Monday, 29 March 2010

William (Young) 292

I have been reading a lot of EH Young this year, and was especially keen to read William after the introduction to Miss Mole suggested that it was the most popular of her work.

Unusually for a Virago Modern Classic, the title character* and principle character of the story is a man, William. The book tells the story of William, and his wife Kate, and their children, and Grandchildren. William and Kate live in the village of Upper Radstowe, a location for other EH Young books, and deals with their lives and relationships with their children, none of whom Kate really feels are hugely successful in their lives. William takes a more prosaic view of life and is actually the one who the children turn to when real problems occur; the blurb on Amazon says "William can love without judgement and Kate cannot", and it is this that drives the novel. It's difficult to say more about the book because it is more a book about family relationships than story, in some ways very similar to Nina Bawden. But I can see why it was popular and do most definitely recommend it.

I have to confess that I borrowed a copy of this book as I was so keen to read it, and it was a Jonathan Cape edition rather than a Virago. I'm very keen to get my own copy now. Unusually the two editions of the Virago edition both feature the same cover image, which I rather like as a depiction of a family home which is reminiscent of the themes in the book. 3.5*

*Can anyone think of any other VMCs with males as the title character?


  1. Maurice Guest is the only one that comes to mind.

  2. Checking my Virago shelf, I see also The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West, which sort of fits.

  3. I really must get my library pile and get back to my unread VMCs - this one included.

    And I see "Mr Fortune's Maggot" by Sylvia Townsend Warner on one of my green shelves...

  4. Oh yes, Maurice guest - I'd forgotten!

    Jane - I've got very few unread VMC now after the blitz of the last few months!

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