The years from 1930 to 1955 marked a high point in the fortunes of the English short story. Inevitably World War II left its mark on many of the stories Derek Hudson has collected in this suberb volume, but, he argues in the introduction, that "the dominating impression in these English stories...is of humour--not necessarily in the comic sense...but in the sense...of a humorous perspective of life."
The volume includes stories by such renowned writers as Somerset Maugham, Virginia Woolf, and Evelyn Waugh. Stories by Elizabeth Bowen, Frances Towers, Clemence Dane, Rosamond Lehmann, and A.L. Barker demonstrate that women writers have found the short story form increasingly congenial. C.S. Forester and Graham Greene bring their power of narrative to tragic themes, while Eric Linklater asserts his claim on poetic fantasy. The volume also contains characteristic stories by H.E. Bates, V.S. Pritchett, William Plomer, John Moore, Christopher Sykes, William Sansom, Fred Urquhart, and Nigel Kneale.
`represents most of the best qualities to be found in this genre in England'
`each, as one might expect from such masters, expertly plotted'
The Sunday Telegraph
`All the old favourites are here ... A reassuring bedtime read.'
1: W. Somerset Maugham: The Kite
2: Virginia Woolf: The Duchess and the Jeweller
3: Frances Towers: The Little Willow
4: C. S. Forester: The Hostage
5: Eric Linklater: Sealskin Trousers
6: V. S. Pritchett: The Voice
7: William Plomer: Ever Such a Nice Boy
8: Evelyn Waugh: On Guard
9: Graham Greene: The Basement Room
10: H. E. Bates: The Woman Who Had Imagination
11: John Moore: Local Boy Makes Good
12: Christopher Sykes: The Sacred and the Profane
13: William Sansom: The Vertical Ladder
14: Fred Urquhart: Man About the House
15: A. L. Barker: Mr. Minnenick
16: Nigel Kneale: The Putting Away of Uncle Quaggin
17: Elizabeth Bowen: Maria
18: Clemence Dane: The Dearly Beloved of Benjamin Cobb
19: Rosamond Lehmann: A Dream of Winter