Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests

Monday, May 2, 2016

Two Short Stories by Rosamond Lehmann- "The Gipsey's Baby" and "The Red-haired Miss Daintreys" - 1946

1901 to 1990. England

Dusty Answers 1927

A Note in Music 1930

Invitation to the Waltz  1932

The Weather in the Streets  1936

The Ballad and the Source 1944

The Gypsey's Baby and other Stories 1946

The Echoing Grove  1953

The Swan in the Evening 1967

A Seagrape Tree 1976

As far as I can determine, Rosamond Lehmann published five short stories, all published in a collection, The Gipsey's Baby and Other Stories.  Selina Hastings says these stories can stand with the best of her fiction.  Three are about English life during World War Two, one story is Lehmann's rare voyage outside her social comfort zone and one draws on her life experiences.

"The Gipsey's Baby" has been compared to "The Doll House" by Katherine Mansfield.  Both deal with an encounter of an affluent family with poor neighbors.  I was surprised by the very negative descriptions of the poor family in the story.  The family is described as filthy dirty, almost subhuman.  The family first meet when the dog of the rich family kills the cat of poor family and the rich father goes to the poor home to apologize and offers their father some money.  Soon the children of the poor family begin to visit. The poor family live in total squalor.  I wonder what values could be found lurking under this story.   The depiction  of the Gipsey in the story is kind of strange.  It made me sad to read what can only be construed as a racist treatment of the Gypsies.  The descriptive power of Lehmann is very high.  

"The Red-Haired Miss Daintreys" is a very good superbly written story.  It depicts the start and long term development of a forty year friendship.  

Soon I will post on her three WW II short stories 

Mel u

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