By Angela Lambert
First released in 1992, a slightly English Marriage tells of Roy Southgate and Reginald Conynghame-Jervi, who've not anything in universal yet their loneliness and their wartime memories.
Roy, a retired milkman and Reggie, a former RAF Squadron chief, are widowed at the similar day. to soothe their grief, the vicar arranges for Roy to maneuver in with Reggie as his unpaid manservant. To their shock, they shape an odd alliance, in accordance with obedience, want and the strangeness of unmarried existence. Then Reggie meets Liz, a colourful yet near-bankrupt lady of impossible to resist attraction, whereas Roy and his son's relatives develop steadily nearer. Marriage, it kind of feels, despite the fact that faraway from excellent, could be a nice protector opposed to isolation.
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Additional info for A Rather English Marriage
Littlepage’s recollection of this busy time and its connection to another world is echoed in his reverential telling of the strange events after the crash of the Minerva. It is important to note the narrator’s position during Littlepage’s visit to her. She is in an empty schoolhouse, trying to work on her mysterious but all absorbing writing, watching a funeral procession go by, and knowing that not joining in the funeral march has jeopardized her position in Dunnet Landing: “I had now made myself and my friends remember that I did not really belong to Dunnet Landing,” she remarks sadly (1981:15).
Jackson Lears’s claim that the cultural preoccupation with “authenticity” and experience in the late nineteenth century might be read as one of many “therapeutic quests for self-realization, easily accommodated to the dominant culture of our bureaucratic corporate state” (1981:xvii). More pointedly, Susan Stewart contends that “distressed genres” like regional writing and other forms of folklore elicit and feed a kind of nostalgia that is not a nostalgia for artifacts for their own sake; rather it is a nostalgia for context, for the heroic past, for moral order, for childhood and the collective experiences of preindustrial life.
Mrs. Captain Tolland’s arrival also resonates with an even more disturbing textual point. As Susan Gillman pointed out, in Jewett’s narrative “the foreign has been reduced to the status of ‘best things’ displayed in ‘best room’ cabinets, remnants of the international trade of the past. Thus we hear a string of exotic place names . . all associated with the ‘outlandish things’ ” (1994:110). The story of Mrs. Captain Tolland, then, appended to the main text of The Country of the Pointed Firs is the story of how one of those “outlandish” mementos was brought home.
A Rather English Marriage by Angela Lambert