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Any good books involving buttoned-up characters set in aristocratic homes?

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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 May 2013, 14:00:46 BST
Cloudfish says:
Hey Amazonians, hoping you can help me. I recently read Atonement by Ian McEwan, and though I liked more than loved it I really enjoyed the beginning part. It's given me a hankering to read similar fiction- books set in upper class, stately homes that involve uptight characters concealing their emotions over a short period of time, like a weekend party or something. I know that's crazy specific but I feel like it must be a genre, so does anyone have any ideas for me? All suggestions appreciated!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2013, 14:38:33 BST
Marand says:
You might try Isabel Colegate's 'The Shooting Party' which should fit the bill - it is set just before the first world war in a country house. I haven't read it in years but I think the action takes place over one day.

The Shooting Party (Penguin Modern Classics)

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2013, 14:58:28 BST
TomC says:
One of the classic stories of this type is L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between.

The Go-Between (Essential Penguin)

Posted on 8 May 2013, 15:30:41 BST
Cloudfish says:
Awesome and awesome! I'll try both, thanks so much!

Posted on 8 May 2013, 16:56:08 BST
ST says:
You might like 'Razor's Edge' by W Somerset Maugham

Posted on 8 May 2013, 19:44:40 BST
Last edited by the author on 8 May 2013, 22:08:40 BST
gille liath says:
As you say, very specific; they don't exactly match, but you might enjoy Decline and Fall and Brideshead Revisited, both by Evelyn Waugh.

(My first thought was that it's a shoo-in for PG Wodehouse, but it sounds like you want to go Serious.)

Posted on 8 May 2013, 19:47:36 BST
Also anything by Molly Keane, E.M Forster, Ivy Compton-Burnett..should fit the bill. Suffering toffs with repressed yet seething emotions, set in grand,often decaying houses. Bliss.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2013, 19:49:21 BST
gille liath says:
EM Forster? Most of his characters, and settings, are more lower-upper-middle class.

Posted on 9 May 2013, 09:16:33 BST
Mark Kennely says:
Have you read 'The Black Kid Of Windsor Castle'? Based on a true story and classic setting with full of famous and real characters, this book's quite fascinating. I want everyone to check it out.

Posted on 24 May 2013, 10:05:27 BST
Cloudfish says:
All fantastic suggestions, will try them all! Thank you! Have now bought the Go Between!

Posted on 24 May 2013, 23:46:18 BST
Remains of the Day deserves an honourable mention.

Posted on 24 May 2013, 23:47:00 BST
Bonfire of the Vanities.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013, 12:10:46 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2013, 12:22:57 BST
LEP says:
What about The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy.

Forsyte is pretty repressed, Mrs F of course has an affair, so there's all that seething tension going on.

Also, The Way we Live Now - Anthony Trollope

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2013, 12:27:44 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2013, 12:37:24 BST
LEP says:
The Edwardians - Vita Sackville-West

Howards End - E M Forster

If you want something funny then: Blandings Castle - P G Wodehouse

Definately look at Ivy Compton Burnetts books.

Posted on 25 May 2013, 14:55:51 BST
Toby Wallis says:
I would second Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. This was my first thought as I read the original post.

Posted on 26 May 2013, 03:37:34 BST
Mine too. It's a brilliant book. Here's the link:

The Remains of the Day - Kindle
The Remains of the Day - paperback

Posted on 26 May 2013, 03:44:29 BST
It occurs to me that you could simply google 19th century lit.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  8 May 2013
Latest post:  26 May 2013

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