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Something ‘Very Barbara Pym’

  • Annette Weld

Abstract

Pym thought of Excellent Women as her ‘first adult novel’ (MS Pym 98, fol. 75). Leaving behind the familiar settings of country village or university town, she moves this next work to the city, to the London suburb of Pimlico where she herself settled after demobilisation, the death of her mother, and her father’s remarriage. Although living at home had been a pleasant necessity before the war, Pym’s move to London gave the opportunity for a widened comic perspective and brought several new populations under her scrutiny. Some restlessness and dissatisfaction with the predictability of the few years as the unmarried daughter at home appear in her short story ‘They Never Write’ (MS Pym 94, fols 218–29) whose heroine is conscious of her mother’s attempt to arrange for her a match with the new curate:

Quite a sensible idea, thought Abigail detachedly. She was twenty-three years old and had already been down from Oxford two years. Many people in the town must think that her expensive education had been a waste of money, as here she was at home, apparently quite idle, and not even getting married. (MS Pym 94, fol. 224)

Keywords

Minor Character Fictional World Love Affair Settlement House Narrative Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Annette Weld 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Weld

There are no affiliations available

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