It was odd that Harriet should always have been so fond of curates. They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation. Now the Archdeacon was altogether different . . .
Some Tame Gazelle is Barbara Pym’s first novel, originally published in 1950.
Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that elderly Italian Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years.
Then into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote – who each take to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.
‘She is the rarest of treasures; she reminds us of the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life’ Anne Tyler
‘[Pym] makes me smile, laugh out loud, consider my own foibles and fantasies, and, above all, suffer real regret when I reach the final page. Of how many authors can you honestly say that?’ Mavis Cheek
Not So Bad, Really
When I first read Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women in 1979 it certainly provoked a strong response, but hardly the admiration the cover blurb demanded for ‘one of the finest examples of high comedy...Read more