Crampton Hodnet

Crampton Hodnet

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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Life has a certain reassuring if not terribly exciting rhythm for the residents of North Oxford. Miss Morrow is content in her position as spinster companion to Miss Doggett, even if her employer and the woman's social circle regard her as a piece of furniture. Stephen Latimer, the new cleric and Miss Doggett's dashing new tenant, upsets the balance for Miss Morrow by proposing the long discounted possibility of marriage. Miss Doggett's nephew, Mr. Francis Cleveland, is a handsome, middle-aged professor not destined for greatness in his field. He has a complaisant wife and an adoring pupil, a dangerous midlife combination. The town gossips witness an impulsive declaration of love between Francis Cleveland and Miss Bird and conclude that Mr. Cleveland is willing to sacrifice marriage and respectability for the sake of passion. Caught in a potentially compromising situation with Miss Morrow, Mr. Latimer clumsily refers to a nonexistent town: Crampton Hodnet.
Publisher: Seattle, WA : Coffeetown Press, 2013
ISBN: 9781603811767
1603811761
Branch Call Number: FICTION PYM...B
Characteristics: x, 211 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Holt, Hazel 1928-2015,
Notes: Originally published: London : Macmillan, 1985

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k
kathylou
Jul 30, 2017

Lighthearted fun but definitely more snarky than Austen!

s
StJohnsJoan
Sep 09, 2014

I've loved Barbara Pym's writing since I discovered her over 10 years ago. I love her subtle humor. In this novel, I especially love the moments during awkward encounters when Miss Morrow says something wonderfully sane and kind, and her comment is quickly and embarrassingly dismissed and forgotten by all present.

Great writing in true Austen/Pym style.

m
Morwen
Aug 20, 2012

My favorite of all her books. It begins with tea on a rainy afternoon in North Oxford. I just want to be there and know these people.

b
Bookwoman247
Sep 24, 2010

A fairly young cleric who declares his intentions for a comfortable, spinster companion to the rock of North Oxford society, an aging Oxford don who falls foolishly in love with a bright, pretty student in spite of the fact that he has been comfortably married to a worthy woman for many years, and his young adult daughter who is madly in love with a shallow young man, who on the surface, seems to be a perfect match - these are the characters that inhabit North Oxford in Barbara Pym's first novel.

This was my first exposure to Barbara Pym, and I really enjoyed it.

The characters were great archetypes, (especially the forbidding Mrs. Doggett), and Pym wrote about the follies of love and romance almost as well as Jane Austen. Her observations of human character are just as keen and timelessly relevant as Austen's.

I also loved the feeling at the end that no matter what would go wrong in the lives of the characters there was a dual sense of fresh new beginnings like that of the new school term, and a sense of solid timelessness and comfort like the university, itself.

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