Genteel North Oxford is riven by gossip and scandal in Barbara Pym's exquisitely entertaining comedy. With a brand new introduction by Louis de Bernieres.
Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves.
Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum!
Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.
An entertainment that is funny, poignant, observant and truthful. - Louis De Bernieres
The rare charm of Crampton Hodnet is in the glimpse it offers of Pym's imagination as it pauses for a moment in perfect understanding of a character. That sympathy stretches beyond the horizon of comedy. - Time
Barbara Pym (1913-80) was born in Shropshire and educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. When in 1977 the TLS asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the past 75 years, only one was named twice (by Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil): Barbara Pym. Her novels are characterised by what Anne Tyler has called 'the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life'.
Author Location: deceased
No Fond Return of Love; Excellent Women; Some Tame Gazelle; A Glass of Blessings