Journal Articles A-K

Aswegen, Elizabeth S. van. "Thankless Tasks: Academics and Librarians in the Novels of Barbara Pym." South African Journal of Library and Information Science 66.1 (1998):p. 34- .

Profiles the author Barbara Pym. Discusses the academics and librarians she met while working at the International African Institute and the manner in which they influenced her writing. Some of the characters in Pym's novels were modelled on the academics and anthropologists she met during her nearly thirty-year employment at the Institute. Provides an in-depth examination of Pym's ironic literary style and analysis of the characters up to 1977.
Full text available in the ATLA Religion database.

Bede, Belinda. "A Kinder, Gentler Anglican Church: The Novels of Barbara Pym." Anglican Theological Review 75.3 (1993): p.387- .

The Anglican Church plays a dominant role in Barbara Pym’s novels. This essay examines her portrayal of the Church together with her understanding of the three important Christian virtues, namely, love, hope and charity. She believed the Church exercised a significant role in promoting civility among people and society as a whole. The author contends that Pym's belief in these virtues can be applied to the Episcopal Church in the United States today and to the contemporary Anglican Church generally. Pym’s literary treatment of Christianity is suggested as a valuable touchstone for Anglicans in both England and the United States.
Full-text available in the ATLA Religion database.

Beidelman, T. O. "John Middleton (1921–2009)." Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute 80.1 (2010): p. 147-51.

Essay in honour of the Africanist John Middleton. Mentions his connection to Barbara Pym at the International African Institute and her reference to his "tightly furled umbrella" in her memoirs. Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Bell, Hazel K. "Literary Societies in Fiction: ‘A Sort of Mild Mania’." Journal of Scholarly Publishing 43.2 (2012): p. 238-42.

An ironic article that discusses the portrayal of literary societies in the works of several authors including Barbara Pym and the novel Jane and Prudence. Pym often described meetings comically, whether the gathering was a collection of odd anthropologists, indexers or literati. In Jane and Prudence the literary society meeting attended by Jane Cleveland is unique. The occasion is described as the centenary of the birth of an author whose works Jane had never actually read, but who had died recently enough to be the subject of a remembrance meeting. Pym amusingly writes that the her protagonist took her seat among the rows of chairs ‘set a little too close together for comfort’, and wonders if the absence of alcohol at the gathering kept many members away.
Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Bell, Hazel K. "Novelist As Scholarly Editor: Mid-Twentieth Century." Journal of Scholarly Publishing 37.2 (2006): p. 119-30.

Barbara Pym worked as an assistant editor at the International African Institute from the late 1940s to early 1970s. She was involved in editing the Institute's well-known scholarly journal Africa. Pym's diary recorded many of the editorial methods and problems she encountered in the course of her daily work. She attributed some of these issues to various characters in her novels, often wryly, gently satirizing them. This article describes Pym's factual and fictional treatment of these editing difficulties such as dealing with academic contributors, obtaining book reviews, proof-reading, indexing, and preparing off-prints.
Full text available in Project MUSE.

Bellringer, Alan W. "A Fistful of Pyms: Barbara Pym's Use of Cross-Over Characters." Yearbook of English Studies 26 (1996): p. 199-207.

One of the unusual aspects of Pym’s writing style was the use of cross-over characters, that is, characters that re-appear throughout her canon, as well as the repetition of past events or scenarios. For example, Mildred Lathbury and Everard Bone meet in Excellent Women. It is hinted at the end of the novel that they may marry. In the novel An Unsuitable Attachment Bone re-appears, this time at a party, stating that his wife Mildred is ill and unable to attend. These stylistic features tend to expand the narrative and serve, in some instances, as a comedic device. For the reader the use of repeated characters or events in several novels can be confusing since it presupposes that the reader has prior knowledge of them. The author addresses these literary features and explores how Pym experimented with them.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Bent, Horace. "More Tea, Vicar?: Or Perhaps a Sex Toy?" Bookseller 11.16 (2001): p. 58.

