Financial Farragos: A Cab at the Door and My Grandfather & Father, Dear Father

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V.S. Pritchett, A Cab at the Door

The writer V. S. Pritchett’s mother was an irrepressible cockney, his father a reckless, overoptimistic peacock of a man, always embarking on new business ventures which inevitably crashed – hence the ‘cab at the door’ waiting to bear the family quietly away from yet another set of creditors. In this vigorous and original memoir Pritchett captures unforgettably the smells, sounds and voices of London in the first decades of the twentieth century, and the cast of Dickensian characters among whom he grew up. (Slightly Foxed Paperbacks • 296 pages • RRP £12)

Denis Constanduros, My Grandfather, and Father, Dear Father

These delightfully funny and affectionate portraits of the two most influential male figures in the author’s life conjure up two strongly defined characters and the times in which they lived. The two could hardly have been more different. Denis’s maternal grandfather, though surviving sturdily into the reign of George V, was to his grandson a character from the ‘warm, gas-lit, stable-smelling past’ of the Victorian age and symbolized everything that was convivial and straightforward and reliable. His father Stephanos Constanduros, however, was flamboyant, melodramatic and full of grand ideas for solving his perpetual financial problems at a stroke – a tendency which ultimately led to disaster. A small jewel of a book, which attracted huge attention when it was read on BBC Radio 4. (Slightly Foxed Edition no. 20 • 272 pages • RRP £18.50)

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