Saturday, 21 November 2009
Hunt the slipper (Trefusis) 122
Hunt the slipper was one of the titles lent to me by Simon.
This was a short novel, almost a romantic comedy, telling of the entanglements and relationships of various people. Nigel lives with his sister Molly, and one day meets his new neighbour Anthony who has just married Caroline, a girl many years his junior. When Nigel ends up crossing paths with the pair again in Paris, Nigel falls in love with Caroline, and they begin an affair. The remainder of the book is about the affair; Nigel's obsession with Caroline and determination to get her for himself, and Caroline's struggle between her loyalty for Anthony and her desire to be with Nigel as well as with the fact that divorce would be scandalous.
"I want to make sacrifices for you, Nigel. I want to throw everything away for your sake.........I wish we had to work, work hard. I wish I could have a child by you. You think that the lover has the romantic part. You're wrong: a lover, the sort of lover you'd be if I let you is a convention. But what is not a convention is a husband who is a lover. You would be that kind of husband. Oh, can't you see that it's your duty towards yourself, towards me, to run away with me and marry me".
Trefusis was famous apparently (I didn't know this!) for her love affair with Vita Sackville West so it is appropriate that Virago also publish some of her work. Finding this out reminded me that I would love to learn more about V SW so I am on the lookout for a biography which will hopefully enable me to find out some more about Trefusis too. Apparently the relationship between Nigel and Caroline in the book can be seen also as the relationship between Violet and Vita.
Just the one Virago cover above. Virago also publish Trefusis' novel Pirates at play (sounds like a fun title!).