Magazine article The Spectator

Delusions and Delights

Magazine article The Spectator

Delusions and Delights

Article excerpt

Delusions and delights THE EYE OF LOVE by Margery Sharp Virago Modern Classics, £7.99, pp. 222, ISBN 1844080307

Disney hijacked Margery Sharp. The novelist, who died in 1991, is remembered chiefly for her series of (now animated) children's books, The Rescuers. Sharp wrote The Eye of Love, one of 26 adult novels, half a century ago. It is a bittersweet comedy that encompasses intimations of tragedy - the 'wrong' outcome is never impossible here - and, as its title suggests, elements of romance. But it is not romantic fiction and its principal players fall short of the status of romantic hero and heroine.

Miss Diver approaches 40, raven-haired and wraith-like in her thinness. Harry Gibson is stout and down-at-heel, his Kensington-based furriers failing as the Depression bites and it becomes 'the thing to go shabby'. If Miss Diver continues to wear a Spanish comb in her hair and a Spanish shawl around her shoulders, this is only appropriate for the 'Spanish rose' of her lover's eye of love. He in turn retains for Miss Diver the martial glory of his soldier days in the Great War: he is her 'King Hal', her 'Big Harry' - the vagaries of time and trade cannot alter that. Dolores Diver was born Dorothy Hogg, but 'romance being of Miss Diver's life the essence', she has changed her name. She lives with her niece Martha, a stolid, stocky girl of nine, who prefers to draw the gas oven rather than kittens, in a house near Paddington station on which Mr Gibson has taken a ten-year lease.

Business - and men - being what they are, Mr Gibson casts aside his Spanish rose. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.