Loving is set in the vast hereditary house of the Tennants, an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family, but the story mainly involves their servants. The war has led to a scarcity of experienced staff, and when Eldon the butler dies, Raunce the head footman is assigned his job. The other servants are taken aback by this irregular promotion, but lovely young Edith, a recent hire, is quite attracted to the older Raunce and a flirtation begins. And it is Edith who discovers Mrs. Tennant’s daughter-in-law, whose husband is fighting at the front, in bed with a neighbor one morning, scandalizing the whole household.
When the Tennants depart for England, Raunce is left in charge of the house and struggles to control its disputatious inhabitants as well as to secure the love of Edith, especially after a precious family jewel disappears. In Loving, Henry Green explores the deeply precarious nature of ordinary life against the background of the larger world at war.
About the Author
Henry Green (1905–1973) was the pen name of Henry Vincent Yorke. Born near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, England, he was educated at Eton and Oxford and went on to become the managing director of his family’s engineering business, writing novels in his spare time. His first novel, Blindness (1926), was written while he was at Oxford. He married in 1929 and had one son, and during the Second World War served in the Auxiliary Fire Service. Between 1926 and 1952 he wrote nine novels, Blindness, Living, Party Going, Caught, Loving, Back, Concluding, Nothing, and Doting, and a memoir, Pack My Bag.
Roxana Robinson is the author of eight works of fiction, including the novels Cost and Sparta. She is also the author of Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she edited The New York Stories of Edith Wharton and wrote the introduction to Elizabeth Taylor’s A View of the Harbour, both published by NYRB Classics. Robinson is currently the president of the Authors Guild.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Life in an Irish Country House during the Second world war when Ireland was a neutral country. The lives , loves and misunderstandings of the owners and their staff. Written in an interesting but hard to follow style with unusual usage of words , no chapters, speech marks or indicators and often no dividing devices when the actors or theme changes.Hard work and I can't say I enjoyed it but I can see its literary merit (I think)