• Title: Miss Hargreaves
  • Author: Frank Baker
  • ISBN: 9781608190515
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • Miss Hargreaves When Norman Huntley and Henry Beddow sheltering from the rain in a dismal Irish country church placate the sexton by telling him that they knew of his beloved pastor now departed there is no reaso
    When Norman Huntley and Henry Beddow, sheltering from the rain in a dismal Irish country church, placate the sexton by telling him that they knew of his beloved pastor now departed , there is no reason to suppose that there is any harm in the invention It is purely for their own amusement that they create a fictional mutual friend an elderly lady, Miss HargreavesTheWhen Norman Huntley and Henry Beddow, sheltering from the rain in a dismal Irish country church, placate the sexton by telling him that they knew of his beloved pastor now departed , there is no reason to suppose that there is any harm in the invention It is purely for their own amusement that they create a fictional mutual friend an elderly lady, Miss HargreavesThe sexton does not doubt her existence For him, Miss Hargreaves is as real as you or I And she gradually assumes a fully rounded character in the imaginings of the two young men as they while away their holiday in expanding the details of her life her book of poetry, her parrot Dr Pepusch, her harp, and her hip bath It is merely a continuation of their little joke when they write to invite her to visit them back in their cathedral home town of Cornford.It is something of a surprise when Miss Hargreaves accepts their invitation And their disbelief turns to confusion and horror as, one evening soon afterwards, her train pulls into Cornford Station .As Dr Glen Cavaliero stresses in his introduction, Miss Hargreaves is a brilliantly funny and moving fantasy with an admirable lightness of touch and wonderful characterisation, but for all that it has a dark and frightening undercurrent A burlesque parable of the ways of God with man , the book explores how the creator must live with the consequences of their creation, no matter how uncomfortable And if they renounce their responsibilities, then there is always the possibility that their power may be turned against them.Miss Hargreaves, first published in 1940 to great acclaim, is a classic novel of the supernatural Glen Cavaliero is a Fellow of St Catharine s College, Cambridge, and author of The Supernatural and English Fiction O.U.P 1995.

    One Reply to “Miss Hargreaves”

    1. Do you know this nursery rhyme? Almost certainly you know the first verse,Yesterday upon the stairI met a man who wasn’t thereHe wasn’t there again todayOh, how I wish he’d go awayBut may not know the second,When I came home last night at threeThe man was waiting there for meBut when I looked around the hallI couldn’t see him there at all!Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door.(Antigonish by William Hughes Mearns)This book is e [...]

    2. This book, I think, should be much more widely known. It has the feel of a classic and I am pleased both that it was reprinted by the Bloomsbury Group (in 2009 - it was originally published in 1939) and that it happened to catch my eye in the library.On holiday in Lusk, Ireland, Norman Huntley and his friend Henry Beddow happen to visit the local church. It appears to be very unkempt but the Sexton who opened it up for them is inordinately proud of it. Since Henry was the one wo was so keen on v [...]

    3. Imagine você inventar uma pessoa que não existe e essa pessoa se tornar em carne e osso. Foi isso que aconteceu com os amigos Norman e Henry, que morando na Inglaterra foram dar um passeio na Irlanda. Lá resolveram visitar uma velha igreja e conversando com o bispo local, inventaram uma tal de Senhora Hargreaves que fora amiga dum Bispo muito querido, já morto, da Igreja em questão. Ao sairem da igreja , até escreveram uma carta para uma suposta Senhora Hargreaves que estaria em um hotel q [...]

    4. Reason for Reading: I love British literature written during the first half of the 20th century and all the books reprinted in The Bloomsbury Group sound delightful.Summary: Norman Huntley and his friend Henry are visiting an old church and while speaking to the keeper, on a lark, they invent an eighty-plus old woman, Miss Hargreaves, giving her quite an eccentric character, a cockatoo, and a bath she takes with her everywhere. Still having a good laugh they write a letter to this fictional char [...]

    5. In terms of story, I would give this 4 stars. In terms of readability, I have to drop it down to 3 stars. The author, Frank Baker, himself a musician, goes into way too much detail about music for my liking.So, great story. It was written in 1940 and concerns two young men on the brink of adulthood (23 years old) amusing themselves on holiday in Ireland. While on a very boring tour of a rundown old church in the neighborhood they are visiting, the two young men, Norman and Henry, get caught up i [...]

    6. This is a fantasy novel.I feel like that statement needs to sink in. Because I don't read fantasy! And also this is a quiet domestic novel written in the 1930s with a little old lady. So it's a bit unexpected. But, yeah, this is a fantasy novel.Norman Huntley and his friend Henry Beddow every now and then enjoy making up stories. Not with any malicious intent, but just for fun. At times it's almost a compulsion to just stir up stories from out of thin air and see how far they get.They've been tr [...]

