The Diary of a Provincial Lady

The Diary of a Provincial Lady It was thus in that Delafield s most popular and enduring work The Diary of a Provincial Lady was born This largely autobiographical novel substituted the names of Robin and Vicky for her own chi

  • Title: The Diary of a Provincial Lady
  • Author: E.M. Delafield
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • It was thus in 1930 that Delafield s most popular and enduring work The Diary of a Provincial Lady was born This largely autobiographical novel substituted the names of Robin and Vicky for her own children, Lionel and Rosamund.

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    About “E.M. Delafield

    • E.M. Delafield

      Edm e Elizabeth Monica Dashwood, n e de la Pasture 9 June 1890 2 December 1943 , commonly known as E M Delafield, was a prolific English author who is best known for her largely autobiographical Diary of a Provincial Lady, which took the form of a journal of the life of an upper middle class Englishwoman living mostly in a Devon village of the 1930s, and its sequels in which the Provincial Lady buys a flat in London and travels to America Other sequels of note are her experiences looking for war work during the Phoney War in 1939, and her experiences as a tourist in the Soviet Union.Daughter of the novelist Mrs Henry De La Pasture.

    452 thoughts on “The Diary of a Provincial Lady

    • "March 12th. —Resign from Book of the Month, owing to wide and ever-increasing divergence of opinion between us as to merits or demerits of recently published fiction. Write them long and eloquent letter about this, but remember after it is posted that I still owe them twelve shillings and sixpence for Maurois's Byron."I adored this book! I've been saving it for about ten years, because I tend to do that with books I know I will absolutely love. And I wasn't off the mark. I found this book hil [...]

    • Although published in book form in 1934, the “Diary of a Provincial Lady,” started life in 1930 as a serial in “Time and Tide.” Largely autobiographical, Delafield substituted the names “Robin” and “Vicky” for her own children, called Lionel and Rosamund, but, aside from name changes, this is very much a light hearted diary of country life and based upon the author’s own experiences. The Provincial Lady deals with domestic disasters, the W.I a monosyllabic husband, mutinous sta [...]

    • This is such a charming little book. Written in the 1930s as a series of newspaper columns, it comments wryly on the everyday doings of a wealthy family and their neighbours. The Provincial lady has a mostly silent and disengaged husband, a young daughter who has a French nanny and a slightly older son who has been packed off to prep school returning periodically for school holidays to disrupt the household. She muses on the difficulties of parenting, the problem of hiring good household staff, [...]

    • I must admit that I have have been shy of meeting the Provincial Lady for such a long time.You see she was so popular, I read so much praise for her wit and her charm, that I became the bookish equivilent of the shy child, who was so often tongue-tied and could never quite keep up with the leading lights.I resisted a green Virago Modern Classics omnibus containg this book and its three sequels; I resisted a lovely anniversary edition clothed by Cath Kidson; but when a new Persephone edition appe [...]

    • 1. This is good to read if you're interested in the origins of blog as a genre. The author essentially thinly disguises her life as fiction in an attempt to earn some money by way of entering literary competitions, something that was one of very few ways of earning money available to a woman of her social position. The strength of the book lies in the humour (but it's pretty watered down and barely caustic, unless you're really unacquainted with the variety) and the way the writer presents herse [...]

    • Written in 1930, this is a delightful romp through the joys and tribulations of a being an upper crust housewife in the country. This book was very much based on the real life of its author. She had the right credentials for writing this story. As a teenager she was a debutante, then she married a colonel and had two children. She was also made president of her local Women’s Institute, and held this position for life. (This organisation is the ultimate custodian of country life in the UK.) On [...]

    • 2.5 stars. I thought I would like this book more than I did. There were some funny parts but I found it repetitive. I found it hard to empathise with this character's worries and struggles given the amount of staff and time off she seemed to have !

    • Delafield's marvelous Provincial Lady books are a series of journals written by a middle-class wife and mother, who is full of wit and literary aspirations but who is also tied down to her domestic duties; although she eventually achieves literary success, she still has to pull off a tricky balancing act between her professional and personal lives. A parade of notable characters, often based on Delafield's friends and family, inhabit the pages of the books: the diarist's husband Robert, stolid a [...]

