Theme for this month: English gentry. The books are Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Braddon and Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley
Lady Audley's Secret, M.E. Braddon: A classic Victorian 'sensation' novel, it was one of the most popular and successful novels of the 19th century. With a plot involving bigamy, arson and murder it's a novel that has lost none of its power to disturb and entertain.
Crome Yellow, Aldous Huxley Crome Yellow was Aldous Huxley's first novel. It is a light-hearted satire set at an English country house in 1920. A comical cast of outlandish characters has gathered in the small English town of Crome for a social outing at the estate of Henry Wimbush. Each of the characters is, in his or her distinctive way, engaged in an absurd and irresponsible flight from reality. The owner, the dapper and polite Mr. Wimbush, busies himself in the study of his own family's history and secretly wishes to be free of any need to interact with the living--preferring to read about life rather than experience it. His wife Priscilla believes in spiritualism and consults the horoscopes of members of cricket teams before betting on the outcome. Their other guests include: Mary, a young woman with a child's face who scientifically plans her first sexual encounter; Gombauld, a French painter who has gone so far into cubism that he has "come out the other side;" and Anne, a young woman liberated from all passions and with whom Denis is madly in love. A bit like an Agatha Christie novel without the murder.