August #Bookadayuk - Day 14

Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons



"There's something nasty in the woodshed"*


I was perusing my shelves trying to find something suitable for today's challenge, and came across my old copy of Cold Comfort Farm. I started to read it and was soon giggling like an idiot and reading bits out to my husband.  


When Flora Poste is orphaned at the age of twenty she finds herself possessed "of every art and grace save that of earning her own living." And promptly goes and imposes herself on her completely bonkers relatives, the Starkadders of Cold Comfort Farm.


Gibbons skillfully, and hilariously skewers those rural drama misery-guts Thomas Hardy and D H Lawrence. And she also manages to have a pop at the Brontes, and Jane Austen while she's at it.


Hardy's Wessex dialect is parodied with completely made up words like "mollocking" (which usually ends in pregnancy), and "clettering" (washing the dishes using a dry twig). And you've got to love a book which has a bull named Big Business, and cows called Graceless, Pointless, Feckless, and Aimless, who are so apathetic they don't even notice when their legs drop off. 


I'd forgotten just how funny this book is, and for once I can also recommend the film as well. The 1995 version with Kate Beckinsale as Flora, Rufus Sewell (swoon) as Seth Starkadder, and Ian McKellen as Amos Starkadder.


* Sadly we never get to find out what it is.


Cold comfort farm

Seth and Flora with Big Business