Apologies for this long review, but I thoroughly enjoyed Life, Love and the Archers, as much as any GN Book Club choice so far. I read it straight through instead of dipping in and out , and found that much of it was like having a wine and chat session with an old friend. Some chapters were thought-provoking, others laugh out loud funny. I particularly enjoyed the last section, Settee Life, which brought back memories of some corking TV series – I spent every lunchtime of my long Summer 1980 maternity leave (those were the days) with my feet up watching a daily rerun of Dallas, becoming mildly obsessed with the machinations of the Ewings/Barnses. And I think I’ll start up a campaign for the return of Drop the Dead Donkey – thank you for the memory of Damian handing out open cans of lager to sober football fans and trying desperately to get them to stagger about and swear a bit.
The Head in a Book section was for me both fun and educational. I had heard of Molesworth, but have never read any Geoffrey Willans and didn’t know the books were illustrated by Ronald Searles. The review in this book nudged me to order Down with Skool! even before I’d finished the chapter, and I’m really looking forward to reading it.
I admitted earlier in this thread that I confused Wendy Cope and Jenny Joseph, to my shame. I am a bit of a philistine (yes, I would have chosen to miss Othello rather than thirtysomething too!) and my knowledge of poetry largely begins and ends with what was chosen for us at school. Having enjoyed this book so much, I’d like to read Ms Cope’s poetry.
So I’ve two questions for the author, please:
Which of your anthologies would you recommend to me, as an absolute Wendy Cope beginner?
I found your comments on copyright and poets’ fees interesting, but the whole area seems to be complex. I have ordered my Molesworth secondhand from a trader on Amazon and am hoping to get my anthology from the local library. Could you explain a little about the fees paid to you on books bought secondhand or borrowed from a public library, and also on those downloaded for e-readers?
Thank you, Ms Cope and Gransnet, for an excellent read.
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