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Friday, 25 October 2013

Artful Readers Club - October Read

I have again strayed from the list I nominated at the beginning of the year.  This month I have chosen a short story (160 pages) "The Clothes They Stood Up In" by Alan Bennett.



This story was first heard when Alan Bennett read it on BBC Radio 4 at Christmas 1997.  It was so popular that it was published almost straight away and was a runaway success.

We meet Maurice and Rosemary Ransome, a childless couple who have been married for almost thirty years.  He is a solicitor, she a housewife and they live in an Edwardian mansion block of apartments in a good part of North London.  They are both Mozart lovers (in fact it is only the mutual appreciation of Mozart that has kept them together) and they have just returned home from a performance of Cose Fan Tutte at Covent Garden.  When they let themselves into their flat, they notice immediately that every piece of what they considered home has vanished - even down to the toilet roll.  "We've been robbed" says Mrs Ransome.  "No, we have been burgled" says her husband, correcting her.  He was ever the stickler for the correct terminology.


My sketch is of Mr. Mrs. Ransome sitting on the floor of their flat, looking rather bemused, in their opera clothes and wondering where all their stuff has gone to.  It is coloured with pencils.

Bennett's narrative sharply observes the relationship between the snobbish and narrow-minded husband, Maurice and that of his down trodden wife Rosemary and how she quietly blossoms after the liberating affect of the burglary.  Things would never be the same again.

Thank you for visiting and I do hope you will have a look at the other reviews and artwork over at the Artful Readers Club on Darcy's Art and Sole Blog.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting read,. I can see that an instant de junking of all ones stuff might be liberating. I would miss my craft hoard though. Your drawing of the two of them on the floor is excellent, they do indeed look bemused.
    Jen x

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  2. This sounds like a story I would really enjoy. I was raised in America by Grandparents who were the antithesis of what you describe in the story. My grandmother was pure British and her parents let her know that she married a man (her second marriage many years after her first husband was killed in a hotel fire) who was "below her station." My grandfather was a "hick from the sticks." He was down to earth and just the opposite of my grandmother's parents. Somehow, from the description of the book, this sounds like something Grams would have enjoyed, too.

    Your art is great. It conveys perfectly the review as you describe it. I'm glad you enjoyed the book, and how you got me excited about it, too.

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  3. Sounds like a good book...one I'd enjoy... your art is fun. It reflects the relationship you describe!! :)

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  4. Wooo I love the story line! You draw in crayon fabulously and it really lends to a homey affect good for a long married couple. Thanks for an intriguing review!

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  5. Hi Janet, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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  6. oo how intriguing, I want to know what happened to their stuff? I have never read any of Alan Bennetts stuff, I assumed it to be boring, but I guess not lol

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  7. I found your blog from Faye's blog. I am enjoying it tremendously. Your artwork and the books you read. I am wanting to visit Scotland one day, as my ancestors are from there, seeing and feeling where they were has been a dream of mine since I found out I was Scottish. Blessings, Janet

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