Three Score and Ten, the 29th Barsetshire novel begun by Angela Thirkell but completed by C A Lejeune. It was published in 1961.
Original dust jacket notes of publishers Hamish Hamilton
Angela Thirkell’s 29th Barsetshire novel was left unfinished on her death*. Anxious that no fragment of these county chronicles should be lost, C. A. Lejeune, who had often discussed the various characters with their creator, picks up the broken threads of the story and adds a few more of her own devising.
Readers will meet a host of old friends in this book, from Lord Stoke, who is growing deafer year by year but still sports his famous flat-topped hat to Her Excellency the Mixo-Lydian Ambassadress, known in her salad days as Gradka.
A well-meaning but maddening small boy named Robin, Tony Morland’s eldest son, makes a first appearance, and with his young friends Eleanor Leslie and Amabel Adams helps to save Wiple Terrace, home of those redoubtable ladies Miss Hampton and Miss Bent, from a threat of destruction by Lord Aberfordbury. The budding romance between Ludo, Lord Mellings, and Lavinia eldest daughter of Sir Noel and Lady Merton (Lydia Keith that was), comes into full flower, and an attachment from long ago provides the hardworking Dr. Ford with a suitable marriage partner.
High Rising, Rushwater, Pomfret Towers and Northbridge Manor are all revisited; the annua Agricultural Show at Rising Castle allows us another glimpse of that county institution, Packer’s Universal Royal Derby; and The Old Bank House, home of the wealthy ironmaster Samuel Adams and his wife Lucy, provides the setting for the final scene, an all-Barsetshire party to celebrate the 70th birthday of Mrs. Morland, popular novelist.
Jacket design by:
CHARLES STEWART AND PATRICIA DAVEY
*Angela Thirkell died on 29th January 1961
The US Edition of Three Score and Ten
Original dust jacket notes by US publisher Alfred Knopf
High Rising, Rushwater, Pomfret Towers, and Northbridge Manor are all revisited in this twenty-ninth Barsetshire novel, and Thirkellians will meet a host of old friends as they gather to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Mrs. Morland, the popular novelist. Left only partially written on Angela Thirkell’s death, Three Score and Ten was finished by C. A. Lejeune, who ingeniously picked up the broken threads of the story and added a few more of her own devising.
The budding romance between Ludo, Lord Mellings, and Lavinia, eldest daughter of Sir Noel and Lady Merton (Lydia Keith that was), comes into full flower, and an attachment from long ago provides that hardworking G. P., Dr. Ford, with a suitable marriage partner. The annual Agricultural Show allows us another glimpse of that county institution, Packer’s Universal Royal Derby, and The Old Bank House, home of the wealthy ironmaster, provides the setting for the final scene, the all-Barsetshire party.
It is indeed a triumphant occasion which all lovers of the Thirkell novels will not want to miss.
Angela Thirkell was born in London, where she lived until she went to Melbourne, Australia, in 1918. She was the granddaughter of Edward Burne-Jones, the daughter of Professor J. W. Mackail, and the sister of Denis Mackail. (And she was, of course, the spiritual daughter of Anthony Trollope.) While living “down under,” she did some broadcasting and began to contribute to British periodicals. Her first book was completed after her return to Britain in 1930, and during the rest of her lifetime she wrote nearly thirty novels. Mrs. Thirkell died on the eve of her seventy-first birthday.
C. A. Lejeune
(Mrs. E. Roffe Thompson) was for many years, until 1960, the film critic for The Observer in London; she has also been a broadcaster, a television script writer, and a feature writer for magazines. She had often discussed the various characters of the Barsetshire Chronicles with their creator and was thus singularly equipped to complete this final volume.
Jacket painting by John O’Hara Cosgrave II.
The text on this page is taken from the dust jacket of Three Score and Ten, by Angela Thirkell. The book was published in 1961 by publishers Hamish Hamilton who have since become part of Penguin Random House.