Faith Compton Mackenzie
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Tatting uses thread to weave intricate patterns in knotwork. This idiosyncratic novel from 1957 by Faith Compton Mackenzie traces patterns across the Cornish landscape in the style of David Garnett and Sylvia Townsend Warner.
It is 1909. Ariadne is a starving Irish artist, existing on her memories of having once known Beardsley and Wilde. In comes Laura Mallory to visit her, and discreetly goes to the grocer to buy food and pay Ariadne’s bill. Laura has recently married Guy, a poetwhom she had met only weeks before. Relieved to not have to pay rent for the summer or have to finally learn to cook, Guy and Laura travel to Cornwall on the invitation of Father St John to come and stay at his vicarage. There is a large Alsatian called Rex who wants only to roam the fields at night, and there is a large farmer called Mr Williams who hides in ditches rather than meet the ladies. Miss Josephine Want, a domineering parishioner, is fuming at the unwanted visitors, and then Guy and Laura invite Ariadne to Cornwall to paint a fresco and be fed. The visit of the triumphantly parasitical artist causes havoc.
Cornwall, artists, eccentricity, Anglo-Catholicism, women, vicars