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Barbara in the Bodleian

Barbara in the Bodleian

Author Yvonne Cocking
Publisher The Barbara Pym Society
Publication Date 03/2013
Section Espresso Book Machine Books / Printed Here
Type Print on Demand
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780615765662

Barbara in the Bodleian: Revelations from the Pym Archives is a collection of essays by Yvonne Cocking, longtime archivist of the Barbara Pym Society and a former co-worker of Pym’s, based on her years of research in the Pym archives in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. It includes excerpts from Pym's diaries and notebooks plus correspondence and press clippings, and focuses on the background, development, and revision of her novels.

Barbara Pym was born in Shropshire in 1913. After earning an Oxford degree in English Literature and serving in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during WWII she settled in London and took a job at the International African Institute. Her first novel was published in 1950, and she published five more between 1952 and 1961. Her seventh novel was rejected by twenty publishers, and she was unable to get anything published for sixteen years. In 1977 she was named twice on the Times Literary Supplement’s list of the most underrated novelists of the century, and Quartet in Autumn was published and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her earlier books came back into print in England and were published in the U.S., and she published two more novels before her death in 1980.

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