    • This is me. At least if I was a 1930's English country wife. Lavishing my children, barely mentioning my husband and escaping to London or abroad whenever possible. Then there's juggling the finances, fobbing off the banks, trying to retain the cook and choosing which new hat to purchase. Screamingly funny, if you enjoy reading about an upper class lady trying to have it all, or at least muddle through.

    • Dear Provincial Lady,I would never know your name but your amusing and witty diary charmed and humored me. Your observations of life, people and happenings are clever, astute, insightful and remarkably revealing. I love your snarky voice as you recount your daily activities. They may not be earth shuttering or monumental in nature but they help me understand your life and time (1930s English village) so much better. Your diary is not filled with pompous musings or elegant language, but rather wi [...]

    • The Diary of a Provincial Lady is a charming, wry, satirical glimpse into the world of the upper-middle class in Devonshire, England in the late 1920s/early 1930s.In 1929, the large-circulation feminist weekly magazine Time and Tide, wanted something light and readable, preferably in serial form, to fill the centre pages, and thus The Provincial Lady was born. Seemingly at once, E.M. Delafield discovered her true vocation was as a comic writer. The book version was published in 1930, and The Dia [...]

    • A light and delightful read after the seriousness of "The Master". The diary covers a year in the life of a married woman with two children living in an English village between the Wars. Lots of very amusing events and descriptions of life, but my favourite was in July when she received a letter from a close friend who was on holiday in the south of France and asking her to go there for a fortnight."I am moved to exclaim - perhaps rather thoughtlessly - that the most wonderful thing in the world [...]

    • 3.5*This book, written in the form of a journal, charts the day to day life of a 1930's wife and mother, not only juggling husband, children and her temperamental cook, but also trying to keep up with the many social obligations she finds herself faced with, whilst remaining cool, calm and collected.It's a witty and amusing peep into how one woman copes with keeping up appearances, despite having a husband who is much more interested in his newspaper than her social dilemmas, as well as snobby a [...]

    • 4.5★ I loved this -- in part because I like almost all the English satires of the period between the 2 World Wars. But this thinly disguised memoir wouldn't be the classic it is if it didn't contain commentary & queries about situations women face in other times & places. While problems with servants, lack of money (relatively speaking!), and the Women's Institute are not universal, who hasn't had the experience of someone saying something unpleasant, then "Think of several rather tart [...]

    • From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:E M Delafield was great friends with Margaret Mackworth, 2nd Viscountess Rhondda, and became a director of Time and Tide magazine. When the editor "wanted some light 'middles', preferably in serial form, she promised to think of something". And so it was, in 1930, that her most popular and enduring work The Diary of a Provincial Lady was written. It has never been out of print.The Diary of a Provincial Lady charts the day-to-day life of a Devonshire-dwelling la [...]

    • E.M. Delafield's Provincial Lady comes in five volumes. The Timeless Wisdom Collection is a reprint on kindle where you can have them all for just US$0.99. I particularly enjoyed Books 1 and 2, which cover our Provincial Lady’s family life between the Wars - struggling to make ends meet, raise and educate two children, live the social life of a ‘lady’ in her English village, and develop her own writing career. She doesn’t always get it right and often feels ineffectual. Book 3, In Americ [...]

    • Can't help but compare this to Any Human Heart that I am listening to parallell to this. Both (right now) in England in pre-war and in journal format. This seem like mindless chatter, somewhat fun and interesting just due to the time it portraits. But really nothing that I will remember a week from now.While Any human heart, also a fabricated journal is so much fuller, richer. How I wish Delafield would have shared something a little more personal, a little more of her human heart.

