A backwards look for The 1938 Club

I loved the idea, which I spotted on Stuck in a Book's blog, of The 1938 Club. Unfortunately I didn't come across the Club until this week, which happens to be the week of the great 1938 read, so it was a little late to start on something, especially as I'm currently in the middle of Sarah Waters' unputdownable The Paying Guests (more on that later).

However, I have a few reads from 1938 already reviewed on here, so just to remind you -

There's the great Eric Ambler's Cause for Alarm, Agatha Christie's fun Hercule Poirot's Christmas and Daphne du Maurier's riveting Rebecca. Just looking at that list makes you realise what a vintage year it was for thrillers.

There were more thrills with Ngaio Marsh's Death in a White Tie, and laugh aloud comedy with P.G. Wodehouse's The Code of the Woosters. Also notable for comedy is Evelyn Waugh's wonderful Scoop

1938 was also the year in which one of my most loved books was published - George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.

Other 1938ers that I have read prior to Bookhound have included Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death, T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone, Elinor M. Brent-Dyers The New Chalet School and Graham Greene's Brighton Rock. 

Although not published in 1938, it was an important year for other reads too. It was the year that Pamela Brown began The Swish of the Curtain, Mikhail Bulgakov continued to edit The Master and Margarita, and Christopher Isherwood started to look back on his memories of the end of Weimar Berlin. The Mitford sisters were writing to each other, and Martha Gellhorn covered the Spanish Civil War with "another".

In fact the reads for 1938 are a pretty good emotional snapshot of the period - a Europe heading slowly towards war, an increasing uneasiness with the international politics of the period, but an era that still manages not to take itself too seriously. It's hard not to look at the reads of 1938, and not think about the cataclysm that would lie ahead, but there's always room for hope especially in the magical worlds of T.H. White and P.G. Wodehouse. So why not dig out a read from 1938, and join The 1938 Club?


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