Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

10 best books like Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (Elizabeth Taylor): Nightmare Abbey, The Black Sheep, The Bird of Night, The Tortoise and the Hare, One Fine Day, The Constant Nymph, Sisters By a River, The Lost Traveller, Sybil, or the Two Nations, Malone Dies

AuthorThomas Love Peacock
This 1818 novel is set in a former abbey whose owner, Christopher Glowry, is host to visitors who enjoy his hospitality and engage in endless debate. Among these guests are figures recognizable to Peacock's contemporaries, including characters based on Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mr....
AuthorHonoré de Balzac
The novel begins in 1792 with a long and rather dull preamble givinge history to the Rouget family, and as it happens this is vital to understanding the last part of the tale. Agathe Rouget is the daughter of a rather nasty doctor, that seems to be putting it mildly, and Balzac laces the tale of Doctor Rouget...
AuthorSusan Hill
Francis Croft, the greatest poet of his age, was mad. His world was a nightmare of internal furies and haunting poetic vision. Harvey Lawson watched and protected him until his final suicide. From his solitary old age Harvey writes this brief account of their twenty years together and then burns all...
AuthorElizabeth Jenkins
The magnetic Evelyn Gresham, 52, is a barrister of considerable distinction. He has everything life could offer -- a gracious riverside house in Berkshire, a beautiful young wife, Imogen, who is devoted to him, and their 11-year-old son, a replica of his father.

Their nearest neighbor is...
AuthorMollie Panter-Downes
It's a summer's day in 1946. The English village of Wealding is no longer troubled by distant sirens, yet the rustling coils of barbed wire are a reminder that something, some quality of life, has evaporated. Together again after years of separation, Laura and Stephen Marshall and their daughter Victoria...
AuthorMargaret Kennedy
Tessa is the daughter of a brilliant bohemian composer, Albert Sanger, who with his "circus" of precocious children, slovenly mistress, and assortment of hangers-on, lives in a rambling chalet high in the Austrian Alps. The fourteen-year-old Tessa has fallen in love with Lewis Dodd, a gifted composer...
AuthorBarbara Comyns
On the banks of the River Avon, six sisters are born. The seasons come and go, the girls take their lessons under the ash tree, and always there is the sound of water swirling through the weir. Then, unexpectedly, an air of decay descends upon the house: ivy grows unchecked over the windows, angry shouts...
AuthorAntonia White
When Clara returns home from the convent of her childhood to begin life at a local girls' school, she is at a loss: although she has comparative freedom, she misses the discipline the nuns imposed and worries about keeping her faith in a secular world. Against the background of the First World War, Clara...
AuthorBenjamin Disraeli
The book is a roman à thèse, or a novel with a thesis -- which was meant to create a furor over the squalor that was plaguing England's working class cities. The general reader whose attention has not been specially drawn to the subject which these volumes aim to illustrate, the Condition of the People,...
AuthorSamuel Beckett
Written and published in French in 1951, and in Samuel Beckett’s English translation in 1956, Malone Dies is the second of his immediate post-war novels, written during what Beckett later referred to as ‘the siege in the room’.

‘Malone’, writes Malone, ‘is what I am called now.’...
AuthorJan Struther
Ok finished the book. One final thought to complete the review. Mrs. Miniver did have something rather excellent to say on marriages and social life. She said that there was often one of a pair that you liked less than the other, or that one of them would always outshine the other (don't we all know couples...
AuthorBeryl Bainbridge
Ten cheers for Beryl, I intend to read everything by her eventually. Her career was a major successful brow-swerve - she wasn't highbrow, lowbrow or middlebrow, she just banged along on her rickety typewriter smoking 25 ciggies per hour and coughing her lungs out, entirely in her own bubble, and such...
AuthorMuriel Spark
"How wonderful to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century," Fleur Talbot rejoices. Happily loitering about London, c. 1949, with intent to gather material for her writing, Fleur finds a job "on the grubby edge of the literary world," as secretary to the peculiar Autobiographical Association....
AuthorDorothy Whipple
This is a pitch-perfect period piece: middle class couple in their mid 40s, living in middle England, mid wars. It could have been hackneyed, or just dull, but it isn't - and it's beautifully written.

It opens with exquisite descriptions of the minor niggles of a slightly dull life; the precise...
AuthorWilliam Trevor
This is another very quirky book from the 1970 Booker shortlist - another book with comic elements and a dark human story at its centre, which is clearly something the judges that year liked, as both the winner The Elected Member and Eva Trout have similarities.

The setting for this one is O'Neill's...
AuthorElizabeth von Arnim
Ingeborg Bullivant decides spontaneously to join a tour to Lucerne-and returns engaged. Yet her new life as a rural Prussian pastor's wife restricts her as much as her old; and when the dashing artist Ingram appears, musing about wondrous Italy, wanderlust tempts her a second time. Von Arnim's accomplished...
AuthorRosamond Lehmann
A diary for her innermost thoughts, a china ornament, a ten-shilling note, and a roll of flame-coloured silk for her first evening dress: these are the gifts Olivia Curtis receives for her seventeenth birthday. She anticipates her first dance, the greatest yet most terrifying event of her restricted...
AuthorJane Gardam
With the birth of her baby brother, eight-year-old Margaret Marsh is banished from the house every Wednesday afternoon to enjoy the idyllic English seaside—at peace between the world wars—with the family’s new, young, and bawdy maid. Largely ignored, the child has all the freedom she needs...
AuthorAnn Bridge
"She lay in bed, listening to the nightingales and the river under her window, and asking herself with a sort of exasperated astonishment whether she could really be falling in love with Nicholas."

Even though she is a renowned painter Lady Kilmichael is diffident and sad. her remote, brilliant...
AuthorBarbara Pym
If Jane Cleveland and Prudence Bates seem an unlikely pair to be walking together at an Oxford reunion, neither of them are aware of it. They couldn't be more different: Jane is a rather incompetent vicar's wife, who always looks as if she is about to feed the chickens, while Prudence, a pristine hothouse...
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