Evenfield by Rachel Ferguson

evenfieldFor some reason, despite quite a lot of reading time, I haven’t managed to finish more than one short book so far in 2017. What’s going on? Well, for now, here’s a Shiny New Books review of Evenfield (1942) by Rachel Ferguson – one of the new Furrowed Middlebrow reprints. It’s quite an extraordinary novel – in terms of what it’s trying to do and be. Below is the intro to my review, and you can read the whole thing here.

The launch of the Furrowed Middlebrow series from Dean Street Press, under the editorial eye of blogger and middlebrow expert Scott of Furrowed Middlebrow, is an occasion for much rejoicing. His knowledge of neglected writers from the twentieth century is second to none, and I very excited to see which names he picks for the ongoing series. But there was one name in the first tranche that particularly thrilled me: Rachel Ferguson.

Ferguson is known now, if at all, as the author of The Brontës Went to Woolworths and Alas, Poor Lady, which have been reprinted over the years, but the rest of her novels have remained neglected. Dean Street Press have now brought back A Harp in Lowndes Square, A Footman for the Peacock, and Evenfield, written between 1936 and 1942. The last and latest of these is the novel I’ve read for Shiny New Books, and it is a bizarre, enticing curio that could have come from no other pen.

2 thoughts on “Evenfield by Rachel Ferguson

  • January 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    What a quaint and charming cover; I, too, would have been immediately drawn to the one by Rachel Ferguson. I’ve only read one of hers (TBWtW) and loved it, but I often forget that the VMC reprints only represent a small portion of these authors’ oeuvres. On the other hand, maybe that’s for the best, as the idea of a reading list longer than the VMC backlist could be crippling!

  • January 12, 2017 at 7:21 am

    I loved The Brontes Went to Woolworths but have Alas, Poor Lady unread — somehow it doesn’t look as much fun. I do love the new Furrowed Middlebrow imprint and am so looking forward to the reprint of the The Lark by E. Nesbit. I haven’t officially signed up for Project 24 but as always am trying to buy less books and read more off my shelves. I’m in the middle of three different books at the moment so I haven’t posted a new review yet for 2017.


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