When I was in Oxford last month I took a look at the Bodleian's Barbara Pym display, and I apologise for the quality of the photographs, but if you follow that link to the website you'll see the exhibits much more clearly. The Library holds her literary papers and put on show a selection of letters and notebooks, including a draft of Excellent Women (see below).
On this morning's post on Cornflower, Lucille mentioned she had a copy of Plat du Jours by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd inscribed 'Barbara Pym' on the title page, so I hope that these examples of the Miss Pym's handwriting match the signature in that book!
On that post I was quoting from a letter from Philip Larkin to BP, and he was - famously - her fan and champion. Extracts from many of their letters appear in Hazel Holt's biography, including the following exchange which I found very interesting:
PL writes: "... my feeling is that Angela Thirkell, for instance, vitiated her later books by mentioning everyone in every one, and I think it's a device needing very sharp control if this danger is to be avoided. I realise of course you are using a different method - coincidence rather than Barchester - but it has its pitfalls, to my mind, all the same. ..."
BP: "It can be a tiresome affectation. With me it's sometimes laziness - if I need a casual clergyman or anthropologist I just take one from an earlier book. Perhaps one should take such a very minor character that only the author recognises it, like a kind of superstition or a charm."
Hazel Holt comments, "The fact was that she had created such a complete world that it was perfectly possible for a character from one book to move about easily in another. And, of course, many of her friends and readers simply wanted to know 'what happened next' to their favourite characters after the book had ended."
There's a lot of food for thought there.
As to that 'complete world', Antonia White observed (in a review) how it was created:
"... working in petit point, she makes each stitch with perfect precision. She keeps her design so perfectly to scale, and places one mild tint in such happy juxtaposition to another that this reader ... derived considerable pleasure from it."