Check out this review of the book, At Freddie’s, by Penelope Fitzgerald, as featured in this post from Jacqui Wine’s blog.
Set in a London stage school in the early 1960s, At Freddie’s is another of Penelope Fitzgerald’s marvellous tragicomedies, reasonably similar in style to her earlier works, Human Voices and Offshore. Many of the familiar elements from the author’s early novels are here – isolated women; hopeless, befuddled men; precocious children – all caught up in a somewhat eccentric, idiosyncratic community. Once again Fitzgerald has drawn on some of her own experiences in writing this book – in this instance, her time spent as a teacher at the Italia Conti drama school during the decade in question. It’s an excellent novel, both darkly comic and poignant, shot through with a deep understanding of the foibles of human nature both positive and negative.
Situated in the midst of Covent Garden, the Temple Stage School is managed by the eponymous Freddie, an elderly matriarch and longstanding doyenne of the…
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