Monday, 26 July 2010


Thanks again to that consistent champion of Capuchin Classics, Val Hennessy, who celebrated Peking Picnic in her Retro Reads column on 23rd July.

Val discusses the contrasts of beauty and foreboding evoked by the novel, before describing how the heroine, Mrs. Leroy, meets an acquaintance from her Cambridge world during a trip (sans husband) to some distant ruins, and has to confront the possibility of middle-aged, illicit passion.

Val concludes by saying:

Bridge's gentle 1932 novel paints an indelible picture of old China, her most unforgettable image being the pigeon orchestras -- flying birds making ethereal music, each bird with a tiny pipe fixed to its pinion feathers, creating 'a faint winging of music, as from small harps overhead'.


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