Two Viragos for the #1930Club

Hi, folks!

As most of you know, this week, Simon and Karen are co-hosting the #1930Club, one of their regular six-monthly reading Clubs, where they encourage everyone to read and discuss books from a particular year. Like everyone and their mother, I am currently reading (& loving) The Diary of a Provincial Lady, by E. M. Delafield, and will be (hopefully) posting my review on time.

Inspired by Karen’s post today, I’d like to recommend two books I’ve read & loved from 1930:

His plunging spirit had got stuck in the glue of convention

“You begin your novel The Edwardians (1930) with a very curious note: “No character in this book is wholly fictitious.”  It gives us a hint to what the book will taste like: melancholic and ambiguous, both an imaginative expansion upon the life you knew well and a deep immersion on its contradictions.” – My review


“Very well, if you want the truth, here it is. The society you live in is composed of people who are both dissolute and prudent. They want to have their fun, and they want to keep their position. They glitter on the surface, but underneath the surface they are stupid – too stupid to recognise their own motives. They know only a limited number of things about themselves: that they need plenty of money, and that they must be seen in the right places, associated with the right people. In spite of their efforts to turn themselves into painted images, they remain human somewhere, and must indulge in love-affairs, which are sometimes artificial, and sometimes inconveniently real. Whatever happens the world must be served first.” – Vita Sackville-West, The Edwardians

I shall have snow on my glassy fingers,

“Somewhere on the threshold of a novel and a prose poem, we have The Shutter of Snow (1930). When the book starts, we are told of loud voices mingled with sobs, gushes of wind, and snow. We don’t know where these voices come from, as much as we don’t know who is telling us this story: the third-person narration makes heavy use of the stream of consciousness technique, and occasionally is overridden by a first-person narrator that comes from nowhere and soon disappears.” My review

“There was no light in the room. Only a dull red ligth in the hall. Someone was walking back and forth back and forth passing her door a captive.  The voice on the other side of the wall was shouting for someone.  It never stopped all night.  It became entangled in the blankets and whistled the ice prongs on the wind. The rest of the voices were not so distinct. It was very still out in the hall when the voices stopped.” – The Shutter of Snow, Emily Holmes Coleman

That’s it, folks! Are you taking part in the #1930Club? What are you reading this week?

Yours truly,


Harold Knight, ‘Girl reading’, 1932.

15 thoughts on “Two Viragos for the #1930Club

  1. You’ve reminded me that I have a copy of The Edwardians tucked away in the spare room somewhere. I doubt if I’ll have time to do anything with it this week, but I shall definitely dig it out.

    The Provincial Lady is wonderful, isn’t it? So delightfully witty. I’m one of the many readers posting about it this week. 🙂


  2. I recently finished reading another Sackville West novel – All Passion Spent – which was simply wonderful so now of course I want to read The Edwardians. I know I won’t get to it this week unfortunately…


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