    7. This book is right up my alley - a Bloomsbury reissue of a lost 1940's British gem. While on vacation in Ireland, friends Norman and Henry amuse themselves by going into a church and find themselves telling them sexton that they know someone who know's the old pastor. An 83 year old woman poet who was the niece of the Duke of Grosvenor with a cockatoo named Dr. Pepusch, a hip bath and a harp… It's all fun and games until she shows up on Norman's doorstep in Cornford England shortly after. Much [...]

    8. I actually bought this book because the premise sounded so cute. The protagonist and his buddy make up this old woman and out of general hilarity wrote a letter to her and send it. They are shocked when somehow their actions have actually created a real person, Miss Hargreaves. It is amazing with such an original plot device, Baker manages to create such a stinker. I ended up just skimming the last half of the book, it was so annoying. All the characters were obnoxious and not a single one was b [...]

    9. Cute idea for a book. I liked it at first but then it was pulled out far too long to the point where it got tiresome and I struggled to finish it.And the main characters were all rather idiotic. They almost could have been lovable in that Wodehouse kind of way except they weren't.

    10. Behold a work of relentless mediocrity. This novel is charmingly written with more than enough saccharine that while it may not be cloying, will certainly sate one's taste for such confections. MISS HARGREAVES is part of the Bloombury Group's set of reprinted "early" 20th-century British novels that have disappeared and been swept aside into the dustbin of history. This 1939 volume was a popular prewar novel displaying the dubious literary talents of organist, actor, BBC editor, and author Frank [...]

    11. I wasn't sure about this one until the end, but am giving it four stars as the ending was worth it. Norman, the main character through whom the tale is told, seemed a bit of a wimp to me, but I suppose he was a product of his time. I will say that I found the story lagged a bit when the title character wasn't present; there's a fair amount of internal monologue, etc. Other fans of Trollope might even feel it's in an earlier age, with all the Cathedral goings on (Dean and Chapter), though at one [...]

    12. Delightful jeu d'esprit new from the Bloomsbury Group! Norman Huntley is an organist in a small cathedral town who finds that his imaginative response to the "spur of the moment" have taken a frightening turn when he and his friend Henry become the unwitting creators of a woman named Miss Hargreaves, first in jocular conversation, then in the flesh. But who is the haunter and who is the haunted? Miss Hargreaves is everywhere! and Norman realizes that he no longer has control of the situation. A [...]

    13. Two young men, Norman and Henry, lead fairly uneventful lives in the Thames Valley cathedral city of Cornford. As Miss Hargreaves was first published in 1940, the story presumably takes place not long before. But there is no sense of great and terrible events looming, and almost no sense of any world outside of the quiet town, where Norman works in his father’s bookshop, and sings in the choir of Cornford Cathedral. His friend Henry leads a scarcely more challenging existence, working as he do [...]

    14. I sampled twice from The Bloomsbury Group: last year, I read and loved Let's Kill Uncle and then loathed The Brontes Went To Woolworths to an almost equal measure. With that in mind, Miss Hargreaves was very much the decider. I loved it - making it a 2:1 victory for Bloomsbury and another occasion when I am left to mourn the fact that I have adored a book which is the property of the library service. I still haven't quite broken free from the childhood rule that I shouldn't buy books that I have [...]

    15. 3.5 stars. Clever plot. Has a Jeeves and Wooster feel to it where young men get into a mess and have to figure their way out of it. The father was my favorite character. He seems like a bumbling fool until he utters something that is so deep and reveals to point of the book. It needed to be 50 pages shorter. I got lost a little in some vocabulary especially when it came to describing the cathedral where the main character is an organisttins, gates, thrones, canons I could guess but I had trouble [...]

    16. A little bit of magic on the pages here when two young men on holiday in Ireland find that a character they have invented for a laugh over a beer or three has turned up as large as life in their town!

    17. "When, on the spur of a moment, Norman Huntley and his friend Henry invent an eighty-three-year-old woman called Miss Hargreaves, they are inspired to mail a letter to their new fictional friend. It is only meant to be a silly, harmless game -- until she arrives on their doorstep. She is, to Norman's utter disbelief, exactly as he had imagined her: eccentric and endlessly astounding. He hadn't imagined, however, how much havoc an imaginary octogenarian could wreak on his sleepy Buckinghamshire t [...]

