Friday, 14 January 2011

The loved and the envied (Bagnold)

I find Enid Bagnold a bit of a mixed bag - I loved The happy foreigner, but was a bit underwhelmed by The Squire, but in retrospect I liked it more than I thought at first and than I wrote in my blog post about it. Unfortunately, The loved and the envied I did not like as much as either of those (although I wonder if it will grow on me in retrospect too); there were bits which I enjoyed very much, but at the same time I found the characters difficult to identify with.

The loved and the envied tells the story of Lady Ruby Maclean, looking back on her life aged 53, and coming to terms with old age. It's apparently partly based on the life of Lady Diana Cooper (the wife of Duff, the politician), with whom Enid Bagnold was friendly, and her coterie of companions who are also approaching old age (remember - while 53 may seem young now, the book was written in 1951) but I found the way that the book jumped around between different parts of her life, somewhat disjointed.

It's just been published the once, in an original green cover, and the picture on the front is of Lady Diana Cooper. So, that's another author crossed off the list! (And as for a progress update, if you're interested, I'm up to 319 out of 553, so that's 234 more to go - about 4 years worth if I read one a week...)


  1. Ooh, I have this one and might make it my first Bagnold

  2. Isn't this Enid Bagnold who wrote National Velvet(there couldn't be two, could there)? These are her adult novels, I guess.