Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Place of One's Own - Osbert Sitwell

There's no picture to offer you for this one - published in 1941 and what's left of the dust cover certainly shows the austerity things during WW2.  But the content has nothing to do with that at all.  This is a short (70 pages) and imaginative ghost story.  Mr and Mrs Smedhurst, retiring from "trade" in Leeds, have purchased a large house in a seaside town called Newborough ("and such a bargain") and are settling in happily to retirement, lunch instead of dinner, making new friends and generally enjoying a quiet life.  And then, some odd things begin to happen.......

 The writing style shows its age but there's nothing wrong with that - after all, so does Dickens, Thackeray, Elliott etc!  What is wonderful though is the punctuation.  For those like me who hate bad punctuation unless it is intentional; this is a fine example of perfect grammar at that time.. 

Osbert Sitwell was a Baronet;  the middle sibling of Edith his sister who became Dame Edith Sitwell, and Sacheverell Sitwell, his younger brother. Served in WW1, supported Edward VI after he'd met Mrs Simpson and lost a lot of friends..... fascinating - and there's quite a lot on Wikipedia if you want to know more.