Excellent Women

Excellent Women

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143104872
  • 256 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult



Excellent Women is one of Barbara Pym’s richest and most amusing high comedies. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those “excellent women,” the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door—the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


[One of] the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years. (Lord David Cecil)

A startling reminder that solitude may be chosen and that a lively, full novel can be constructed entirely within the precincts of that regressive virtue, feminine patience. (John Updike, The New Yorker)

Reading Barbara Pym is . . . a wonderful experience, full of unduplicable perceptions, sensations, and soul-stirrings. (Newsweek)
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