Amusing short article, perhaps worthy of Pym herself, concerning the mis-publication in the United States of her 1952 novel Excellent Women with its spinster heroine and vicarage setting, that links erroneously to a book titled Sex Toys of the Gods. The story appeared in The Publisher's Lunch quoting a U.S. Plume Publishing spokesperson as saying: "It seems there was an error at the printer or bindery."
Full-text available in the database Expanded Academic ASAP.

Bixler, Frances. "Female Narrative and Structure in Barbara Pym's Excellent Women." Barbara Pym Newsletter 5 (1991): p. 2-8.

Presents the view that Barbara Pym remained unpublished for seventeen years, throughout the 1960s and 70s, due to her publisher's inability to value fiction cast in a female narrative form. Maintains that there existed a gender bias during the period, particularly with male editors, who over-valued the male-oriented, sexualized plot rather than the feminine experience of the body. The author critiques the novel Excellent Women in light of this interpretation. Identified are several narrative cycles in the novel including those involving the Anglican Church calendar, the positive state of singlehood, and ceremonies such as church services and jumble sales. These cycles are feminized. The author concludes that reading Pym's novels using female narrative logic results in a very different and complex understanding of her fiction. Reinforces the view that the act of reading is shaped not only by the experience of men but also by the experience of women.
Citation from the database Literature Online.

Blodgett, Harriet. "Mimesis and Metaphor: Food Imagery in International Twentieth-Century Women's Writing." Papers on Language & Literature 40.3 Summer (2004): p. 260-.

Examines the use of food/eating imagery in the fiction of twentieth-century authors, particularly women authors. Women writers use food imagery for diverse purposes: to speak of personal matters, social behaviours, and psychological concerns as well as to describe general domesticity. Barbara Pym explores women’s roles through the symbolic actions of food preparation and its consumption. Female protagonists show socially renegade behaviour through a refusal to comply with stereotypically expected domestic activity such as cooking for men or delivering the expected domestic services. The socializing of men is central to Pym’s novels but women may refuse the task. This article presents the view that Pym’s spinsters often subvert the romantic myth of 'woman as server' in the kitchen, as well as in life.
Full text available in the database Academic Search Complete.

Boyle, Catherine. "In Less Than Angels, Barbara Pym Offers Some Striking Insights Into the Culture Clash of the 1950s." The Times (London) 11.12 (2010), sec. Saturday Review: p.12-.

Comments on Pym's writing style. In particular makes reference to her ability to capture the problems between the sexes and the shifting morality of modern life. Considers her characters shallow and less sympathetic than those of Jane Austen, an author with whom Pym is often compared. Believes that Pym isn't able to allow any of her characters to feel strong emotion. Love, grief, jealousy, avarice, are presented as slight inconveniences that can be transmuted into everyday living or the "common round". Refers to the novel Less Than Angels and the character Catherine Oliphant.
Citation in the database LexisNexis Academic.

Bradham, Margaret C. "Barbara Pym's Women." World Literature Today 61.12 (1987): p.31-.

Suggests that Barbara Pym is not a twentieth-century Jane Austen, as many critics believe, since Pymian heroines do not have the same concerns as those in Austen's fiction. The main issues in Pym's novels are female unmarriageability and the state of spinsterhood. The central character in most of the novels is the aging, unattached, woman who has usually missed out on life. Romance is frequently aborted or left unfulfilled. Despite being denied many of life's experiences, Pym’s single women do not give up their interest in achieving them; they actively seek passion and love. These women create fictive lives often built on personal illusions. Examples are provided from several of Pym's novels.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Brookner, Anita. "A Singular Voice." Spectator 7.30 (2011): p.34-.

Provides a critique of Pym's work, particularly the novels Civil to Strangers and Jane and Prudence. Brookner, also a writer, comments that she originally had doubts about Pym's literary significance but that this has been countered by the consistency of Pym's achievement. She believes that Pym developed stature as a writer following in the tradition of Ivy Compton-Burnett and Jane Austen but that her achievement is unmistakably her own. Also comments on Pym's "tidy endings". Since Brookner and Pym are often critically compared, Brookner's comments are noteworthy.
Full text available in the database Literature Resource Center.

