[Download] ➺ The Brontës Went to Woolworths By Rachel Ferguson – Bassgrotto.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Brontës Went to Woolworths

  1. says:

    Three years ago I was proposed to I couldn t accept the man, much as I liked him, because I was in love with Sherlock Holmes For Holmes and his personality and brain I had a force of feeling which, for the time, converted living men to shadows I m through with Holmes now, but I often think he and I could have hit it off wonderfully well in Baker Street, as I am not at all demanding, and rather love old clothes and armchairs, and silence and smoking, and dispassionate flights of pure reason Deirdre Carne, barely pausing for breath, recounts the story of life with her eccentric family sister Katrine aiming at a career on the stage, young Sheil in the charge of careworn governess Miss Martin, and their long suffering mother Deirdre wants to be a novelist, building on her rich fantasy world, one punctuated by long conversations over the dinner table with Ironface the long lost doll, Creillie their cockney terrier and Toddington the judge who s stepped out of the pages of Who s Who to substitute for their dead father A life spent in the company of books has made the real world recede in favour of imagined realms, particularly useful when Deirdre s novel s rejected and Katrine s career prospects look shaky but then reality starts to make a comeback Depending on your mood and tastes this will either be a charming, quirky read or a deeply cloying annoyance I wasn t always sure what to make of thi...


  2. says:

    I first ran across this in Lucasta Miller s The Bronte Myth Virago reprinted it a few years back, but it s currently out of print again I was pleased when Powell s emailed me that they had a copy The three Carne girls live with their mother and the youngest girl s governess, in a London house inhabited by the people of their imagination, real people whom the family have made up stories about and turned into imaginary friends When Deirdre, the eldest, meets one of the...


  3. says:

    Sorry, Ms Ferguson, I am not your fan This particular book was quite complicated for me Almost everything flew over my head the story, the humour, the characters, the dialogues especially those in French , etc, etc It was a traumatised experience.


  4. says:

    This was an extraordinary book But first the bad news The language is archaic, the context dated, and the modern reader even one well versed in the mode and general attitudes of England in the 1920s will find that the text often verges on the unintelligible Take this passage We have missed keeping Hallowe en for years, since we left Hampton Wick, where we had parties on every imaginable anniversary, and having no proper garden now has made a difference, especially in the matter of guys on the fifth, which were what we called the specialite de maison, and famous all over the village for their size and drama What Or take the mention of nostalgia over bitter gelatine on crackers, or some kind of explosive called starlights , or the entire practice of table turning and then add to that a host of deprecated slang, character in jokes, a half unreliable narrator, and an author whose style tends to allude rather than to tell and well, you have a book that can be mighty hard to understand at times.However, if you have read a bit of Nancy Mitford or Stella Gibbons, a bit of Noel Coward or Evelyn Waugh and if you have a general understanding of what England was like roughly 1880 to 1930, well then you can probably muddle through it as I did Although to be honest I think I might have given up on it eight years ago when I was American and less knowledgeable about the era.If, ...


  5. says:

    Reason for Reading I ve heard much praising of this book over the years And lamenting as it seems it was a Virago Classic at one time but went out of print I ve always wanted to read it since I enjoy early 20th century literature.Summary The Carnes, three daughters and a mother since the father died, are not a well to do family but they get by and do employ a governess for the youngest, while the two elder are both in their early twenties Katrine is an aspiring actress attending Dramatic School and Deirdre is a working journalist who works on her book at home The family has invented a whole passel of imaginary friends often based on real life people and guests who have become a part of their daily lives They ve invented complete fairy tales around these subjects and live quite an extraordinary and romantic life through them When mother must go sit as a backup for jury duty they add Judge Toddington to their assemblage, calling him Toddy, and his wife and staff But one day Deirdre is sent to cover a charity bazaar at which she me...


