This was published in 1912, so a good decade before the Lucia books. Lucia fans will still enjoy this, but it has a much more serious undertone. There is still the manipulation of others for social dominance but there are more important matters at stake here, so the book cannot be so light-hearted. In Lucia the problems are usually all of the participants' own making so we can enjoy their Machiavellian manoeuvrings for their own sake.
I also read The Only Problem by Muriel Spark. I couldn't decide if this was meant to be funny or not. (I didn't find it so). The characters were all tedious and self-obsessed. It ends in tragedy but you don't care.
What a relief to read Cranford (by Mrs Gaskell) again. The characters are drawn warmly and wittily, times past are poignantly evoked - and there is a happy ending! I've never seen the TV series and I'm planning to keep avoiding it, as they may have altered things and I wouldn't like that (plus I have my own ideas about how the characters should look).
Day 199; book 197
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