Before Mrs Miniver
Try Anything Twice is a collection of her earlier work, first published in 1938. When Virago reprinted it in 1990 I was captivated. The journalistic essay is an almost period form now (only Katharine Whitehorn still practises it) but Jan Struther’s aperçus retain their point and sparkle across the century. In the title essay, she characteristically turns on its head the old axiom ‘try anything once’, suggesting that some things take years to try – ‘such as marital fidelity and keeping a diary’ – while others, such as infidelity and leaving off keeping the diary, ‘are the work of a moment’.