Gearing up for #1951reading club
Karen of Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck-in-a-Book are once again delving into books from the past with a 1951 Club reading week starting next week. This follows on from their 1924, 1938 and 1947 clubs.
Looking through my stack of books I found three that were published in 1951:
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene: This is fourth – and last – of Greene’s novels that have an overtly Roman Catholic dimension. Set in Clapham during the blitz (before the war, Greene owned a house in Clapham), it’s a story of adultery. It comes with a strong theme about guilt and jealousy. It’s one of my favourite Greene novels.
A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor: I can thank many bloggers for introducing me to Elizabeth Taylor. My first experience of her work – A Wreath of Roses – didn’t inspire me but I was persuaded to give her another chance so I ended up buying a number of her titles secondhand. A Game of Hide and Seek is one of them. It’s her fifth novel and, like The End of the Affair, features a triangular relationship. Taylor’s themes may be slightly less grand than Greene’s but she is no less insightful in depiction of human behaviour.
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey: A rather unusual historical crime story in which a Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard lies in a hospital bed and reviews evidence that makes King Richard III murderer. Did he really order the deaths of the Princes in the Tower or is that a myth along with his withered arm and hunchback?
Three good options here I think. Since I’ve already read The End of the Affair I’ll likely go for the titles that will be less familiar. The Tey novel beckons to me most right now and will be a perfect pairing with the final episode in the Hollow Crown BBC series. It will be interesting to compare Shakespeare’s version of Richard III with the one in Tey’s novel.
23 thoughts on “Gearing up for #1951reading club”
I have also read and enjoyed The End of the Affair. I’m intrigued by The Daughter of Time, but discover it’s already on my Goodreads TBR shelf!
The Daughter of Time is rather an odd novel – a sort of cold case approach but where there are no witnesses to be interviewed.
Great choices! I’m reading a novel by Robertson Davies, which is entertaining in its own way, but I was hankering after a reread of that Elizabeth Taylor. Are you reading more than one for the event as you’ve found such nice skinny choices?
I’ve just finished the first so I may well try and squeeze in a second (the Taylor)
I haven’t read The End of the Affair but the film is very good, I enjoyed the other two books though.
I could watch Mr Fiennes all day……
It would be good to hear your thoughts on The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, as it does sound like something I’d enjoy 🙂
I’m almost at the end Jessica – not a very long book at all though I’m getting all my Dukes in a muddle now
You just reminded me of a book I totally loved when I was a teenager – The Daughter of Time. I totally loved it. Be really interesting to revisit it 25 years later!
I’d never heard of it until last year when another blogger mentioned it – so glad they did
*chuckle* I’m looking for light things to read at bedtime while I work my way through Finnegans Wake so I browsed my TBR for choose something not-quite-so-demanding for this 1951 Club…
What do I have? Lo! Would you believe Beckett’s Molloy?! Can I read two hyper-challenging Irishmen at once? Am I crazy enough??
If anyone can do it, you can – the thing to watch out for is when you start ordering pints of Guinness at the pub or doing a Michael Flatterly jig over the ironing
This year, I’m hoping to be able to go to Bloomsday here in Melbourne. I could practice the jig in time for that…
I’ve read two of the three: the End of The Affair was too romancey for me but I really liked the Elizabeth Taylor
Well yes it did revolve around a romance – I focused more on the jealousy and guilt aspect.
I was very struck by The Daughter of Time when I was in my teens and thought it was very accurate historically, which is a mistake. But, as long as you take it for entertainment value, it is a good read – the classic Cold Case.
It’s motivated me to want to read more for myself about the period. I want to check whether Tey’s ‘facts’ are actually facts…..- Sharon Penman’s Sonne in Splendour is a good fictional account if you like the period
Yay for Elizabeth Taylor! I haven’t picked up one of her books for ages but she’s always good for comfort-reading, I reckon.
I’ve read very little by her – just three. Two were good, the other one was a bit miss. Hope this one works well
All three of those would be re-reads for me – and I must admit that The Daughter of Time is calling! 🙂
It’s a curious book – can’t say the style is wonderful ( a bit too much exposition) but the premise is a good one and it’skeeping me reading……
I hope to read End of the Affair this year. Like you, I enjoy good books, whenever they were first published.
And then there is a wonderful film version to enjoy with Ralph Fiennes who is always watchable IMHO