Miss Buncle Married
is a sequel to Miss Buncle's Book
, in which Barbara Buncle's novel caused havoc in her home village. Early in Miss Buncle Married
Arthur thinks: ‘But I really hope, in a way, that [Barbara] won’t want to write ... because this place is delightful – simply charming – and if she starts writing about our neighbours, we shall most probably have to leave Wandlebury – just as she had to leave Silverstream – in a hurry.’
DE Stevenson’s great-granddaughter Fiona Bevan writes in the Persephone Afterword: ‘It is the truthful depiction of people, and the exposure of their faults, that makes Barbara’s writing dangerous.’ For, although witty and readable, DE Stevenson can be sharp and caustic, indeed occasionally verges on the cruel when she lampoons some of her characters. However, she is also intensely sympathetic to the less fortunate, for example the reader knows that Miss Foddy, the governess to the neighbouring children, faces a bleak future where ‘it is so extremely difficult for a woman of my age and uncertified qualifications to find a post‘ and DE Stevenson never forgets ‘the potentially bleak outlook for women who cannot marry into a secure life.’ Yet despite moments of seriousness, Miss Buncle Married
is overall a funny, touching and interesting novel that most Persephone readers will enjoy very much.
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