Monday, 1 December 2014

Life, Love and The Archers

Life, Love and The Archers: Recollections, reviews and other prose by Wendy Cope
Published by Two Roads Books
6th November 2014
Hardback Edition

Wendy Cope has long been one of the nation's best-loved poets, with her sharp eye for human foibles and wry sense of humour. For the first time, Life, Love and the Archers brings together the best of her prose - recollections, reviews and essays from the light-hearted to the serious, taken from a lifetime of published and unpublished work, and all with Cope's lightness of touch.

Here readers can meet the Enid-Blyton-obsessed schoolgirl, the ambivalent daughter, the amused teacher, the sensitive journalist, the cynical romantic and the sardonic television critic, as well as touching on books and writers who have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.

Wendy Cope is a master of the one-liner as well as the couplet, the telling review as well as the sonnet, and Life, Love and the Archers gives us a wonderfully entertaining and unforgettable portrait of one of England's favourite writers.

A book for anyone who's ever fallen in love, tried to give up smoking, or consoled themselves that they'll never be quite as old as Mick Jagger.

I first discovered Wendy Cope in the mid '90s when studying for my A-level History exam and one of the women on the course had just bought her book Serious Concerns.  She read me some of the poems from it, and I was hooked.  I've loved Wendy Cope ever since. 

My favourite poem of hers is Two Cures for Love which goes like this:

Two Cures for Love

1.  Don't see him.  Don't phone or write a letter.

2.  The easy way: get to know him better.

This new book is an accumulation of articles and some previously unpublished poems that make up this fascinating writer.  It's a book to be dipped in and out of, and enjoyed at leisure, as we venture with Wendy into her childhood, and beyond.  I particularly like her recollection at meeting Billy Graham, the evangelist!

If you are looking for a poetry book, then this isn't what you will find here.  If you want to know more about Wendy herself, then this is an engaging read.  Having read it, I still love Wendy Cope, and maybe now, just a little bit more!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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