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!).


  1. This sounds good. I also have this book but haven't read it yet. Another book I managed to get from bookmooch.

    There's a bio of VSW called Vita which apparently is supposed to be good. I'm also reading Portrait of a Marriage for Women Unbound. It's about her very unconventional marriage to her husband and the book is written by her son.

  2. I haven't read this one, but I can certainly vouch for Pirates at Play.

    Violet wrote a fictional account of her relationship with VSW called Broderie Anglaise. It's out of print but I picked up an ex library copy a while ago.

    (It was mentioned on a list of books that was suggested for Persephone in a newsletter a while back.)

    If you're interested and your library doesn't have it I'll gladly do a postal loan

  3. Mrs B - I had forgotten about Portrait - we have the tv version ofit at work too and think it would be interesting. Am even more curious now knowing about Violet!

    Fleurfisher - thanks! That sounds interesting - luckily there's a copy in the library headquarters, but thanks for the offer!

  4. I alluded to Trefusis's affair with Vita in one of your earlier Vita posts.

    I would love to read this; I have heard such good things.