    • Tengo que reconocer que me he reido muchisimo con este librito, y que me encanta el humor, puramente britanico y con mucha mala baba, de la señora Delafield

    • Having treated myself to the new Persephone edition of Diary of a Provincial Lady I decided to re-read it right away. One of the things that sold me on the new edition (already owning an old Virago copy of the complete Provincial lady) was the lovely endpaper – which will remain one of my favourites.Our eponymous Provincial Lady – is an upper middle class wife and mother – who records in her journal the daily vicissitudes of life. Married to the often taciturn Robert, mother to Robin and V [...]

    • British wit is good stuff. Comments about life are insightful, poignant and witty. Style of writing proves challenge as desire to learn more about character weighs heavily. (Query: do women such as this still exist, and if so, can I have a cup of tea with them on a frequent basis?)See myself re-reading this and giving it higher ranking in future. Immediately post-read still feel a bit unsatisfied but perhaps that is sign of good author?

    • Lovely, funny, amazingly relatable! Not that many people seem to know of this book nowadays, but its influence is very much present in popular best-sellers such as Bridget Jones and the Shopaholic series. In fact I am now convinced that Bridget Jones is basically a reboot of this book for the 90s, with some Pride and Prejudice and some Cosmo nonsense thrown in. (The Cosmo influence is probably why Bridget Jones sounds positively regressive next to this book, which is actually from the 1930s).

    • Description: The Diary of a Provincial Lady is a brilliantly observed comic novel, as funny and fresh today as when it was first written. It's not easy being a Provincial Lady in Devonshire in the 1920s, juggling a grumpy husband, mischievous children and a host of domestic dilemmas - from rice mould to a petulant cook. But this Provincial Lady will not be defeated; not by wayward flower bulbs, not by unexpected houseguests, not even by the Blitz. She will continue to preside over the W.I endure [...]

    • *Südengland in den dreißiger Jahren: mitten auf dem Lande schreibt eine Lady ihr Tagebuch, schildert alltäglich Verzweiflung an den spießigen Nachbarn, Zynismus an der reichen Lady, die sie beneidet, Ernüchterung an ihrem Nichtsnutz an Ehemann und ihren Geldsorgen.*Bei diesem Buch spüre ich ein ähnliches Gefühl wie bei Timur Vermes‘ „Er ist wieder da“ – ich wollte es wirklich mögen, ich habe die ersten 100 Seiten auch genossen und gut gelacht und oft geschmunzelt über die bissi [...]

    • The writer of this fictional diary is an upper-middle-class housewife in early 1930s rural England. She wryly observers the absurdities of her life for a whole year: trying to plant bulbs indoors in the fall; dealing with a temperamental cook and emotional French governess; a snobby aristocratic neighbor; precocious children (and how they measure up to other children); bank overdraft and occasional jaunts she really can't afford but desperately needs.Her observations are somewhat humorous. They' [...]

    • It's not that so much happens, it's that you get to hear this woman's inner thoughts - and they are fun-nee. Witty and funny. I usually detest diary-type novels, but this one is in a league of its own. And I learned something, too - life was hard before tissues were invented. One of the Provincial Lady's recurrent worries is that they are going to or have already run out of handkerchiefs - can you imagine? During cold season? Witha coupla kids in the house? Yikes! Thank.Heavens.For.Kleenex. Anyw [...]

    • This is the kind of book that makes me wish I lived in Cornwall in 1933 with a couple of servants, a garden, the occasional charity sale to organize and friends to invite me to places I generally can't afford. Granted there are bills to pay with money I don't have (or only have for 5 seconds as it is already spent) and snooty upper class ladies to contend with but I think that - with my new best friend, the Provincial Lady (PL) by my side - we could manage very well indeed, thank you. I found th [...]

    • Supremely amusing account of a genteel English housewife between the wars. Her scattered, chatty, and often wry observations on her husband (perpetually hidden behind The Times), two children, nanny (“Mademoiselle”) and the line-up of village ladies provide most of the humor. Same sort of style as Bridget Jones’s Diary, only without the vulgarity and with a far more sympathetic heroine.

    • Was für ein schönes Buch über den Alltag in den 1930 Jahren. :-) Zwischen Tee, Rechnungen und Einladungen spielt sich das Leben der Protagonistin ab. Sehr empfehlenswert.

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