Find a book

A Book a Month

We can send a book a month for six or twelve months - the perfect gift. More »

Café Music

Listen to our album of Café Music while browsing the site. More »

The Two Mrs Abbotts

by DE Stevenson
Persephone book no:

103 104 105

Order This Book

A Well Full of Leaves
Regular price £14.00
In Stock
£0.00 Unit price per

ISBN 9781903155943

This is the third book in a trilogy. In the first, Miss Buncle’s Book (1934), Miss Buncle, gloriously, wrote a novel about the village she lived in and then had hastily to depart because the true identity of ‘John Smith’, the author, was about to be revealed. In Miss Buncle Married (1936), she marries her publisher and leaves Hampstead for Wandlebury, a village within commutable distance of London. This one, The Two Mrs Abbotts, starts with one of the characters in Miss Buncle’s Book arriving in the village to give a talk for the Women’s Institute and to stay with Mrs Abbott, not knowing that it is her old friend Miss Buncle, mother by now of two children. And after that there is the usual intensely readable round of events, none of them earth shattering, none of them pertaining to ‘great literature’, but the novel is wonderfully enjoyable and although perhaps not quite as witty and fun as Miss Buncle’s Book, it is a very good and entertaining read.

Also the details about daily life in the war are interesting, and in this respect The Two Mrs Abbotts can join Persephone’s collection of World War II books. Thus the quotation on the book's flap describes the young Mrs Abbott, Jerry, being suddenly upset because her handyman gardener is sitting in the harness room having a comfortable supper, whereas every other man she knows is overseas. ‘”No,” said Jerry, “No, Rudge, it won’t do. If you can get exemption that’s all right – that’s your affair not mine – but I can’t keep you here… Why should you be exempted? I’m probably quite mad – but I just can’t bear it.”’

And this is why the fabric used on the endpapers is especially appropriate – it is 1942, the year the book was written, and is called ‘Last Waltz’. 


Endpapers taken from 'Last Waltz', a 1942 printed cotton dress fabric by Tootal, Broadhurst, Lee & Co

Picture Caption

'Pauline Waiting', 1939 by Sir James Gunn

Read What Readers Say

Veronique via Goodreads

Once more, I’ve been charmed by D.E. Stevenson’s easy style. I don’t know why I waited so long to read this third instalment, especially since from the first page, I was transported to this fabulous little village peopled by such a colourful cast…. ‘The Two Mrs Abbotts’ is deceptively simple but in fact showcases Stevenson’s writing dexterity, full of humour and satire. Although the war is forever present in the background, it is ultimately a warm-hearted comedy. Perfect for a cosy afternoon.

Cornflower Books

‘The Two Mrs Abbotts’ is as full of charm as you’d expect. This is a comedy of manners with moments of melodrama and farce, and much genial observation; it’s a warm-hearted story in which nothing of particular moment happens, but what does transpire is enough to keep the reader happily turning the pages. You know where you are with a novel where a note explaining that the writer has run away is left on a pincushion.

Categories: Humour Woman and Home

Back to top