Margaret Kennedy Reading Week

I have come to love and admire Margaret Kennedy’s writing over the last few years, and I know that others love her too, but even though her books have been coming back to print, even though there are more on the way, I want to do everything I can to steer others towards her work.

Hence MARGARET KENNEDY READING WEEK!

I find it difficult to explain what makes her special but you can find a lovely piece written by her granddaughter, novelist Serena Mackesy here and all of my posts about her books here.

So what so we have?

We have dates:

6th to 12th October.

Because I want to read Mary Stewart with Anbolyn in September, because I want to give anyone whose waiting for the last few reissues at the very end of September time to get their books, and because I don’t want to delay things any more than that.

We have a badge:

kennedy Badge

I’m quite pleased with it, though making such things is not my talent and there are not too many images of the author out there. Please display it and please spread the word!

We have a bibliography:

I couldn’t find one definitive source, but I’ve pulled a list together from a number of sources and I think I have pretty much everything that was published in book form.

All of the novels except the last one are in print – or will be in the weeks to come.

Some are published as Faber Finds and others by Vintage Books.

None of the others are, but because Margaret Kennedy was hugely successful in the 1920s, and well regarded after that, libraries may well have copes tucked away and there should be used copies out there.

Novels

The Ladies of Lyndon (1923)
The Constant Nymph (1924)
Red Sky at Morning (1927)
The Fool of the Family (1930) sequel to The Constant Nymph.
Return I Dare Not (1931)
A Long Time Ago (1932)
Together and Apart (1936)
The Midas Touch (1938)
The Feast (1950)
Lucy Carmichael (1951)
Troy Chimneys (1953)
The Oracles (US Title – Act of God)(1955)
The Heroes of Clone (US Title – The Wild Swan)(1957)
A Night in Cold Harbour (1960)
The Forgotten Smile (1961)
Not in the Calendar: The Story of a Friendship (1964)

Non Fiction

A Century of Revolution 1789-1920 (1922), history.
Where Stands a Winged Sentry (1941), wartime memoir.
The Mechanized Muse. P. E. N. series (1942), on the cinema.
Jane Austen. Novelists Series No. 1 (1950), biography/literary criticism.
The Outlaws on Parnassus. On the art of the novel (1958), literary criticism.

Shorter Fiction

A Long Week-End (1927), novella – published as a limited edition.
Dewdrops (1928), novella – published as a limited edition.
The Game and the Candle (1928), novella – published as a limited edition.
Women at Work (1966), two novellas – The Little Green Man and Three-Timer.

Plays

The Constant Nymph (1926), written with Basil Dean.
Come with Me (1928), written with Basil Dean.
Escape Me Never! (1934), a dramatisation of The Fool of the Family.
Autumn (1937), written with Gregory Ratoff.
Happy with Either (1948)

And there is one biography – The Constant Novelist by Violet Powell.

And we have some reviews to tempt you – ten different readers on ten different books:

A Girl Walks into a Bookstore on The Ladies of Lyndon
Geranium Cat on The Constant Nymph
Fleur in her World (me) on The Fool of the Family
TBR 313 on A Long Time Ago
Stuck in a Book on Together and Apart
The Captive Reader on Jane Austen
Furrowed Middlebrow on The Feast
Another Look Book on Lucy Carmichael
Vulpes Libres on Troy Chimneys
Novel Readings on The Outlaws on Parnassus

I do hope that you have found something to tempt you to join in.

Do tell me, and please ask is you have any questions at all.

41 responses

  1. I am looking forward to this! and I have been collecting books in advance, particularly after reading your review of Not in the Calendar. I see that her American publishers have been up to their usual trick of changing titles. I have Act of God, from 1955, instead of The Oracles; and Wild Swan from 1957, instead of The Heroes of Clone.

    • Hooray, and thank you for the additional information, which I’ve just edited in. I should have known about The Wild Swan as it’s being reissued under that title here, but I didn’t know about Act of God/The Oracles.

  2. I am in…how can I not be in when you introduced me to Margaret Kennedy and I knew my reading world was so not complete in her absence??? Think will read the The Feast (its in my TBR for a while) and Jane Austen (what does one of favourite author say about the other?)

  3. I look forward to joining you. I’ve never been able to find any of MK’s books here , not even in the library, so will have to buy.

    • That’s disappointing, but maybe they will buy some of the new Vintage editions. in the meantime though there are books available to buy, they’re very diverse, and I’m sure that any that particularly catch your eye you will think of as a wise investment when you come to read.

    • I think – I hope – you will come to love Margaret Kennedy. I see the influence of Jane Austen in her work but she is very much of the 20th century. And I’m hoping that if the Vintage reissues of her work prove popular they might go looking for other lady authors of the period and they might find Margery ….

  4. I’m all for discovering a new-to-me writer and keeping her memory alive! I don’t own any of Kennedy’s books so I’ll have to do some clickety-clicking myself. I really like the sound of The Forgotten Smile. I am 99% sure that I will actually be in England during the designated week(!), but I’ll schedule a post. The badge looks great!

  5. Margaret Kennedy reading week!!! What a wonderful idea! I’m actually reading The Constant Nymph right now, and while it’s not my #1 Kennedy novel (of those I’ve read so far), the writing and story are still so masterful. It’s official: when people ask me who my favorite author is, my answer is henceforth Margaret Kennedy. I hope October brings more fans (aka worshippers) to this amazing author.

  6. I still haven’t read anything by Margaret Kennedy and am not sure where to start, but I’d love to join in with this. I’ll look through the reviews you’ve listed and try to decide what I want to read.

    • Her books haven’t been too widely available, but there are a good number coming back into print over the next couple of months. She writes very well and her subjects are quite varied so hopefully you’ll find one you like.

  7. Thank you. My library has the Jane Austen book and it’s been on my one day list since you and Claire both enthused, but I have novels to read still and I want to re-read Austen herself so it may be a while before I get to that one.

  8. I loved The Ladies of Lyndon and I am pretty sure I have one or two other titles in my possession. My only hope is that they aren’t packed away while we are in temp quarters. Must have a fossick through my book closet.

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  14. I am reading The Constant Nymph which I am loving I started a couple of days ago and have less than 100 pages to go but so tired I may not finish till tomorrow. I then have The Ladies of Lyndon from the library which I may get to by the end of the week.

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