Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Tag: The Shooting Party

A Surprising Find

The Shooting Party, Isabel Colegate

Lived and breathed this little gem of a book. Isabel Colegate takes twenty four hours in an edwardian country estate during a shooting party, taking perspective from many of the different people involved. This novel is great if you like a lot of characters to study: there is a lot of aristocracy mixed with their servants, lots of different generations and a mix of city and country people. She totally manages to capture a way of life that vanished so quickly from English memory – it all seems so long ago but it is only the twentieth century! It is only a short book but it is so worth a read: stylish, observant, witty, nostalgic….

Isabel Colegate Quote

The October afternoon turned early towards evening, extending over the countryside a veil of mist so light as to be barely discernible, giving only an effect as if everything were to be seen through water.
Isabel Colegate, The Shooting Party

An Excellent Beginning

It caused a mild scandal at the time, but in most people’s memories it was quite outshone by what succeeded it. You could see it as a drama all played out in a room lit by gas lamps; perhaps with flickering sidelights thrown by a log fire burning brightly at one side of the room, a big Edwardian drawing-room, full of furniture, tables crowded with knick-knacks and framed photographs, people sitting or standing in groups, conversing; and then a fierce electric light thrown back from a room beyond, the next room, into which no one has yet ventured, and this fierce retrospective light through the doorway makes the lamplit room seem shadowy, the flickering flames in the grate pallid, the circles of yellow light round the lamps opaque (a kind of tarnished gold) and the people, well, discernibly people, but people from a long time ago, our parents and grandparents made to seem like beings from a much remoter past, Charlemagne and his knights or the seven sleepers half roused from their thousand year sleep.
It was an error of judgement that resulted in a death. It took place in autumn before the outbreak of what used to be known as the Great War.
Isabel Colegate, The Shooting Party