Cover image of the book Love At All Ages

Love At All Ages by Angela Thirkell. Images and text are from the original dust jacket of the book published in 1959 by Hamish Hamilton.

Old and new Barsetshire Characters

ANGELA THIRKELL’s latest Barsetshire chronicle brings us up to date with the lives of many of the county’s favourite older characters as well as introducing some members of a younger generation.

That likeable horse-loving young rascal, Giles Foster, who wants to show his elders how to start a pony club and isn’t backward in coming forward when the American Duchess of Towers invites him to call her Frankie, is much in evidence, although his father, the Earl of Pomfret, and his uncle, Roddy Wicklow, do their best to curb his exuberance.

Portrait of Angela Thirkell by Ida Kar
Angela Thirkell portrait

But the younger generation of Fosters, Mertons and Carters are not allowed to steal the picture. Even Lord and Lady William Harcourt’s baby daughter, whose christening is a major event, keeps being whisked away by her nurse, the indomitable Sister Chiffinch, thus leaving some of the limelight to the infant’s aunt, Lady Gwendolen, and her engagement and marriage to her old friend and admirer, Mr. Oriel, Vicar of Harefield and hitherto regarded as a confirmed bachelor.

Being about Love at All Ages, however, adolescent love is given its due place, and as a parallel to the mellower love story of Gwendolen and Mr. Oriel there is a charming portrayal of the calf-love between Ludo, Lord Mellings, and Lavinia, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Sir Noel and Lady Merton (Lydia Keith that was).

Old friends like Mrs. Morland, our favourite novelist (who believes we shall be back in the Dark Ages soon); her despotic housekeeper, Stoker (delightful in a passage of arms with the milkman); the Dowager Duchess; Mr. Wick-ham, the ex-naval land-agent; Dean and Mrs. Crawley; not to forget Jasper, the gipsy horse-coper (and admirer of Giles)-all have their say in the story. Love at All Ages gives us Mrs. Thirkell in excellent form and should win many new devotees for twentieth-century Barsetshire.

A list of other Angela Thirkell books offered by Hamish Hamilton

Jacket design by CHARLES STEWART

Photograph on back of jacket by IDA KAR

15s. net

The text on this page is taken from the dust jacket of Love At All Ages, by Angela Thirkell. The book was published in 1959 by publishers Hamish Hamilton who have since become part of Penguin Random House.






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