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Greenery Street

by Denis Mackail
Persephone book no:

34 35 36


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A Well Full of Leaves
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PREFACE BY REBECCA COHEN
392pp
ISBN 9781903155257

PG Wodehouse described this 1925 novel as 'so good that it makes one feel that it's the only possible way of writing a book, to take an ordinary couple and just tell the reader all about them.' Greenery Street can be read on two levels: it is a touching description of a young couple's first year together in London, but it is also a homage - something rare in fiction - to happy married life. (It therefore makes an excellent wedding or anniversary present.)

Ian and Felicity Foster are shown as they arrive at 23 Greenery Street, an undisguised and still unchanged Walpole Street in Chelsea. Their uneventful but always interesting everyday life is the main subject of a novel that evokes the charmingly contented and timeless while managing to be both funny and profound about human relations.

Denis Mackail was a grandson of Edward Burne-Jones on his mother's side and son of JW Mackail, the eminent classical scholar; his sister was the novelist Angela Thirkell. He wrote nearly a book a year for thirty years.

Also available as a Persephone e-book.

Endpaper

There was no question about the endpaper fabric for Greenery Street - it had to be something that the Fosters would have had in their house. This 1925 cretonne is, we believe, exactly what Felicity might have bought at 'Andrew Brown's' (Peter Jones) and used to cover the sofa.

Picture Caption

Original jacket © Estate of E.H Shepard; a postcard reproduction accompanies each copy of the book.


Read What Readers Say

Daily Mail

A wonderfully happy book, based on the author’s own first year of marriage, when every detail of domestic life – however minor – is treated as a great adventure; much remains familiar and fresh.

Melissa via Instagram

I loved this book! It’s pure delight, humour and charm from beginning to end…. The story is told by an omniscient narrator whose wryly witty view of the comings and goings on that streets, and of the foibles and youthful silliness of Felicity and Iain, is laugh-out-loud funny and yet never mean-spirited…. ‘Britain between the wars’ is basically my favourite setting for a story, and I loved the 1920s manners and morals of the books. It’s very much of it stime, yet aspects of Felicity and Iain’s relationship feel timeless and relatable for today’s reader. Most of all, it’s just a fun, humourous, completely enjoyable book, full of amusing characters and cozy domesticity.

Pining for the West (via Instagram)

I’ve been meaning to get around to reading ‘Greenery Street’ for years and years as everyone seems to love it – and so did I. It is very much an autobiographical book which tells of the first year of marriage of a young couple. Greenery Street was actually 23 Walpole Street, London which despite apparently being too small to accommodate a growing family has now been split up into flats. PG Wodehouse also lived in this house at an earlier date. This is a lovely read, it’s funny and will remind a lot of people of what it was like to be setting up their first home.

Categories: Humour London Men (books by) Shopping Social Comedy Woman and Home

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