A little while ago, when I was looking up something or other to do with a book, I noticed that Margery Sharp, one of my very favourite authors, was born on 25th January 1905. I realised that that date next year will be her ‘110th birthday’ and I thought that it would be lovely to throw her a party.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to read a Margery Sharp book between now and then, and to post about it on that day?!
I know that her books for children are much loved, but I want to focus on her writing for grown-ups. Because I know that there are others out there who love her books, because I know there are others don’t know her and who would love her too, and because all but one of her books are out of print and need to be reissued, they really do.
(Don’t be put off by that fact; many of them are gettable, but I’ll come back to that in a while.)
I should explain what makes Margery so special, but I’m not going to, because there is somebody else who loves her who has done that so much better than I ever could. That’s why I’m going to direct you to The Margery Sharp Blog. It was – and is – so clearly a labour of love for its creator, who you may know through her writing blog, Genusrosa.
Finding someone else who loves Margery, and somebody who celebrates her legacy with such style, is one of the highlights of my book blogging years
Now I can’t promise that you’ll love Margery, but if you appreciate 20th century women writers you really should try her, because those of us who love her really, really love her.
Now, to practicalities.
We need a badge:
We need 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’ is in print, 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.
And Open Library has a nice selection of titles that you can borrow for a fortnight to read online or on a compatible device.
I have some reviews to tempt you – here ten different readers on ten different books:
Jackiemania on ‘The Flowering Thorn’
Farm Lane Books Blog on The Nutmeg Tree
Reading 1900-1950 on ‘The Eye of Love’
Biblioathas on ‘Cluny Brown’
Mary’s Library on ‘Summer Visits’
Fleur in her World (me!) on ‘Four Gardens’
Strange at Ecbatan on ‘The Stone of Chastity’
Clothes in Books on ‘Something Light’
Mystery File on ‘The Tigress on the Hearth’
Leaves and Pages on ‘The Sun in Scorpio’ (and many of her other books)
I do hope that you will find a book and be part of Margery’s birthday party.
Do tell me, and please ask is you have any questions at all.