Dorothy Richardson - PilgrimageI seem to have been working, eating, sleeping and running and not really reading very much – argh! After going for Easy Books for a few days, I did manage to get myself through the next volume of Dorothy Richardson’s “Pilgrimage” – it was a short one, at just over 100 pages. I now seem to be reading the David Kynaston, Ranulph Fiennes’ “Cold” AND that new biog of Eveyln Waugh that I’m reviewing for Shiny New Books – oops. Anyway, here’s my latest Richardson review, and also some naughty purchases that could not be resisted …

Dorothy Richardson – “The Trap”

We’re up to Book 8 in Pilgrimage, and the last in the “Pilgrimage 3” volume you can see in the pic, with a bumper five in the final volume! This, as those will be, was quite a short one.

Miriam moves in with a Miss Holland (did I miss us meeting her before?) into a living arrangement that involves a curtained-off shared bedroom that we can see will soon lead to conflict for loner Miriam … which of course it does. Poor old Miss Holland, with her many layers of odd clothes, seems to act as Miriam’s wife, doing all the cleaning and tidying and shopping, while all Miriam has to do is face the weird landlord at rent-paying time. She seems to miss her old lodgings, and it’s not clear if she moved out for money-saving or independence reasons (or maybe because she turned down Michael once too often?). Unfortunately, they, as so often happens with housemates or couples, end up loathing even each other’s going-to-bed-routine noises, and fighting, as so many office-mates do, over whether to have the window open or closed. I’m sorry, but I found this quite amusing, as both are quite po-faced. A major falling-out leaves harsh words spoken and Miriam interestingly refusing to make things up in ‘the feminine way’.

There’s an odd group called the Lycurgans that Miriam belongs to but mocks secretly – is this supposed to be the Fabians, I wondered? She seems to be getting off-stage letters or some form of communication from Hypo, and while we should be used to this way of advancing the plot, it does get a bit frustrating. Miriam is found to be 28 now, and her doctor is warning her that she had better settle down to marriage and babies asap. But the book ends with conflict between the married couple in the flat downstairs (the unmarried couple seem happier – surely a comment) and it’s unclear, as is often the case, what will happen next with the living situation becoming ever more untenable.

Pilgrimage is mentioned – for the first time? – but confusingly (surprise!) – Dora is described as “The culprit of the wandering pilgrimage”. Hm.

July 2016

A few purchases to finish off – I was in our lovely Foyles in town at the weekend, with my book tokens for once. I’d been meaning to pick up Iris Murdoch’s letters for aaaages – for my poor old neglected research project. I’d been alerted to Sylvia Patterson’s “I’m Not With The Band”, which is a memoir about music journalism and the state of it through from the 80s by the fact that all of my music journo clients seem to know her and have read advance copies, and I saw “Eat, Sweat, Play” on the new books shelf and thought a book about the growing number of women doing sport more seriously looked interesting and apposite, so even though I’d gone over my book tokens by then, home it came. Not too bad seeing as I haven’t really acquired much since about April … Right?

I have an Easy Book to review but that will be later when I’ve read something to go with it. What are you reading? Have you read any of these new ones?