This study offers the first comprehensive analysis of Barbara Pym's work in relation to its original context, looking at her novels as social-historical sources for better understanding British society in the 1950s. This work should appeal to scholars interested in Barbara Pym, English literature in general, and mid-twentieth-century British society. This study considers the six novels written by English novelist, Barbara Pym (1913-1980), between 1949 and 1963, which demonstrate the response of a specific class of people, represented by her heroines, to the dramatic social, cultural and demographic changes that took place in Britain at the time. Treating Pym's 1950s novels as social-historical sources, this work attempts to analyze the way in which her portrayals of society, like those of so many other English writers, served both as testimonies and critiques of the times in which she lived. The focal point of Pym's novels was the interaction between the individual and the community: the Church, the parish or the work place.
Therefore, this book attempts to reconstruct the social world of the female protagonists, moving from the public to the private domain, thereby opening up Pym's novels to a new generation of readers.
Dr. Orna Raz is currently Lecturer in English at the College of Management, Rishon LeZion. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Iowa, and received her Ph.D. in English Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Dr. Raz has published a couple of articles and delivered several conference papers on Barbara Pym's literary works.
Acknowledgements; Preface by John Brannigan; Introduction; "Out of Touch with Life": Representation of the Post-War Church; "Daring and Romish": Anglo-Catholicism in the Novels; "An Unselfish and Tireless Worker": Women and the Church; "Going up to Oxford": Women's Higher Education; "Clearly Labeled": Women's Roles; "Dreary Cosiness": Domestic Life; "One of These": Ambiguous Treatment of Male Sexuality; "The Sympathy of Other Women": Personal Friendship between Women; "Change is a Bad Thing": On Pym's Social Commentary; Bibliography; Index.