High Rising

High Rising Angela Thirkell
Angela Thirkell’s High Rising doesn’t sound like much from a summary. Basically, Laura Morland, a successful writer of “good bad books,” goes to the country for Christmas with her talkative train-obsessed son in tow. She has tea with her village* neighbors, her publisher comes to stay, and they all go to a New Year’s party at a neighbor’s house. What little plot there is revolves around Mrs Morland’s attempts to rescue neighbor (and fellow writer) George Knox from his young, beautiful secretary. High Rising is more about the journey than the destination. We’re basically dropped in the middle of 1930s English village society where we get to observe the lives of its inhabitants for a brief space of time. Plus, there are some really funny bits. High Rising would be a good antidote to any dark or serious reading–the literary equivalent of a nice cup of tea.
*The villages of High Rising and Low Rising are in Barsetshire, the fictional county originally created by Anthony Trollope. From what I can tell, it must be located somewhere in the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire area (Cotswolds, probably). One arrives via train from London Paddington (takes about 90 minutes), and many of the villages have wool-related names.

4 thoughts on “High Rising

  1. Lori

    Your photo is lovely – the “smokiness” is so pretty!

    1. Lauren Hairston

      That’s from playing around with photoshop actions. They’re quite fun!

  2. sunday taylor

    Lauren, I just finished it. Such a coincidence that you wrote about it. I like it though not as much as Wild Strawberries which I adored. Supposedly three more are being released by Virago this spring, though I have been unable to find them. Happy reading!

    1. Lauren Hairston

      I need to do a write-up on Wild Strawberries as well as August Folly. That’s as far as I’ve gotten in Angela Thirkell’s works, though. The editions I have are from the Angela Thirkell Society and they are riddled with typos. Hopefully the Virago editions are a bit cleaner.

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