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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Webb’

Cold Comfort Farm is a comic novel by Stella Gibbons, published in 1932. It parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life popular at the time, by writers such as Mary Webb.
The heroine,Flora Poste is 20 and she is an orphan with little to live on.She is looking for relatives to live with.She chooses to stay with the Starkadders,the least bad choice.
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From the very beginning it is obvious that Flora trusts herself and her judgement very much.She is strong hearted,good and brave,but spoilt.
Charles,a friend from London,seems to be in love with her,but she’s not really contemplating marriage.Her mind is focused on the development of the novel that is intended to make her famous by the time she’s fifty.
As she goes to live with the Starkadders,she decides to do her best to improve their life style.My favourite line was “I think the curtains in my room are red,but I’d like to make sure”.
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She teaches a woman that’s been impregnated by Seth four times,about family planning and contraception.She discoveres that Seth has a passion for movies and introduces him to a movie director.She encourages her uncle Amos to pursue his dream of becoming a nomadic preacher while his son,Reuben,who is truly interested in the farm,gets it.
Also,Flora turns Elfine into a graceful lady so that she can bewitch the man she’s in love with.
And the greatest of Flora’s achievements is with Ada Doom,Judith’s mother,who only leaves her room on special occasion and who terrorises the entire family by constantly reminding them that no one ever leaves Cold Comfort Farm and that she saw something nasty in the woodshed.
Flora uses a copy of Vogue magazine to tempt her to join the twentieth century, and spend some of her fortune on living the high life in Paris.
Bottom line,Flora brings good sense into the family,reason and …the 20th century really.
It all seems pretty gloomy in the farm as Flora arrives,the atmosphere seems very likely to draw you in and when that moment comes,Flora’s good sense brings everything down to reality in a very comic way.[This is british comedy at it’s finest.]
The intention is to mock the popular romantic stories that are meant to creap you out(I wonder if that is grammatically correct).It also seems to me that is mocks Dickens a bit,because we’ve got all the insane characters.Amos is a fanatic,Judith has a passion for her son,Ada keeps saying “And I saw something nasty in the woodshed” while Elfine is doing the fairy thing all the time combined with obsessing about poetry.
So we’ve got the nosey Emma Woodhouse in a creepy Bronte house that’s full of Dickens lunatics.
It can’t be but good.
And what I loved best was that in the end,Flora concludes that writing novels is not for her and she chooses to marry Charles.
There were lots of funny bits.Stephen Fry rules and Kate Beckinsale really was something before she went to Hollywood and ruined her career with vampire movies.I think she should’ve won an Oscar for this part.
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And it OH so sensible a movie!It erks sense![I hope erks is a real word]
It’s like a wake up call.Lose your prejudices and romantism,it’s time to live in the real world and improve.
I think this is squeezing in my top 10.In fact,I think it’s going to make into in the top 5.

And here’s a clip with a present :)…Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan…in one clip 🙂

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