A Bracingly Intelligent Bildungsroman: Dorothy Whipple’s “Because of the Lockwoods”

Here is an excerpt from my latest post at Thornfield Hall Redux, and of course the link.

My eyes fell serendipitously on a copy of Dorothy Whipple’s 1949 novel, Because of the Lockwoods. If you are not familiar with the wonderful Dorothy Whipple, that means you have not yet crossed the Whipple line (more about that later).  Whipple is one of the  best-selling authors at the small English women’s reprint press, Persephone Books.

 I adored Because of the Lockwoods, a smart, pitch-perfect, absorbing bildungsroman, which reminds me slightly of W. Somerset  Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.  Funny, isn’t it, how the great middlebrow writers fall out of fashion?  Both Whipple and Maugham are masters of plot, characterization, and readability, and yet they are underrated.  Maugham’s books, or at least some of them, have remained in print, but Whipple fell into oblivion until Persephone revived her.