More work for Margery Allingham

In a vague attempt to become highbrow and a proper litblogger instead of always featuring crime fiction and the like, a few months ago I subscribed to the TLS newsletter. Not much use, actually, the darn thing arrives in my inbox each week and when I read the toc, as we call it in the trade (table of contents), my heart sinks.  I struggle through some of the articles, but that is what it is — a struggle.

Richard Morrison, the admirable Times (not TLS) columnist and music critic, thinks the Philistines were in fact a pretty cultured lot, but I expect he is in the minority, and that I am one, unreconstructed. I was slightly heartened, though to read this article: More work for Margery Allingham – TLS Highlights – Times Online among the astral planes of the rest of the offerings for the current issue. At least the TLS caters for the common man (or woman) now and again. I’ve never been a huge fan of Allingham, she does not endure as well as some of the older writers, but it is a nice review, built around the reissue of three of her books. It is a bit pretentious in the first half, but gets better (by which I mean I don’t really understand the first half but I do the second).

4 thoughts on “More work for Margery Allingham

  1. I read the TLS piece rather differently, finding that Broughton’s introduction attempted, in fact, to puncture the pretentiousness of some detective fiction criticism.

  2. Having just recently started reading margery allingham and blogged about it, I read this article with interest. I do not think I am particularly dim but yes, the first half was a tad over precious and incomprehensible for my taste, but I enjoyed the article as a whole. So far, I do not find the Campion/Lugg partnership as interesting as the Wimsey/Bunter one but I shall see how I get on as I have only read two so far.

  3. Whenever I read the TLS I just have to turn to ‘The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense’ by Jeremy Stangroom and Ophelia Benson. I think it was written largely with the TLS in mind.

  4. Thanks, Henry, as ever your words are a boost for those who lack confidence in worlds in which they are’t trained. (Me and literary criticism/theory.)

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