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Three Score and Ten

The last of the Barsetshire novels, left unfinished by Thirkell at her death at 75, was completed from extensive notes by a friend and fellow writer, C A Lejeune. Regardless of its provenance, it is a remarkable reprise of the whole series. Mrs Morland (Thirkell's alter-ego?), the protagonist of the first book, High Rising (1933), is again the centre of action. She turns seventy affording the opportunity for a final gathering of our favourite people who continue to act as expected on all occasions. Young Robin Morland, son of the irrepressible Tony, helps or hinders or both at once. Along the way, Wiple Terrace with its motley complement of tenants is rescued from the depredations of the odious Lord Aberfordbury (of Pookers Piece fame). Mr Adams and Gradka, an unlikely duo, form a syndicate to frustrate his aims. Matrimonial fodder is provided by the expected match between Ludo Pomfret and Lavinia Merton and the unexpected one between Dr Ford and Sylvia Gould (which we thought had come about thirty years ago).
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About the Author

Angela Thirkell, grand-daughter of pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, was born in London in 1890. She began writing novels in 1930 to support herself and her sons. She produced a new book almost every year for the rest of her life. Her stylish prose and deft portrayal of human comedy in the imaginary county of Barsetshire have delighted readers for decades. She died in 1961 aged 70.

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