Imagine To the Lighthouse written by Mrs Ramsay expecting her fifth child, and you get something of the spirit of this intense and passionate novel, which is unlike anything else ever written about pregnancy This is maternity and childbirth twenty years before Sylvia Plath The eponymous squire , whose husband is abroad on business, happily awaits the arrival of the Unb Imagine To the Lighthouse written by Mrs Ramsay expecting her fifth child, and you get something of the spirit of this intense and passionate novel, which is unlike anything else ever written about pregnancy This is maternity and childbirth twenty years before Sylvia Plath The eponymous squire , whose husband is abroad on business, happily awaits the arrival of the Unborn in a country house sensuous descriptions of her own body, her garden, her greed for food and port wine, and her sharply differentiated children, merge with her thoughts about the new baby, about middle age and pain, about her quarrelling staff, and about the waning of the sexual imperative The arrival of the midwife, an old and tested friend and a dedicated professional, initiates some extraordinary conversations about babies, gender, vocation and the maternal impulse The relationship of these two women, as they go through one of the most ordinary yet astonishing rituals of life, is portrayed with a tender affectionate care and a deep respect This is a very surprising book for its time, for any time Margaret Drabble If a man had a child and he was also a writer we should have heard a lot about it I wanted The Squire to be exactly as objective as if a man had had a baby Enid Bagnold
The Squire Imagine To the Lighthouse written by Mrs Ramsay expecting her fifth child and you get something of the spirit of this intense and passionate novel which is unlike anything else ever written about pr
Enid Bagnold’s The Squire, first published in 1938, was one of Persephone’s two new additions for Autumn 2013. The novel’s preface has been written by Anne Sebba, and is both informative and well constructed. The Squire was written over a period of ‘some fifteen years’, and was informed by the births of Bagnold’s four children between 1921 and 1930. As Sebba states, ‘she [Bagnold] realised that she wanted to write not only about birth but also to explore in detail the intimate and [...]
The Squire is a book which has more recently been re-issued by Persephone books, my edition however a nice original Virago green. Enid Bagnold – the author of four adult novels was also the author of the famous children’s story National Velvet. In this novel she celebrates childbirth and motherhood and the changing nature of a woman’s life – her prose is richly sensuous, languorous like the slow, contented movements of a woman heavy with child. “The children seemed to cast their Precur [...]
This book has become one of my favorites. Bagnold writes beautifully of motherhood, labor, birth, aging, and mortality. "This short, this fearful loveliness, in which men and women, heroic and baffled, struggling to wisdom, age as they struggle; wrestle upwards and drop into the ground. This marriage, this association with matter, what a high-handed experiment, but what admirable victims! Man, with his eye on death, draws his foot from the womb. There is not time for anything, yet there is time [...]
I wanted to like it but found it rather tedious.
Old fashioned in style -- I think the novel was set in the 1930s, but it could have been set much earlier because there are absolutely no references to current events, fashion or popular culture. Perhaps that is one of the points of the novel: that the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood never change essentially. I was moved by "the squire's" appreciation of the individuality of each of her growing children and of her awareness of her own mortality as she gives birth for the fift [...]
I liked some of the child birthing and rearing observations, especially her conversation with Lucy at the very end, but I had little interest in her other ideas. If you can get over the class thing (which is a huge task as you think about all the mothers raising their young without quite so many employees), Bagnold's portrayal of the servant problem is fascinating.
A fantastic book that deserves to be much better known. The book follows the narrator, a mother of 4 nicknamed "The Squire" because she is in sole charge of her household of kids and servants while her husband is away on his annual business trip to India. What's different this time is that his absence coincides with his wife's confinement. During the space of a few weeks before and after giving birth, this strong and competent woman deals with various crises involving her staff (the cook resigns [...]
I so, so looked forward to this book. It seemed to have all I wanted: pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and details about the emotions and domesticity of each phase set in 1930s England. But I didn't much care for it, though I dog-eared many pages for perfectly sublime passages with which I could relate. I did get some sense, from those, of a "private" sharing which usually wasn't recorded in writing of that time period. Even today, if you talk too much about your own birthing and motherhood, if fee [...]
A fascinating look into the process of pregnancy and childbirth through the eyes and thoughts of a mother of four about to have her fifth child. Interestingly, she is currently running her small estate on her own while her husband is traveling abroad for business. I loved seeing the world through her eyes, and really admired her courage and thoughtfulness about motherhood. The book’s strengths and weaknesses are both due to the unusual point of view--the book is mostly told through her stream [...]
I liked it and found the subject of the book interesting. I did find Bagnold's prose a bit flowery and high blown at times. The topic of childbirth and motherhood in general was engaging to read about and I wish that there were more novels exploring it in a fictional way. I felt that my judgment of Bagnold's novelist's skills were some what clouded by notions that she is not highly thought of critically.
This is really a domestic little book about a woman who is pregnant for the Nth time. The men are away. I found it really cozy and charming. I own two copies, one in paper and one hard cover (it was originally titled "The Door of Life").
For mothers, wives, lovers of great writing, this is a majestic read. Full of amazing insights about children; very funny about the travails of being an employer; wonderful about womanhood. I recommend this with the only reservation that women/mothers will relate to it more than men might.
I didn't *love* the squire herself, and some of the side characters were less than interesting, but the descriptions of motherhood and child rearing were beautiful.
See my review here:whatmeread.wordpress/2016