It is 1913 - just prior to England's entry into World War I - and Edwardian England is about to vanish into history.
A group of men and women gather at Sir Randolph Nettleby's estate for a shooting party.
Opulent, adulterous, moving assuredly through the rituals of eating and slaughter, they are a dazzlingly obtuse and brilliantly decorative finale of an era.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 04/01/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141188676
- EPUB from £4.99
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Review by Nickelini
This short novel takes place in 24 hours in October 1913 before and during a shooting party at the Oxfordshire country house of Sir Randolph Nettlby. From the opening paragraph, you know that something bad is going to happen, but a something that will be forgotten a year later when their world is shattered by the Great War. The reader experiences the events of the day by following many characters, both aristocratic and service class.Colgate is a fabulous writer--subtle, observant, witty, stylish. And she's writing about my favourite historical period--Edwardian England. Do I have to tell you I loved this book? I held back from giving it a full five stars because for my tastes there was a little too much detail about the actual shooting (or shall I say, needless slaughter of hundreds of pheasants, and yes, that's a metaphor for the war). <b>Recommended for:</b> readers who love the Edwardian era, fans of <i>Gosford Park</i> and <i>Downton Abbey</i>, although fans of the later should take note that this is only one day in the life, and there is no Maggie Smith character making hilarious comments. It also has a less fluffy tone than <i>Downton Abbey</i>. <b>Note:</b> The 2007 Penguin Modern Classics edition has an excellent 24 page introduction by Julian Fellowes. He was inspired by the 1980s film version of [The Shooting Party] to create <i>Gosford Park</i>, which further inspired him to create <i>Downton Abbey</i>.