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  • Virago

Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead

Barbara Comyns

2 Reviews

Rated 0

Virago Modern Classics, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Originally published in 1954, this strange novel with its macabre humour, speaks with Barbara Comyns' unique and magical voice.

At the beginning of June the river floods, ducks swim through the drawing-room windows and Ebin Willowd rows his daughters round the submerged garden. The grandmother dresses in magenta for her seventy-first birthday whist drive and looks forward to the first prize of pate de fois gras. Later Ives the gardener leads a morose procession up river, dragging her to a funeral in a black-draped punt. The miller goes mad and drowns himself and a cottage is set alight. Villagers keep dying and at the house on a river, plates are thrown across the luncheon table and a tortoise through a window. The newspaper asks 'Who will be smitten by the fatal madness next '

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Praise for Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead

  • The strange off-beat talent of Barbara Comyns [whose] innocent eye observes with child-like simplicity the most fantastic or the most ominous occurrence. - Graham Greene

  • The strange off-beat talent of Barbara Comyns [whose] innocent eye observes with child-like simplicity the most fantastic or the most ominous occurrence. - Graham Greene

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Barbara Comyns

Barbara Comyns (1909-92) was born in Bidford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. She was an artist and writer, worked in advertising, dealt in old cars and antiques, bred poodles and developed property. She was twice married, and she and her second husband lived in Spain for eighteen years, returning to the UK in the early 1970s. She is the author of eleven books, including Sisters by a River (1947), Our Spoons Came from Woolworths (1950), The Vet's Daughter (1959), The Skin Chairs (1962) and A Touch of Mistletoe (1967). She died in Shropshire in 1992.

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