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10 thoughts on “Westwood or The Gentle Powers

  1. says:

    If Cold Comfort Farm was a high point of a peculiar kind of class based English humour then this is the low point of an author who hits you on the head with her absolutely humourless opinions on class beauty and stupid women This is so bad it

  2. says:

    Cold Comfort Farm is one of my most reread books but Westwood was Stella Gibbons' own favourite among her novels It's darker

  3. says:

    From BBC Radio 4 ExtraIn 1943 bomb hit London teacher Margaret Steggles falls under the spell of the wealthy Challis family Episode 2Teacher Margaret Steggles wonders if pompous playwright Gerald Challis really is the man of her dreamsStars

  4. says:

    Stella Gibbons is now really only known for one novel her first Cold Comfort Farm It would be easy to dismiss her as a one hit wonder but she actually wrote over 20 books and Westwood published in 1946 was largely believe

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book it tells the story of two friends Margaret and Hilda and of their lives and those pe

  6. says:

    I was surprised to read a couple of negative reviews of this book as I absolutely loved it although its 30 years since I read Cold Comfort Farm

  7. says:

    I am a little puzzled by this novel which is very different to Cold Comfort Farm and seuels the only other Stella Gibbons I’ve read ‘Westwoo

  8. says:

    I like the blurb on the edition I read Stella Gibbons is the Austen of the 20th centuryIt's great to see she seems to be having a come back with her other books and won't just be remembered for the brilliant Cold Comfort Farm

  9. says:

    The plot is minimal there is much telling not showing and too many authorial interruptions but my gosh the characters they a

  10. says:

    This is good and some of the sarcastic bits about the very annoying Mr Challis are very funny but it's no Cold Comfort Farm It's unfortunate when someone's first book is so much successful than all their others She's a good writer though and this is very interesting from a setting point of view as it's post Blitz but befo

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Free download Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free é Stella Gibbons

Artistic circle Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind This is a delightfully Westwood or PDFEPUBcomic and wistful tale of love and longing.. The plot is minimal there is much telling not showing and too many authorial interruptions but my gosh the characters they are fabulous Margaret the plain sensible one who nonetheless longs for beauty truth art something than the tedious suburban life with her tedious suburban mother her BFF Hilda the opposite of Margaret who thinks nothing of beauty or art and just wants to have fun with service men on leave without ever risking her future marriage prospectsThat s the side of the suburbs On the bohemian side up in Hamstead are the Challises and the Niland artists writers self servers uite monstrous is Hebe the spoilt daughter who unloads her children onto any passing person and instead of being grateful to Margaret for looking after them tells her a story about her parents and grandparents and justifies it to herself I thought it would do instead of thanking her If she was alive nowadays she s be called Poppy and would be Chelsea tractoring her way round Primrose Hill in her Lululemon yoga pants and always turning up late for the childminderMost monstrous of all if Gerald Challis Hebe s father He is apparently based on Charles Morgan a now forgotten writer who didn t believe writing should or could be humorous He falls for Hilda and writes her into his new play as a tragedian a character who kills herself because men keep falling for her whilst never really understanding anything about women If he was alive now he d still be unaware of his misogyny How can I hate women My wife is oneAlthough Gibbons was satirising the way male writers portray female characters in their fiction way before it was fashionable to do so the book is hardly feminist marriage is still the aim of women with a career being only a stop gap until that goal is met Margaret finds happiness through self sacrifice and child care of other people s childrenThe war apart from destroying the Nilands cottage doesn t really touch these characters there s rationing and air raids but lives and loves go on as before The one thing Gibbons moots is that books and plays about art and death belong to the time before the war that common sense and cheeriness much like Flora Poste is Cold Comfort Farm is what is needed during times of war

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Westwood or The Gentle Powers

Set in wartime The Gentle MOBI #183 London Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is not the type that attracts men Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sun. Cold Comfort Farm is one of my most reread books but Westwood was Stella Gibbons own favourite among her novels It s darker and pointedly feminist set in wartime proper rather than a fictionalised near future 1940s and provides a fascinating minor key mirror to CCF Margaret is almost an anti Flora Poste the outsider drawn in not to sort everyone out but to be dazzled and tossed about and frankly exploited echoes of Flora in the magnificently impervious Hilda and fundamentally frivolous flapper Seraphina too And the insufferably pretentious misogynistic playwright Challis Mybug gets bumped to major character provides Gibbons opportunity for much delicious stabbinessHe knew that his plays were good each one better than its predecessor Mountain Air the one about six women botanists and a male guide isolated in a snowstorm in a hut on the Andes had been surer in its approach and handling than his first one The Hidden Well which concerned the seven men and one female nurse on the tsetse fly research station while Katt dealt with an Austrian woman who was bandied about by the officers of a crack regiment in Vienna and was he felt convinced his masterpieceHe had wrought for himself a strikingly distinguished style It was difficult to describe but he himself had not demurred when one admirer had coined for it the phrase a style of iron and shadows He always wrote obliuely of people s personal charms making a man say to a woman Your throat is a taut chord or Your ankle bone is softly moulded

Free download Þ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free é Stella Gibbons

Ny temperament and keeps her service boys 'ever so cheery' When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives Margaret slavishly adores Challis and his. Stella Gibbons is now really only known for one novel her first Cold Comfort Farm It would be easy to dismiss her as a one hit wonder but she actually wrote over 20 books and Westwood published in 1946 was largely believed to be Gibbons own personal favourite I ve left it a couple of days since finishing this novel before writing a review as I initially didn t know what to make of it Margaret a young school teacher moves to London with her parents during the war years The novel tells the story of her meeting with Gerard Challis a renowned playwright who happens in a separate plot thread to have developed a passion for Margaret s friend Hilda although neither woman is aware of the other s involvement with Challis Thus develops a gentle comedy of errors and manners The fundamental problem with the novel is that Gibbons has filled it so full with oddities and grotesues that s it s difficult to identify or sympathize with any individual character Margaret the ostensible heroine is very hard to like at times as she allows herself to be used and abused by the monstrous Challis family for the perceived honour of being close to them and part of their intimate circle Additionally for a novel with is so definitely set during the war years in London it seems strange that the war is mentioned so infreuently and none of the characters seem particularly touched by the larger events occurring at the time although Margaret does have a brother who is enlisted and called up during the book However in spite of these criticisms it is a warm and witty novel which I am growing much fonder of in hindsight Gibbons is a very honest writer and she doesn t cheat her readership with unrealistic conclusions There are wonderful descriptive passages concerning the borough of Highgate and the changing seasons are well evoked It s a shame that Gibbons has seemingly fallen out of favour with publishers for so long but this novel along with a few others have been reprinted by Vintage so maybe the time is right for a revival of interest in this little known author