[PDF/EBOOK] Westwood or The Gentle Powers ☆ Stella Gibbons

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Set in wartime London Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is not the type that attracts men Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sunny temp Cold Comfort Farm is one of my most reread books but Westwood was Stella Gibbons own favourite among her novels It s darker and pointedly feminist set in wartime proper rather than a fictionalised near future 1940s and provides a fascinating minor key mirror to CCF Margaret is almost an anti Flora Poste the outsider drawn in not to sort everyone out but to be dazzled and tossed about and frankly exploited echoes of Flora in the magnificently impervious Hilda and fundamentally frivolous flapper Seraphina too And the insufferably pretentious misogynistic playwright Challis Mybug gets bumped to major character provides Gibbons opportunity for much delicious stabbinessHe knew that his plays were good each one better than its predecessor Mountain Air the one about six women botanists and a male guide isolated in a snowstorm in a hut on the Andes had been surer in its approach and handling than his first one The Hidden Well which concerned the seven men and one female nurse on the tsetse fly research station while Katt dealt with an Austrian woman who was bandied about by the officers of a crack regiment in Vienna and was he felt convinced his masterpieceHe had wrought for himself a strikingly distinguished style It was difficult to describe but he himself had not demurred when one admirer had coined for it the phrase a style of iron and shadows He always wrote obliuely of people s personal charms making a man say to a woman Your throat is a taut chord or Your ankle bone is softly moulded The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy everyone out but to be dazzled and tossed about and frankly Complete Amber Sourcebook exploited Jadę sobie. Azja. Przewodnik dla podróżujących kobiet echoes of Flora in the magnificently impervious Hilda and fundamentally frivolous flapper Seraphina too And the insufferably pretentious misogynistic playwright Challis Mybug gets bumped to major character provides Gibbons opportunity for much delicious stabbinessHe knew that his plays were good Sweet Alien (Reestrian Mates, each one better than its predecessor Mountain Air the one about six women botanists and a male guide isolated in a snowstorm in a hut on the Andes had been surer in its approach and handling than his first one The Hidden Well which concerned the seven men and one female nurse on the tsetse fly research station while Katt dealt with an Austrian woman who was bandied about by the officers of a crack regiment in Vienna and was he felt convinced his masterpieceHe had wrought for himself a strikingly distinguished style It was difficult to describe but he himself had not demurred when one admirer had coined for it the phrase a style of iron and shadows He always wrote obliuely of people s personal charms making a man say to a woman Your throat is a taut chord or Your ankle bone is softly moulded

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Westwood or The Gentle Powers

And his artistic circle; Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind This is a delightfully comic and wistful tale of love and longi I like the blurb on the edition I read Stella Gibbons is the Austen of the 20th centuryIt s great to see she seems to be having a come back with her other books and won t just be remembered for the brilliant Cold Comfort Farm

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Erament and keeps her service boys 'ever so cheery' When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives Margaret slavishly adores Challis I was surprised to read a couple of negative reviews of this book as I absolutely loved it although its 30 years since I read Cold Comfort Farm so in that respect I can t make a comparison There are wonderful social observations and some very funny passages I disagree with some reviews on that all of the characters are unsympathetic They all have their unattractive sides which the author makes a point of showing us but that unfortunately is humam nature The central character also changes throughout the book and is much of a complete person by the end There is a also a real wise woman in the character of Lady Challis I think the introduciton of the Downes Syndrome child was actually uite innovative for the time and as the narrator seems to education her to a certain extent the author may well have been making a point through this The only thing that did jar slightly with me was the way the foreign accents were written but overall this book was a joy to read Identity enters both their lives Margaret slavishly adores Challis I was surprised to read a couple of negative reviews of this book as I absolutely loved it although its 30 years since I read Cold Comfort Farm so in that respect I can t make a comparison There are wonderful social observations and some very funny passages I disagree with some reviews on that all of the characters are unsympathetic They all have their unattractive sides which the author makes a point of showing us but that unfortunately is humam nature The central character also changes throughout the book and is much of a complete person by the Cenote end There is a also a real wise woman in the character of Lady Challis I think the introduciton of the Downes Syndrome child was actually uite innovative for the time and as the narrator seems to Sottomissione education her to a certain Dragon Age: Hard in Hightown extent the author may well have been making a point through this The only thing that did jar slightly with me was the way the foreign accents were written but overall this book was a joy to read


10 thoughts on “Westwood or The Gentle Powers

  1. says:

    If Cold Comfort Farm was a high point of a peculiar kind of class based English humour then this is the low point of an author who hits you on the head with her absolutely humourless opinions on class beauty and stupid women This is so bad it leaves you wondering how anyone this awful actually had it in them to write a mas

  2. says:

    Cold Comfort Farm is one of my most reread books but Westwood was Stella Gibbons' own favourite among her novels It's darke

  3. says:

    From BBC Radio 4 ExtraIn 1943 bomb hit London teacher Margaret Steggles falls under the spell of the wealthy Challis family Episode 2Teacher Margaret Steggles wonders if pompous playwright Gerald Challis really is the man of her dreamsStars Juliet Aubreyhttpwwwbbccoukprogrammesb01322b0

  4. says:

    Stella Gibbons is now really only known for one novel her first Cold Comfort Farm It would be easy to dismiss her as a one hit wonder but she actually wrote over 20 books and Westwood published in 1946 was largely believed to be Gibbons' own personal favourite I've left it a couple of days since finishing this novel before writing

  5. says:

    I really enjoyed this book it tells the story of two friends Margaret and Hilda and of their lives and those people who they meet during the Second World War However it is not a blow by blow account of life day to day about the interactions between people and how those relationships go on to either mean something or do notThis book was written after the war in the mid 1940's and that is reflected in the style of writing Margaret i

  6. says:

    I was surprised to read a couple of negative reviews of this book as I absolutely loved it although its 30 years since I read Cold Comfort Farm so in that respect I can't make a comparison There are wonderful social observations and some very funny passages I disagree with some reviews on that all of the characters are unsympathetic They all

  7. says:

    I am a little puzzled by this novel which is very different to Cold Comfort Farm and seuels the only other Stella Gibbons I’ve read ‘Westwood’ at times reads like an arch and witty satire but at others like a depressing family melodrama The Second World War during which it is set is entirely incidental My favourite example of the satirical bent ‘The play was called In Autumn; it was about a woman who was descri

  8. says:

    I like the blurb on the edition I read Stella Gibbons is the Austen of the 20th centuryIt's great to see she seems to be hav

  9. says:

    The plot is minimal there is much telling not showing and too many authorial interruptions but my gosh the characters they are fabulous Margaret the plain sensible one who nonetheless longs for beauty truth art something than the tedious suburban life with her tedious suburban mother; her BFF Hilda the opposite of Margar

  10. says:

    This is good and some of the sarcastic bits about the very annoying Mr Challis are very funny but it's no Cold Comfort Farm It's unfortunate when someone's first book is so much successful than all their others She's a good writer though and this is very interesting from a setting point of view as it's post Blitz but before the doodlebug raids and you don't often get a book set in the war I think it was written in 1946 where the

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