MOTHER OF THE DEB by Petronella Portobello


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A running (eventually at top speed) account, via letters to a friend whose daughter is to be launched next year, of the advance planning that goes into a deb's first London Season. Petronella, a widow with a pension and a small income from book reviewing and manuscript reading, has to beard her trustee to dip into capital, is guided by an authority on debuts, organizes other ""mums"", and, with the two who will share the dance for Jane, works on their strategy to get through the season without total ruin. The problems of clothes, a house to be rented, of the press and the photographers, of the mounting lists of guests and the appalling number of other daughters to be entertained -- these are the additional obstacles to be (victoriously) surmounted before young Jane is properly submitted in the marriage market. A near scandal and then unfortunate publicity in the newspapers almost upset the whole siege but things come right side up and Mum has her own seasonable conquest -- of a second husband. Most Britishly U, this has a frivolous charm that is close to the early D. E. Stevenson and the very earliest Thirkell.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1957
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin