Saturday, 26 May 2007

Precious Bane

I was awake till the early hours of this morning as I wanted to finish one of the best books I have ever read - Precious Bane by Mary Webb. If you haven't read it please do as I just couldn't put it down. It is similar to Thomas Hardy's style and Mary Webb's descriptions of the Shropshire countryside and her characterization are superb. When I had finished it I was disappointed there wasn't more - I can't praise it enough. It is one of Shropshire Girl's favourite books too and she has written a post about Mary Webb. I belong to a Reading Group and Precious Bane was on our reading list. Next with it being the centenary of Daphne du Maurier's birth we will be reading My Cousin Rachel. On Wednesday we all went to a member's house to lunch and to watch the DVD of David Copperfield as we have recently read this book. Next month we visit Jane Austen's house at Chawton as this isn't far from where we live so I'm looking forward to blogging about that.

Don't be put off by the vernacular, it really isn't too hard to understand and is so relevant to the represenatation of rural English country life. What a shame that so many words and expresssions are now out of common usage. Are there any that you still use? I always refer to making a packed lunch as 'bagging out' which is Cornish and another expression I love from the same county is 'The evening have crowned the day'.

I hope you all have a lovely Bank Holiday weekend.


  1. 'Bait' for elevenses.
    'Surry!' instead of 'good grief'
    'ow bin ye' for 'how are you?'

    I am sooo glad you enjoyed the book, do you love Kester? I know I do!

    Hope it's ok with you I have added your blog to my favourites, love your website as well.
    Sandra. x.

  2. Yes 'bait' or 'crib' or 'croust' for elevenses, the latter usually when it is taken into the fields by the women especially at harvestime.

  3. It sound like a very interesting book and thank you for sharing. I have not heard so much about Jane Austen before,in my lack of not reading many novels. Most of the books that i do have are Interior, decorations or books with animals. But i do know that she lived in Beautiful Bath.

  4. Oh! I read this book back in the 70s, and thought it was one of the most intense, beautiful things I had ever found! Another of Mary Webb's books is DOWN TO EARTH, also riveting and heartfelt. It's neat to read about it so many years afterward... and I think it will inspire me to read it again now!

  5. I read Shropshire Girl's piece about Mary Webb too and intend to read it. I think I use a lot of vernacular words without realising it - to me they seem perfectly normal because I've always used them, it's when other people don't know what I mean that I realise it must be Cheshire that I'm speaking!

  6. Snap! It is my all time favorite book too. I was at my bookgroup on Friday and some one asked what type of man would we fall for - and I said Kester Woodseaves withouit a doubt!