A very funny and acutely observed account of Edwardian domestic life.
E. M. Delafield (1890-1943) was born in Sussex. Her mother was also a well-known novelist, writing as Mrs Henry de la Pasture, and Delafield chose her pen name based on a suggestion by her sister Yoe. A debutante in 1909, Delafield was accepted as a postulant by a French religious order in 1911 but decided against joining, a topic she explores in her novel Consequences (1919). Delafield worked as a nurse in a Voluntary Aid Detachment following the outbreak of the First World War, and her first novel Zella Sees Herself was written during this time and published in 1917. Diary of a Provincial Lady, her most successful novel, inspired several sequels and is a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Delafield herself, written after a request by the editor of Time and Tide for some 'light middles' in serial form.
I carry the Macmillan Collector's Library edition, which is tiny, in my handbag, to dip into when I'm stuck somewhere. It has never let me down. It is as fresh and sparkling as a champagne flute -- India Knight