  6. says:

    This novel I found enjoyable and confusing in equal measure I read this in an old Virago VMC edition the jacket of which does not contain such a fulsome synopsis like that which is available on In this way the reader is allowed to be confused at the beginning sorting out what is real and what is not and seeing as some of the characters have trouble with this it does get puzzling This I am sure was the original intention of the author and it does make it fun This mix of fantasy and reality is utterly mad, and very charming.The Carne sisters, and their mother live a fantasy life in the midst of their real existence Katrine is an aspiring actress, Diedre a journalist, their eleven year old sister Sheil is in the rather pitiful control of troubled governess, Miss Martin who is driven rather mad herself by the stories and make believe The women s lives are enhanc...


  7. says:

    The Carne family lives a blurry line between reality and fantasy It s blurry to the beginning reader, anyway To the family members, it s often delicious, sometimes obsessive, and occasionally frightening My enjoyment and appreciation for the book snuck up on me and what I thought would be a quirky little read, turned into much Ferguson gave me lots to think about re imagination and what makes something real I got this from the library, but I think I m going to need my own copy so that I can re visit the sharp comments and dialogue And the Toddingtons The scenes with Toddy and Lady Mildred are all pleasure This is not a Persephone book, but Ferguson is a Persephone author Plus, Jane Brocket celebrity Persephone reader is a great fan of it I think I was mistaken about this Brocket may very well like it, but...


  8. says:

    An adorable little book As an only child who actively imagined social lives with toys and tv show characters, this book gained a special place for being about a family that collectively imagined such things And wri...


  9. says:

    This is quite simply one of the strangest books I ve ever read One of those books you finish and then head back to the beginning to check out all those things you missed the first time through And while I didn t actually dislike the book and I certainly applaud Bloomsbury for bringing back these early 20th century works , finishing it was a struggle at times.The story is, in part, narrated by Deirdre Carne, one of three sisters living with their widowed mother in 1930s London Deirdre is a journalist working on her first novel, Katrine is an aspiring actress, and the youngest, Sheil, is still at home being looked after by her governess Miss Agatha Martin my favorite character The girls, led by Deirdre and Mrs Carne, have invented an intricate fantasy life to amuse themselves, which includes many imaginary friends some of them based on real life characters One of these fantasy objects of desire is high court Judge Herbert Toddington the Carne women refer to him affectionately as Toddy and create a lavish make be...


  10. says:

    I devoured this novel in about 36 hrs due to yet another sleepless night At first I was sort of WTF is this due to Dierdre s choppy internal narration, but once you get into the family dynamic of inventing friendships with public figures major or minor, fictional or real it begins to make sense, in a weird sort of way especially if like the Carne girls and their mother and this reader you grew up lonely and set apart from those around you What child hasn t found imaginary playmates in books or TV shows to talk to when alone And aren t some of those the best conversations The fun really starts when some of their imaginary friends impinge on their real lives but I must say the paranormal Bronte thread doesn t really fit What was the deal with the encounter with the governess What was the POINT of the paranormal bit And why would you want to make friends with someone who hits your dog I felt that there was a little backstory missing there, though of course as we know table turning ie ouija , seances and all forms of occultic messing about were very popular in those days.That said, it is refreshing to read a novel set in the 20s and 30s that was actually written then Of course, the language and activities are spot on Period fiction writers please take note It s light, entertaining and a good read The title grabbed my attention and made me curious, and I could forgive the plotholes for these lines alone A woman at one of my mother s parties once said to me, Do you like...


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The Brontës Went to Woolworths Pre War London, And The Idea Of Growing Up Looms Large In The Lives Of The Carne Sisters Deirdre, Katrine And Young Sheil Still Cannot Resist Making Up Stories As They Have Done Since Childhood From Their Talking Nursery Toys To Their Fulsomely Imagined Friendship With Real High Court Judge Toddington But When Deirdre Meets The Judge S Real Life Wife At A Charity Bazaar The Sisters Are Forced To Confront The Subject Of Their Imaginings Will They Cast Off The Fantasies Of Childhood Forever