Virginia Barton

1 July 2013: Of Caroline, J.R.R., P.G. – and Jane

1 July 2013

shutterstock_114542011 (1) (800x689)


Please excuse this bundle of Commonplaces. I have got behind myself as it were, and there are several outstanding Replies or Comments that I have neglected, and should have attended to some time ago.

Imagine an apologetic bow.


It was Liz I think who suggested I read the short stories of Caroline Gordon? The book has now arrived but must take its place in the queue – I have been sidetracked by What is the Point of Being a Christian? by Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., and The Duel by Joseph Conrad, neither of which have I yet finished due to reading last thing at night and falling asleep . . .

Thanks Liz, Ms. Gordon’s stories look tempting. I don’t read as much as I used, the old eyes get tired as well as the old everything else.


Then I promised Harold I would ask a very old lady who knew Tolkien and his family well, about his sources for The Lord of the Rings. You were right Harold, in part at least. My friend came for tea yesterday and said Tolkien did indeed draw partially on the Sagas for inspiration, but mainly on his own imagination. The Hobbit he wrote for his children. And disgracefully, Ginny hasn’t read either of them.


Now to the great Wodehouse controversy, where Rosanne, Wellies and Ginny battle it out in the lists. The latter throws in her towel re P.G., but would like Rosanne to know that she can still hear her own mother shrieking – no , she never shriekedroaring with laughter over Mapp and Lucia and the goings-on at Tilling. I still say au reservoir. Who could ever forget Georgie, Diva and Quaint Irene?

But no, I haven’t come across Thorne Smith and Topper. Will put him on the back burner.



As to Coal Filled Wellies, I’m not competent to say: I only saw about ten minutes of Blandings before the tiresomeness of it made me leave the room, despite Timothy Spall being such a splendid actor. Fry leaves me cold. Chacun à son goût, eh?


Before the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice runs out in January, we ought to have a ding-dong about the merits of translating Miss Austen to the screen. How amused she would be to see her fans at loggerheads!

The Janeites, purists to a man, resisting any deviation AT ALL from the written word; the faithful followers only too keen to introduce her to a new generation by almost any means. Even BH (Better Half, in case you’ve forgotten) pronounces on the subject magisterially.

But more of that another day.


Au reservoir till then! Ginny






Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(c) All Rights Reserved. Site Designed by Magtype CR