Carter, Betty Smartt. "Barbara Pym's Affectionate Irony.” First Things 11 (2006). Web.

Critical essay about Barbara Pym's writing life. Comments on the novels Some Tame Gazelle and The Sweet Dove Died in relation to events in her life. Discusses Pym's fictional tone of "affectionate irony" as insightful and revolutionary. Believes that an essential sadness underlies Pym's fiction; a feminine longing that the author suggests runs through all of her comedy about spinsters, vain men, high-minded clergy and tribalized anthropologists. But the author also finds Pym's fiction compassionate and personally strengthening.
First Things is an electronic journal published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life, an inter-religious, non-partisan research and education institute with editorial offices in New York.
Full text is available online.

Carter, Linda. "No Fond Return: Romantic Tradition and Reluctant Recognition in the Novels of Barbara Pym." Résonances 10 (2008): p. 219-32.

The author believes that Barbara Pym's novels are poised between an acknowledgment of traditional love and marriage and an underlying uncertainty of their validity. Central to Pym's fiction is that she borrowed from the romantic tradition only to slyly subvert it. Pym also valourized the unmarried state, an attitude that can be interpreted as a precursor to feminism. She focused on the domestic sphere in her novels but questioned the fundamental patriarchy that lay beneath it. The author believes that by writing of the domestic and the trivial, as well as of alleged male concerns, Pym's fiction is far less innocuous and benign than is generally supposed.

Dalrymple, Theodore. "A Pinch of Salts." British Medical Journal 337.7671 (2008): p.697-.

Dalrymple comments on Barbara Pym's novel, Crampton Hodnet, using a medical analogy. He states that while reading the book, he could not help but recall his grandmother who used smelling salts as does Miss Doggett in the novel. The author believes that his grandmother used the salts for the purpose of emotional blackmail, taking them out and apparently narrowly averting a fainting spell whenever she was told anything she did not want to hear. This observation underscores the comedic quality of the personality of Miss Doggett, one of Pym's elderly characters. Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Darden, Donna. "Thou Shalt Not…Commit a Social Science." Sociological Spectrum 12.3 (1992): p. 218-229.

Article is a presidential address in which the author discusses the public perception of the sociological sciences, a perception which she describes as generally negative. In this connection, she compares and contrasts sociology with anthropology, stating that the latter is still considered exotic in public opinion. She presents several literary authors, including Barbara Pym, and claims that Pym's novels describe anthropologists as benign, calm, and detached observers. Mentions the novel No Fond Return of Love and Mrs Wilkins' people-watching in the tea shop as an example.

Dart, Tom. “Tom Dart Has the Final Word on Barbara Pym's Novel of Romance and Academia, Less Than Angels: Easy to Like, But Hard to Love.” Times (London) 01.1 Sec. Saturday Review (2011): p. 12.

Describes Pym’s novel Less Than Angels as “like a razor blade hidden in a cupcake”, cutting insight but without malice or bitterness which he believes is “a hard trick to pull off”.While appreciating the author’s wit and insight he finds that Pym’s observational detachment is transferred to the reader; we end up not really caring about the characters or what happens to them. Like the characters themselves, the reader scrutinizes without empathizing. As do other critics he finds the novel a valuable document of social change in the 1950s but thinks that some of its themes, such as suburbia versus the City, rather dated.
Full text available in the database Lexis Nexis Academic.

Derry, Stephen. "Barbara Pym and Philip Larkin's 'Aubade'." Notes and Queries 44.3 (1997): p. 65-.

Discusses the image of telephone crouching which Philip Larkin used in the final stanza of his poem "Aubade" and Barbara Pym's use of the illusion in her novel A Glass of Blessings. Larkin probably borrowed the image from Pym’s novel unconsciously though Derry believes his use of it was intentional. The image in Glass of Blessings comes from the ringing of the telephone unheard in Piers Longridge’s flat. In Larkin’s poem it emerges in the last stanza as “Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring in locked up offices”.
Full text available in the database Oxford Journals Online.

