Monday, 14 September 2009

The third Miss Symons (Mayor) 36

After reading an excellent review of The third Miss Symons by Rachel the other week, I was keen to get started on my copy which has been sitting on the TBR VMC shelf for about a week. It is a slim volume, which also appealed as I have a lot going on at the moment, and it's nice to have something handbag sized.

In many ways, it reminded me of the Persephone publication, Alas Poor Lady, which is also about a woman (or actually a number of women) who never get married. Back in the early twentieth century, it was difficult to be an unmarried woman - less social status, and often less money. Etta is not really concerned about marriage for love or for companionship, but merely to achieve a better social status.

What is interesting about the book is that in some ways Etta is likeable, and one does feel sorry for her in her plight, but at the same time she grows increasingly disagreeable as the book progresses and she tries to achieve some sort of status in other ways - through money or being voiciferous.

A couple of intriguing covers. I own a copy of the second, more recent one, which is still in print. There has been a bit of chat in the comments on this blog recently about how well covers convey the sense of a book, and these give quite different impressions I think of the character of Miss Symons.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention Verity! Yes the two covers are interesting in that the older one shows the slightly awkward, intense and lonely woman Etta becomes, and the newer one is more the innocent, loving, but somehow unloveable child Etta was, when there was still hope that she could grow into something lovely. It's such a haunting novel, and both covers have a bit of an unsettling feeling about them which fits the subject matter perfectly.