|Title:||Six Common Things|
|Publisher:||Osgood, McIlvaine & Co.|
|Tags:||fiction, short stories|
Although this was published in Osgood McIlvaine's 'Short Stories by British Authors' series, most of it isn't really short stories at all. The majority of these are essays, philosophical musings, some of them with vaguely fictionalised backgrounds. There is a small group which are more directly fictional. The overwhelming theme is melancholy and loss. The pieces range around between loss of a child, loss of a wife, the terribly pathetic conditions of the poor and personal losses seen at a greater distance, those of others in our lives. There are a few which also incorporate a little humour, mainly involving children and animals, which lighten the load considerably. The few true short stories included tend to character study: one of a nurse-governess missing the welcome of a former charge returning home from school, and two of another governess being squashed flat by society's prejudices in the dining room and then later gaining her revenge when she marries well. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Benson, E. F. (Edward Frederic)
Edward Frederic Benson (24 July 1867 – 29 February 1940) was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, archaeologist and short story writer, known professionally as E. F. Benson. His friends called him Fred.
Benson's first book was Sketches from Marlborough. He started his novel writing career with the (then) fashionably controversial Dodo (1893), which was an instant success, and followed it with a variety of satire and romantic and supernatural melodrama. He repeated the success of Dodo, which featured a portrait of composer and militant suffragette Ethel Smyth (which she "gleefully acknowledged", according to actress Prunella Scales), with the same cast of characters a generation later: Dodo the Second (1914), "a unique chronicle of the pre-1914 Bright Young Things" and Dodo Wonders (1921), "a first-hand social history of the Great War in Mayfair and the Shires". The Mapp and Lucia series, written relatively late in his career, consists of six novels and two short stories. The novels are: Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp (including the short story "The Male Impersonator"), Mapp and Lucia, Lucia's Progress (published as The Worshipful Lucia in the United States) and Trouble for Lucia. The short stories are "The Male Impersonator" and "Desirable Residences". Both appear in anthologies of Benson's short stories, and the former is also often appended to the end of the novel Miss Mapp.--Wikipedia.
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