E. M. Delafield's largely autobiographical novel takes the form of a journal written by an upper-middle-class lady living in a Devonshire village. Written with humour, this charming novel is full of the peculiarities of daily life. The Provincial Lady of the title attempts to avoid disaster and prevent chaos from descending upon her household. But with a husband reluctant to do anything but doze behind The Times, mischievous children and trying servants, it's a challenge keeping up appearances on an inadequate income, particularly in front of the infuriating and haughty Lady Boxe. As witty and delightful today as when it was first published in 1930, Diary of a Provincial Lady is a brilliantly observed comic novel and an acknowledged classic.
This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition features an introduction by author and journalist Christina Hardyment.
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About the Author
E. M. Delafield (1890-1943) was born in Sussex. Her mother was also a well-known novelist, writing as Mrs Henry de la Pasture, and Delafield chose her pen name based on a suggestion by her sister Yoé. A debutante in 1909, Delafield was accepted as a postulant by a French religious order in 1911 but decided against joining, a topic she explores in her novel Consequences (1919). Delafield worked as a nurse in a Voluntary Aid Detachment following the outbreak of the First World War, and her first novel Zella Sees Herself was written during this time and published in 1917. Diary of a Provincial Lady, her most successful novel, inspired several sequels and is a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Delafield herself, written after a request by the editor of Time and Tide for some 'light middles' in serial form.