I've now read the three books by Angela Thirkell I was talking about a few days ago, and what delights they are! Briefly, the novels are charming romantic comedies, very funny indeed in places, warm and comfortable reading; I greatly enjoyed them both, but High Rising was my favourite by a short head over Wild Strawberries.
From its main character, novelist Laura Morland - writer of "good bad books"- she of the ever-tumbling hairpins and the railway-obsessed son Tony ("an exhaustion to the spirit"), to the sybilline mutterings of Stoker the cook-housekeeper, the stalwart, tweedy Dr. Ford, the loquacious historian George Knox, Laura's ever-reliable secretary Anne Todd - all play their part in what amounts to a storm in a prettily painted teacup which threatens the quiet life of High and Low Rising.
I loved the confiding, conversational style, the genial tone, the odd 'airy gesture' on the part of the author - it's a fun book and a diverting one.
Angela Thirkell's memoir Three Houses reminded me of Gwen Raverat's Period Piece - A Cambridge Childhood which is a similarly joyous piece of writing. Reminiscing on the homes she knew well in her childhood - her own and those of her grandparents in the country and in town - it's a nostalgic book about "golden unhastening days" when time "had no value", a contented child's view of her small, happy corner of the world, albeit one peopled with the great and the good of the day.
Geranium Cat mentioned in her comment on my earlier post that a good companion read to Three Houses would be Diana Holman Hunt's My Grandmothers and I, and I think she's quite right - both writers being granddaughters of Pre-Raphaelite painters, there is much common ground. Similarly, I'd also recommend Judith Flanders's book A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin, and - for a glimpse of another part of this 'picture' - Josceline Dimbleby's A Profound Secret: May Gaskell, her daughter Amy, and Edward Burne-Jones.