Ok, have you got your copies of Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett? Or perhaps you have it under the original American title, Bullivant and the Lambs. Either way, there is still sometime to get prepared, even though I’m shouting GO! at the top of my voice. Because I don’t think we can all agree to read the novel in the same week, I’m decreeing the whole of October as your time limit…. I AM excited!
So, over October, secure your copy, and get reading. The beautiful New York Review of Books Classics edition is available in the US, but also from some bookshops in England – I spotted two copies in the Kensington Persephone Bookshop, for example. Otherwise, plenty of secondhand editions to find. It was first published in 1947, but has been reprinted a fair number of times.
And, in the first week of November, I’ll encourage everyone involved to post on their experiences with the novel – either in comments on my blog, or – of course – on your own blogs. You’re welcome to post before then, obviously you can do as you like, but it might be fun to all write about Manservant and Maidservant at the same time.
This experience might well be giving up on page two, or it might be sheer delight and ordering all of her novels – or, of course, something in between. I’ve not read it yet, I don’t know how I’ll react. But it will be exciting to know that we’re all reading ICB together – I’ll remind everyone about halfway through October, and see how you’re going…
Feel free to comment now, to reassure me that I’m not reading all on my own, and let the festivities begin!