Christmas at High Rising : A Virago Modern Classic, Paperback

Christmas at High Rising : A Virago Modern Classic Paperback

Part of the VMC series

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Originally published in the 1930s and 1940s and never before collected, these stories by the incomparable Angela Thirkell relate merry scenes of a trip to the pantomime, escapades on ice, a Christmas Day gone awry, and an electrifying afternoon for Laura Morland and friends at Low Rising, not to mention the chatter of the arty set at a London private view.

Charming, irreverent and full of mischievous humour, they offer the utmost entertainment in any season of the year.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780349004303



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Billed as a collection of stories, but this book is really more a collection of sketches. Thirkell expertly draws set pieces and lets her perfectly realized characters loose in them. The result is pleasant, sometimes pointed, and often quite humorous (Tony Morland, the eight-ish young gentleman who Does Not Stop Talking, is hilarious), but the stories lack thrust and sometimes come off as anti-climactic. Much to enjoy and admire here, but I was left feeling like the collection was just a touch hollow. I imagine these pieces worked much better in their original medium, that is as short glimpses into these characters' lives through little magazine pieces. Was also disappointed that so many of the stories really had nothing to do with Christmas at all. Probably a must for any Thirkell fan and a pleasant afternoon for anyone who likes this kind of thing, but not the sharp collection of Christmas stories I was hoping for.

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