Keane, Molly - Good Behaviour - ( Item 123378 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Introduced by Jane Gardam. Illustrated by Debra McFarlane. Bound in cambric grain paper, blocked with a design by Debra McFarlane. 240 pages. Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations. Book size: 9" × 6¼". In 1980 the actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft was a guest of Molly Keane. Formerly a successful playwright and novelist, Keane, by then in her seventies, had not published a book in nearly 30 years. When her guest asked for something to read, Keane produced a manuscript that had been 'turned down flat'. Peggy Ashcroft loved it, and the book was eventually shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1981. Good Behaviour tells the story of the St Charles family of Temple Alice in rural Ireland. The bills are mounting, the house is crumbling and the servants are impertinent, but the family maintains an unshakeable, aristocratic façade. As the years take their toll and family tragedy strikes the façade becomes all that they have. 'Our good behaviour went on and on, endless as the days … There was to be no sentimentality. It was the worst kind of bad manners to mourn and grovel in grief.' With echoes of the acerbic social comedy of Nancy Mitford, but with her own distinctive prose, Molly Keane precisely captures these characters and their social milieu. There is the charming father, whose 'successes with young girls were quite frightening', and the cold and careless mother, who tells her daughter that the doctor charged £10 when she was born: 'It was quite a ridiculous price.' The story is narrated by Aroon, the ungainly daughter of the house, who longs for love and a place in society, but has neither beauty nor money to recommend her. Her only hope for a love affair is with her brother's best friend, whose real feelings are one of the many mysteries that Aroon cannot understand, although the reader may. This Folio Society edition is introduced by novelist Jane Gardam, who points out how Molly Keane's own Anglo-Irish upbringing made her well acquainted with 'the dangers of reticence, of hiding passions, of … the stiff upper lip.' Illustrations by Debra McFarlane echo the novel's atmosphere of genteel decline and its subtle interplay between comedy and tragedy.
Price £ 14.10 Other items you may like Others by the same author
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at email@example.com with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.