite of mine.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am enjoying this book about Yorkshire in the thirties, with its familiar, well drawn characters who contend courageously with conditions and squabble as they love and compete... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Christopher Campling
A lovely book, very pleasing to handle, as well as being a good read.Published 3 months ago by Carol Hirst
I have had a copy of this book for some time having picked it up in a jumble sale. It was a book I wanted to read having read Testament of Youth by Winifred Holtby's friend Vera... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bacchus
I read this book years ago and watched the TV series, starring Dorothy Tutin, way back when Leslie Dunlop was a young lass. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around.