3 More Novels
So cleverly and wittily are the stories told that we sense we belong in the charmed caf society of post-1918 Britain, and life seems, as Ernest Jones says in his critical introduction, "a Nirvana in which homosexuals are the ultimate chic and in which... almost everyone turns out to be at least bi-sexual." In Vainglory, Mrs. Shamefoot, who "almost compels a tear," embraces the quest for a cathedral stained-glass window "that should be a miracle of violet glass." In Inclinations, Miss Brookomore, filled with longing for her companion, the "sunny" Miss Mabel Collins, travels to Greece where Mabel, rather treacherously, acquires a husband and baby. And in Caprice, Miss Sinquier flees her rural parents and the comfort of her black slippers ("all over little pearls with filigree butterflies that trembled above her toes") to pursue an acting career in bohemian London. To quote Mrs. Shamefoot describing a novelist clearly meant to be Firbank: “He has such a strange, peculiar style. His work calls to mind a frieze with figures of varying heights trotting all the same way. If one should by chance turn about it’s usually merely to stare or to sneer or to make a grimace. Only occasionally his figures care to beckon. And they seldom really touch." Originally published in 1951, Three More Novels by Ronald Firbank is now reissued as a New Directions Paperbook.
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adore Applethorp Arbanel Ashringford asked Aurelia Barrow beautiful beneath Bishop Blueharnis Bromley Calvally Cathedral charming child Countess course Cowsend Daisy dance dare say dark darling dear door Dorinda exclaimed eyes Firbank flowers garden Gerald girl glance glass gone hair hand hear Henedge husband inquired Kate Lady Anne Lady Castleyard Lady Georgia looked Mabel maid Mant married Mary Miss Arne Miss Collins Miss Compostella Miss Dawkins Miss O'Brookomore Miss Sinquier Miss Valley Miss Wardle Miss Wookie Monsignor Parr morning murmured never night Pantry perhaps Pirelli play Pontypool poor Queen RONALD FIRBANK rose round Sappho seemed Shamefoot sighed Sir Oliver Sir Osbert Sitwell Sixsmith Smee smiled Street Sumph suppose sure sweet tell Theatre there's thing thought Thumbler tired to-day to-night town trees turned Valmouth violet Viviott voice window Winsome Brookes woman wonder young