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August 1, 2017



by N@ncy



  1. Henry Green was a very private man.
  2. His family were British aristocrats and
  3. …Henry lived in  an ‘upstairs-downstairs’ society.
  4. All his life Henry Green loved being ‘one of the lads’
  5. …and spent many hours ‘downstairs’.
  6. This is was the source of Green’s ability to sketch life from
  7. …the servant’s perspective.
  8. Green attended Oxford University with Evelyn Waugh….but dropped out.
  9. He claimed when one is too intellectual one forgets how to feel.



  1. Loving takes place at an Irish castle in the early 1940’s.
  2. With the death of an old butler Mr. Eldon his successor
  3. Charley Raunce  said: “This time I’ll take his old chair, I must.”
  4. A ring belonging to Mrs. Tennant, the lady of the house, goes missing.
  5. One of the castle’s peacocks is killed by the cook’s young nephew.
  6. Edith, a housemaid whom Raunce adores, discovers
  7. Mrs. Jack (Mrs. Tennant’s daughter-in-law)
  8. in bed with Capt. Davenport who isn’t her husband.
  9. The book is 96% dialogue, very little description and
  10. …70 scene changes!
  11. 36 downstairs – 18 upstairs – 15 garden – 1 at the beach



  1. The ring  is precious.
  2. The peacocks are royal birds that are
  3. kept on grounds of grand mansions.
  4. Both of these objects represent a privileged life
  5. of the gentry that is disappearing.
  6. There is a war going on and times are changing.
  7. Henry Green cleverly let’s these objects
  8. disappear, appear, disappear again and suddenly turn up!
  9. Ring: misplaced, perhaps in a sink drain, then hidden in a pillow case….
  10. stolen and ends up in an  peacock eggshell!
  11. Peacock: killed by cook’s nephew,
  12. Mrs. Welch buries it to remove the  evidence.
  13. The carcass is dug up by the dog Badger and Raunce the butler
  14. …hangs it outside a corn bin in the garden.



  1. Believe it or not Henry Green is able to weave a wonderful
  2. story around  these strange plot narratives.
  3. The reader discovers the world of
  4. ‘upstairs and downstairs’ that Green describes so well
  5. It starts with:  “Once upon a time…”
  6. and ends with: ” ..and lived happily ever after.”
  7. Loving is considered Green’s masterpiece.
  8. Make a cup to tea, some cookies and enjoy this book!








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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 2 2017

    Have to admit have never heard of this book or of Henry Green till I read your post. But it sounds like my sort of book so will try and get myself a copy of this. Am as ever impressed by the forensic nature of your notes and the fact that you have an actual numerical count of the scene changes! Wow!


    • Aug 2 2017

      Oh, I just try to think of some sort of statistic to jolt the reader!
      Having read about the back round and education of H. Green (pen name) made the book all that more enjoyable.



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  1. #20BooksOfSummer | NancyElin
  2. Wrap-up #20BooksOfSummer 2017 | NancyElin

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