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With malice towards some

A sort of diary, an intelligent American's view of provincial England in the Twenties. Attitudes and ways of life may have changed, but - as you should realise - I savour firm opinions neatly expressed.

Margaret Halsey is someone I should like to have dined with, and not just in the formal style she would have been exposed to where one began the meal making conversation with the person on one's left and ended it after a firm but discreet signal halfway through making conversation with the person on one's right: a less constraining dinner at home would have been even more fun.

Her style is enviably light, sure and quick, like the American I used to work with whose talk would crackle and spark and leave me sounding like Dr Johnson on Prozac. Herewith two tiny samples, which I hope may encourage you to rush out and buy the book:

Englishwomen's shoes look as if they had been made by someone who had often heard shoes described, but had never seen any ... What provokes this outburst is that I have just bought a pair of English bedroom slippers and I not only cannot tell the left foot from the right, but it is only after profound deliberation that I am able to distinguish between the front and the back.
(the town of Sandwich) is small and flawlessly picturesque, with narrow, crooked streets and houses – humorously askew – which have had their hair combed and their ears washed for the benefit of old ladies likely to be interested in lunch, atmosphere and hand-woven woollens.