DIARY OF A PROVINCIAL LADY
By E. M. Delafield • Read by Georgina Sutton
Exploitation never goes out of fashion
Trouble with the kitchen range, and Cook says the mutton has gone and will I speak to the butcher.” Guaranteed to soothe Christmas panics and help you to drop off to sleep with a smile, EM Delafield’s famous account of everyday life in rural Devon in 1930 was written as a satire, its chapters published weekly in the magazine Time and Tide.
Now it has the added fascination of summoning up a world we have lost, in which vicarage teas and Women’s Institute meetings are seething cauldrons of offended feelings and fights for status, and hats are de rigueur. It was so successful that Delafield wrote sequels, two of which (The Provincial Lady Goes Further and The Provincial Lady in America) extend the action to London and the US; both are also available from Ukemi.
Georgina Sutton reads all three with a nervous briskness that perfectly matches the Provincial Lady’s accident-prone impulsiveness. Hopefully, this audio
revival will attract attention to Delafield’s many other interesting novels; she is unfairly regarded as a one-book author. Consequences and Nothing Is Safe would both make fine listening.
AUDIOBOOK OF THE WEEK – The Times