Where to Begin ...

I'm waiting to talk with Carmen Callil about our plans for the Henley Literary Festival this weekend. Neither of us know whether anyone who may come to our event will have read Margery Allingham's novels. Perhaps they dimly remember seeing the green Penguin editions somewhere years ago, perhaps they purchased the handsome Hogarth paperbacks that Carmen re-published or perhaps, as the Henley organisers seem to expect, they are coming to find out whether Allingham is a new author for them.

The question they may be asking is Where to Begin?


The China Governess

A test of good fiction is that one can return after intervals of several years and find something new, something that might previously have been skimmed over but which now springs to life in a way that corresponds with other things one has learned or experienced in the mean time.

Last week I re-read Margery Allingham's The China Governess, found it far better than I'd previously thought and was unexpectedly moved by its ending. Why was this - my increasing age? the new information concerning Pip's unknown son? a different understanding of Margery's craft now that I have spent more time learning to write fiction for myself? 

I think more clearly when I write, so I tapped out a short article to try and answer this question.

The China Governess: an apology

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