The house is called "Pleasance" and is rented by two sisters, Blanche and Aileen. The story revolves around the fortunes of two neighbouring families of varied social standing. The sisters' semi-detachment is to the Hopkinsons. Whilst Blanche's husband, Arthur, is abroad on a mission, the neighbours soon prove themselves invaluable as friends and Blanche and Mrs Hopkinson discover that their husbands are already acquainted! Emily Eden said of this work at the time of writing, that it was a 'tolerably faithful representation of modern society' but when it was published 30 years later, she saw it as 'a strange chronicle of the Olden Time'. It remains, however, a sharp and witty cameo of polite society in nineteenth century England.
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"Peter Joyce is the most remarkable one-man band in audiobook publishing. Joyce, an experienced actor, reads them all himself." (The Independent)
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This is such a delightful comedy of human foibles and manners. The characters are lovable and I felt that I had walked into a circle of friends: I really cared about them. The book is so good, I have listened to it twice within the last week. Living in the book is preferable to the grim events of real life. The narrator is simply perfect and picks up the humour and irony to a tee. Pure escapism. I hope there are more to come. Lovely, lovely book.
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