I picked up my copy of ‘The Lighthearted Quest’ by Ann Bridge in a second-hand bookshop some time ago. It looked wonderful, but when I learned that it was the first in a series of eight, and that all were out of print, I decided that I must track down the other seven before I began to read.
There are few things more infuriating than getting part way through a series and coming to a grinding halt!
I found three more books with ease, two more with a little difficulty, but the last two remained elusive. Why does that happen so often when I try to collect a series or an author I wonder?
But luck was on my side – Bloomsbury is about to reissue all eight books, and so I will be able to fill in the gaps.
A couple of days ago I picked up that first book, and I finally met Julia Probyn. I found her to be such an engaging heroine, with charm, vitality and intelligence, and I am having a lovely time following her through Morocco.
I shall endeavour to write more before too long but here, by way of a teaser, is that passage illuminating Julia’s taste inliterature:
“… In many if those houses they came across small round baths, six feet or more across and around the depth of a modern bath, cemented within, their raised rims decorated with designs in mosaic: one of these bore a pattern of gold-fish. Julia was instantly reminded of Linda’s bath, with the swimming gold-fish in its side in ‘The Pursuit of Love’, and was ravished; she drew Mr. St John’s attention to this resemblance, and he gave his dry prehistoric chuckle. They had to explain the joke to the airman, who had not read Nancy Mitford, and was less amused …”