    18. Browsing at my local independent bookseller, I came across The Bloomsbury Group books and I bought 5 of the 6 they've published so far, including this book. Similar to the Virago books, these are republished out-of-print books, although not just by women. "A new library of books from the early twentieth century chosen by readers for readers." Norman, a young man with a vivid imagination, is prone to making up wild stories "on the Spur of the Moment" whe he is in a tight spot. His father warns hi [...]

    19. Summary: When Norman Huntley, and his friend, Henry, invent an 83 year old woman, called Mrs. Hargreaves, they are inspired to write to their fictional friend. The silly, harmless, game turns out not to be such, when she arrives on their doorstep, in Buckinghamshire, exactly as he imagined her.Tone: Withdrawn, Sinister, MelancholySetting: England, Buckinghamshire, Ireland, Lusk, Clastrophobic, darkCharacters: Quirky, Eccentric, Conceited Language: First Person, Out-dated, AntiquatedFirst Line: " [...]

    20. Confession: I make up people all the time. I've been doing it for several years now, since I was a little kid. I don't remember when it started and I can't seem to stop. It's too addicting, and most of the time, it seems harmless enough. Until I read this book, madness was the one side effect of creating people that I could imagine. But what if a made-up person somehow became a reality? That sounds like madness too, right? Yet, as humorous as this book could be, at times it was downright freaky [...]

    21. A very entertaining little jaunt of a novel. It is perceptibly English with its small town, little witty jokes delivered spectacularly without fuss, and its perfectly staged situations of embarrassment observant to maximum effects. (No other kind of story except an English one, I think, could deal so lethally in these terms.)This was written in 1940 - magical realism before magical realism was cool. It is surprisingly very engaging, balancing the mundane and the comic with the bewildering intrus [...]

    22. On the Spur of the Moment in a church in Ireland, Norman Huntley spins a yarn about an eccentric octogenarian who writes poetry, plays the harp and travels with a parrot, a dog and a hip bath. He even goes so far as to write her a letter care of a hotel in Hereford. A few days later, when back home in England, he shocked to get a telegram from her: Miss Hargreaves. How can this be when she is a figment of his imagination? Hilarity ensues.The premise of this book reminded me of a favorite Twiligh [...]

    23. I LOVED the premise of this book: two friends start lying in a church, make-up a story about an eccentric woman, and then actually write her and invite her for a visit. Imagine their surprise when she actually turns up! Hilarity ensues – right? Right? Not really. Parts of the book are funny, even poignant -- and for the most part it’s well written. But enough to cover over 300 pages. It’s rather snobbish, misogynistic, ageist, and even anti-Irish. Everyone seems to just hate this woman, or [...]

    24. Odd. But absolutely wonderfully so! This amazing Pygmalion of a story recounts the remarkable Spur of a Moment creation of a Miss Hargreaves by Norman and Henry (“The correct pronunciation of her name is, of course, ‘Hargrayves’. Astonishing as it must seem, there exist people who refer to her as Miss ‘Hargreeves’. Doubtless they belong to the ranks of those who ‘Macleen’ their teeth”). A letter posted to this Spur of a Moment results in a very real (of sorts) Miss Hargreaves tur [...]

    25. Whimsical early 20th century British novel about a man who invents an 83 year old woman - the eponymous Miss Hargreaves - who then comes to life and wreaks havoc with his simple town life.I think I could have liked this so much better if I liked the characters at all, but I found them aggravating and unsympathetic. The story was also a little too slow for me. I am, however, eager to read the other books that come out of this imprint.

    26. Miss Hargreaves was such a character and her piquant and often outrageous charm was wasted in this book. In fact I was so annoyed that I had to sit and think out an alternate storyline so I could have peace. The first third of the book was the best and I laughed out loud several times, leading me to hope for a jolly romp of a book in the P.G. Wodehouse vein. Unfortunately Miss Hargreaves was done in by her cynical times - I'm sure that was the point - but what a waste and an unsatisfying story.

    27. It was a fine start. So lively and cozy that I found it hard to believe that it was written in 1940. It seemed so modern and so Pygmalion all at the same time. And then, I realized that the characters were not lively or cozy at all. They were strange and bitter and unlikable. And I didn't care if Norman ever figured out how or why Miss Hargreaves came or whether or not his father had the same gift. I just don't care.

    28. This is a very odd book, and if it had been more tightly written I'd have given it 5 stars because it was an amazing premise. Almost fantasy, and almost a discussion of reality/relativity. But unfortunately the author didn't really have an end game. He couldn't find a close and ended up getting tedious. It is too bad, the beginning was really kind of great.

    29. The author had a brilliant idea but it got lost in all the endless details of the adventure. I lost interest hal-way through, and skipped to the last chapterdidn't feel like I missed anything, but did love the premise of the book.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *