It is now over thirteen years since I first began to start putting together some sort of web presence for Margery Sharp. Well over twenty years since I began reading the works of Margery Sharp with appreciation. As I realized the need of rebuilding this website in its new location, (yet again!) and the scope of the project began to sink in, the task at hand began to take on the aspect of the outraged Miss Pickering when told she had to move her extensive sewing operations out of the Gayford’s dining room.
Why Do This?
Does anyone care about Margery’s work anymore? Is she ‘relevant’ to anything in our lives now? What is her place in English literature? Can she be compared to any other writers we love?
Margery herself would have laughed at these questions, shrugged them off; and now that we think of it, they begin to sound a lot like the questions her character Cluny Brown had to face…
‘Who are you? What is your place? Where do you belong?’….and Cluny, as we know ‘looked like no one on earth but herself’.
Nor do I think these ‘divigations’, as Angela Thirkell would have termed them, will lead us to anything more authoritative than an interesting discussion. I am certainly not a qualified literary critic or expert in any way. I merely appreciate the talent of this writer, and desire to bring more of her work to a wider audience.
My plan, with this new blog and location, is to post comments and insights about her novels in separate blogs. Feel free to participate in the comments section.
As we go, there will be the expected comparisons to other authors. There will be disappointments, as Margery did not always write the stories we wanted her to write. There are a few of her efforts, I will admit, that I simply don’t like at all.
She had the great fortune to grow old as a writer, but this does not always prove to be equally fortunate for her writing. Part of what will make this a fascinating reading tour, for the Anglophiles among us, will be the chance to open a time capsule into the unique world of a pungent, still feisty England between the two world wars.
So follow along as we discuss an author who wrote ‘with skill, gusto, and humor’. (London Daily News)