A Villa In France by J.I.M. Stewart

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By J.I.M. Stewart

Penelope, the daughter of an area priest, is lured to a villa within the south of France the place she is the sufferer of a merciless hoax. As to how she got here into the placement, we're first brought to her as a toddler and the history is determined out with Stewart’s traditional wit and hugely descriptive writing. Fulke Ferneydale, now a wealthy novelist, knew Penelope then – certainly, in her later teenage years he unexpectedly proposed to her, yet she grew to become him down. on the time, he had anything of a chip on his shoulder as his father used to be ‘in trade’, that's anything Penelope’s father seemed down upon in a snobbish demeanour, even though it didn’t impact her. as a result, Ferneydale went off and married Sophie, even supposing he as a consequence controlled to get pleasure from a string of mistresses and younger boys. Penelope married Caspar, yet he's withdrawn, scholarly and uninteresting, let alone materially unsuccessful. So what's to turn into of her in France? there are numerous twists to this story, no longer least the ultimate surprise.

The writer: John Innes waterproof coat Stewart (who additionally wrote as ‘Michael Innes’) used to be born in Edinburgh the place his father used to be Director of schooling. He attended Edinburgh Academy earlier than going as much as Oriel university, Oxford the place he used to be provided a first-class measure in English and received the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize and was once named a Bishop Frazer student. After a quick interlude traveling with AJP Taylor in Austria, together with learning Freudian psychoanalysis for a yr, he launched into an variation of Florio’s translation of Montaigne’s Essays. This thus helped him safe a submit educating English at Leeds University.

In 1932, Stewart married Margaret Hardwick, who practised drugs, and so they hence had 3 sons and daughters. by means of 1935, he have been presented the Jury Chair on the college of Adelaide in Australia as Professor of English and had additionally accomplished his first detective novel, ‘Death on the President’s Lodging’, released below the pseudonym ‘Michael Innes’. This used to be a right away luck and a part of a protracted working sequence focused on ‘Inspector Appleby’, his basic personality while writing as ‘Innes’. there have been virtually fifty titles accomplished lower than the ‘Innes’ banner in the course of his occupation.

In 1946, he lower back to the united kingdom and spent years at Queen's collage in Belfast, sooner than being appointed pupil (Fellow and instruct) at Christ Church, Oxford. He was once later to carry the submit of Reader in English Literature of Oxford college and upon his retirement was once made an Emeritus Professor. while by no means eager to depart his liked Oxford completely, he did be capable to healthy into his busy agenda a traveling Professorship on the college of Washington and was once additionally honoured by means of different Universities within the united kingdom.

Stewart wrote many works below his personal identify, together with twenty-one works of fiction (which contained the hugely acclaimed quintet entitled ‘A Staircase in Surrey’, focused essentially in Oxford, yet with massive forays in different places, particularly Italy), numerous brief tale collections, and over 9 realized works at the likes of Shakespeare, Kipling and Hardy. He used to be additionally a contributor to many educational courses, together with a massive part on sleek writers for the Oxford background of English Literature. He died in 1994, the final released paintings being an autobiography: ‘Myself and Michael Innes’.

J.I.M. Stewart’s fiction is enormously well known for its wit, plots and literary caliber, while the non-fiction is stated as being definitive.

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