The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 25, 2012

January 25, 1905 fluff

Margery Sharp (January 25, 1905 to March 14, 1991) needs an introduction perhaps. In her heyday, most of the 20th century, her novels gained her a reputation as an author of romances, and most know, even now,  her most famous creation, Miss Bianca, of The Rescuers, the series whose Disney incarnation it is impossible to get beyond. 

There is evidence Sharp did not accept this valuation of her work, and my own assessment is that she had an Austen like aim, with the difference that Sharp's target was rather an emptier modern version of British superficiality. Her own writer's world  features this author as

always neatly dressed with a characteristic froth of lace above the collar of her smartly cut dresses and suits. She writes at a beautiful mahogany desk in an exclusive London flat, she rests her feet on a petit point stool, her handsome husband brings her crimson roses as a regular tribute, and she possesses a cook who "is wonderful with biscuits and quite good with cherry cake.

This quote is from an online source which has the most biographical information I was able to find on Sharp.

From Britannia Mews‎ (1946) we have this metaphor: The growler, as its name suggests, belongs to the dog-and-daylight order of vehicles; the hansom to the cat — nocturnal and amorous.

And "The Amethyst Cat" is a short story involving a 7 pound feline Chinese artifact that may have been looted  from a Royal palace in the 19th century. 

Romance is associated with Margery Sharp because of the precision with which Sharp herself lived; her novels depict a comfortable but vanished and unsentimental English world. A certain  Sharp heroine displays a "Beauty, [which] when not matched with malevolence, was more often than not linked with gentle stupidity. "

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