Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Note in Music by Rosamond Lehmann. 1930

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

If one wanted to be snide about the people in Rosamond Lehmann's second novel A Note in Music they could be described as the kind of people Saki pokes fun at in his short stories. I found the novel most interesting from a technical stand point.  She is rhetorically very sophisticated.  After reading the novel I turned to  Rosamond Lehmann A Life by Selina Hastings for her thoughts on the novel.  I found myself in complete agreement with her so I shall share her opinion.  

"Although A Note in Music is in a minor key, it has some remarkable qualities, recognisable as a lesser work by an accomplished novelist, rather than as a poor novel. Its main influence is clearly Virginia Woolf, specifically Mrs Dalloway, but the work is no imitation. The characters are drawn with subtlety......Technically, too, A Note is interesting, the narrative perspective moving from one character to another, carrying a story-line which is cleverly constructed –in spite of its partial undermining by a dire sub-plot involving a brave little prostitute with a flowerlike face and tubercular cough, with whom both Tom and Hugh become separately involved. The vengeful portrait of the dark, grimy city is memorable, a grim contrast, with its sour streets and screeching trams, both to the lavish luxury of the local mansion and to the warm and fertile southern countryside to which Grace escapes for a brief holiday"

I am doing a read through of Lehmann.  Unless one is doing that I see no reason for most  to read or buy this book other than to follow the literary development of Lehmann .   I have begun her The Echoing Grove and have high hopes for it.  To those new to Lehmann, start with An Invitation to the Waltz then read a sequel to,this Weather in the Streets.  These are both great novels.  Her prose can be exquisite and her insights run deep.

Mel u

1 comment:

Suko said...

Mel, I look forward to reading more about this author's work, here and elsewhere. It sounds like worthwhile reading.