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.

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