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Stella Dorothea Gibbons, novelist, poet and short-story writer, was born in London in 1902. Her first novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932) won the Femina Vie Heuruse Prize for 1933. Other standout novels include Miss Linsey and Pa (1936), Nightingale Wood (1938), Westwood (1946), Conference at Cold Comfort Farm (1959) and Beside the Pearly Water (1954). Stella Gibbons died in 1989.
Playful and ironic, witty and warm-hearted, Stella Gibbons gives us her debut novel and the masterpiece that is Cold Comfort Farm. When sophisticated and educated socialite Flora Poste is orphaned at 19 with little income, she descends upon her relatives the gloomy Starkadders in deepest rural Sussex. A veritable bunch of misfits with melodrama galore, the family is taken under the wing of Flora as she looks to release everyone and everything from the clutches of her Aunt Ada Doom and fix their social, sexual and psychological issues. A brilliantly funny tale.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LYNNE TRUSS 'Stella Gibbons is the Jane Austen of the twentieth century' The Times Set in wartime London, Westwood tells the story of Margaret Steggles, a plain bookish girl whose mother has told her that she is not the type that attracts men. Her schoolfriend Hilda has a sunny temperament and keeps her service boys 'ever so cheery'. When Margaret finds a ration book on Hampstead Heath the pompous writer Gerard Challis enters both their lives. Margaret slavishly adores Challis and his artistic circle; Challis idolises Hilda for her hair and her eyes and Hilda finds Gerard's romantic overtures a bit of a bind. This is a delightfully comic and wistful tale of love and longing.