Last January, and the January before, we held lovely parties to celebrate Margery Sharp’s birthday.
Here’s a little taste of last year’s event:
Karen read ‘The Nutmeg Tree’ and said:
“I have to say that my first experience of reading Margery Sharp was a wonderful one. Her prose is lovely, easy to read and thoroughly engaging, and her characters such fun! I laughed out loud in several places and followed the various scrapes into which Julia got herself with glee. However, I said above that the book was ostensibly light-hearted and there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.”
Lady Fancifull read ‘Cluny Brown’ and said:
“Margery Sharp assembles a cast of strong and quirky characters, all of whom might seem to be examples of ‘types’ …. but Sharp renders them all much more interesting, much more contradictory, and, all of them, much more likeable. Her pen is sharp, but it is also fizzy, joyous, expansive. There is no spitefulness, no meanness of spirit in her writing.”
Arpita read ‘Britannia Mews’ and said:
“It is an astonishing novel on many levels and depicts a slice of English history that is multifaceted and rich in detail. I’ve enjoyed reading a Margery Sharp novel that is a little different from the other books I have read, but quite, quite lovely!”
Liz read ‘The Foolish Gentleman’ and said:
“An absolutely charming novel – Sharp falls firmly into the mid-century middlebrow nexus, sitting comfortably with your Dorothy Whipple, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym or Mary Hocking. Sharp (ha) and observant about families, education (or the lack of it), class and ageing, she’s maybe a little warmer than Taylor and Pym, although just as incisive and with similar flamboyant, flawed and hilarious characters.”
And I could go on, but the most important thing to say that we agreed that it would be lovely to do it again.
So this is your invitation to Margery Sharp’s 112th birthday party on 25th January 2017.
There’s no need to RSVP – though it would be lovely to know if you might come – all you need to do is to read a Margery Sharp book between now and then, and post about it on the day!
I am so pleased to be able to say that will be the first year that it has been easy to find a book to read – because, since our last party, ten titles have been reissued as eBooks by Open Road Media.
Paper copies are less easy to come by at the moment, but they can be found. I’ll come back to that in a while.
There is a post back here where I try to explain just what makes Margery so special, and I must direct your attention towards somebody else who loves her has done so much to celebrate her work. Do take a look at The Margery Sharp Blog, whose creator you may know through her writing blog, Genusrosa.
Of course I can’t promise that you’ll love Margery Sharp’s writing, but if you think that you might you really should try her, because many of us who love her really, really love her.
Now, to practicalities:
We have a badge
We have a bibliography
Rhododendron Pie (1930)
Fanfare for Tin Trumpets (1932)
The Nymph and The Nobleman (1932)
The Flowering Thorn (1933)
Sophy Cassmajor (1934)
Four Gardens (1935)
The Nutmeg Tree (1937)
Harlequin House (1939)
The Stone of Chastity (1940)
The Tigress On The Hearth (1941)
Cluny Brown (1944)
Britannia Mews (1946)
The Foolish Gentlewoman (1948)
Lise Lillywhite (1951)
The Gipsy in the Parlour (1954)
The Eye of Love (1957)
Something Light (1960)
Martha in Paris (sequel to The Eye of Love) (1962)
Martha, Eric and George (sequel to Martha in Paris) (1964)
The Sun in Scorpio (19650
In Pious Memory (1967)
The Innocents (1972)
The Lost Chapel Picnic and Other Stories (1973)
The Faithful Servants (1975)
Summer Visits (1977)
The early books were printed in small quantities, and are very nearly impossible to find, but The Nutmeg Tree became a film and then a play and from then on her books were printed in larger quantities.
‘The Eye of Love’ was in print quite recently, and I’ve picked up used copies ‘The Stone of Chastity’, ‘Cluny Brown’, ‘Britannia Mews’, ‘Lise Lillywhite’, ‘Something Light’ and ‘Four Gardens’ very cheaply, so there are books out there to be found.
It’s also worth checking your library catalogue, because I’ve found other titles in my library’s reserve stock.
I do hope that you will find a book and be part of Margery Sharp’s birthday party.
Do tell me, and please ask is you have any questions at all.