FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT by R. F. Delderfield


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A knit one, purl two, continuity of shorter pieces which in its chronological sequence adds up to a partial autobiography of the novelist who has found that larger corner of a foreign field that is forever England. Unlike his father, a baffling, wrongheaded, passionate freethinker and pamphleteer, Delderfield is an agreeable moderate in all things and rarely advances any original ideas here. The childhood pieces deal with piano lessons, railway posters, his father's six sisters -- like a Greek chorus, the silents, and a six-year involvement with the Baptists with one important side-effect -- his decision to write. After public school, he became a general reporter in the provinces -- the ""man from the paper, ma'am"" who attended weddings and funerals and so forth. There was the theatre for which he wrote on the side, the war (RAF) in which he participated for six years, very little about his family life (he seems to be a happy husband and parent), and a few words about artists who should be ""no more than incidental missionaries"" -- they should only entertain. Entertain may be a strong word for this -- rather is it a pleasant, self-perpetuating, calmative form of racontage.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Simon & Schuster