Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Finished Kathleen by Christopher Morley, one of my favorite writers. A group of undergraduates at Oxford find a letter written by a young woman named Kathleen. They begin a writing project in which they piece together a story about her and her family. Their ardor of Kathleen grows. During a holiday break they travel to the town where Kathleen lives and each devise a way to meet her and ask her to be their guest for Eight's Week. Each man masquerades as something he is not. One an antiquites scholar, one a curate, also a policeman and a gas meter reader. The most outrageous of all is one who dresses up as a woman and poses as a substitute cook for Kathleen's family. Here is a man with experience playing female characters in a theater guild, but no experience in the kitchen. The results of this are so hilarious I found myself laughing out loud. At one point while studying a recipe for stuffed eggs, he sees in the list of ingredients "buttered crumbs" and makes a note to set aside extra time for the buttering of said crumbs since that sounds like a tricky business.

While the book is ultimately a bit silly, it was an enjoyable read. My favorite Christopher Morley book is Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman. My second favorite is Parnassus on Wheels. I recommend both very highly.

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