Drabble, Margaret. "The Usual Suspects." Spectator 5.5 (2012): p. 34-

An analysis of Barbara Pym's novel An Academic Question. Drabble comments on some of the characters in the novel including Caroline (Caro) Grimstone and Dolly Arborfield. Discusses the way in which Pym tried to alter her writing style in the ‘60s and '70s to accommodate changing literary trends which she was not adverse to attempting but found challenging. Drabble describes meeting Pym in 1966 at the Malvern Writers' Circle. Comments on their stylistic differences as writers.
Full-text available in the database Expanded Academic ASAP.
Also available online.

Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning. "Barbara Pym's Arraigning Adverbials." Barbara Pym Newsletter 6 (1992): p. 1-3.

One of the stylistic features used by Barbara Pym is referred to by the author as "the adverbial". In Pym's correspondence and early novels she employed "the adverbial" technique which was based on the stylistic model used by novelist Ivy Compton- Burnett. Compton-Burnett had a significant influence on Pym's original writing style which can also be seen in the letters she wrote to Oxford friends such as Henry Harvey and Robert Liddell in the 1930s. Compton- Burnett's style is evident in the tonal quality of her characters' dialogue as a way of showing certain attitudes and manners. Carried to an extreme, this style can be interpreted as overly arch or theatrical. The author provides examples of the adverbial in several of Pym's novels including Crampton Hodnet and An Unsuitable Attachment.

Everett, Barbara. "Larkin and the Doomsters: Walking Down Life's Sunless Hill with Hardy and Barbara Pym." TLS Times Literary Supplement 5331 (2005): p. 11.

Comments on the literary friendship between poet Philip Larkin and Barbara Pym. Discusses Larkin's advocacy of Pym in the late 1970s, which helped her to get back into publication after years in the literary wilderness. Includes personal background information on Larkin and the difficulty he experienced emerging as a literary figure.
Full text available in the database Article First (Worldcat).

Frost, Laurie Adams. "Pets and Lovers: The Human-Companion Animal Bond in Contemporary Literary Prose." Journal of Popular Culture 25.1 (1991): p.9-53.

Examines the way animals are presented as literary subject matter in the work of four novelists: Doris Lessing, Anne Tyler, Barbara Pym, and Milan Kundera. Author states that, in general, pets appear infrequently in modern fiction despite their public popularity. The reason for this literary neglect is unclear. Discusses the relationship of the Aingers to the cat Faustina in Pym's novel An Unsuitable Attachment. Presents the idea that Ianthe Broome's negative interpretation of the overly close relationship between Faustina and Sophia Ainger mirrors the view that others have of her own relationship with the undesirable John Challow. Both are believed to be "unsuitable attachments". Discusses cats as solitary, independent, and misunderstood; perhaps a reflection of Pym's own perception of unmarried women.
Full-text available in the database Academic Search Complete.

Fulton, Joe B. "The Enviable Detachment of the Anthropologist: Barbara Pym's Anthropological Aesthetic." Papers on Language and Literature 39.1 (2003): p.91-.

After World War 11 Barbara Pym began a career at the International African Institute as assistant editor for scholarly monographs and for the journal Africa. The author states that in her novels Pym often portrayed anthropologists comically and in less than flattering terms. However, Pym nevertheless adopted an anthropological sensibility that influenced her writing. She acted as a dispassionate and ironical observer of life and, like an anthropologist, accumulated trivia and studied the minutiae in her environment. Pym is viewed as "textualizing the trivial" which is to say, celebrating the mundane, a central feature of her art.
Full text available in the database Academic Search Complete.

Fulton, Joe B. "Mildred's Mad Tea Party: Carnival in Barbara Pym's Excellent Women." Dionysos 6 (1996): p.26-37.

The author discusses Pym's literary hallmark of describing extraordinary events that disturb the ordinary surface world presented in her novels. Surface placidity is a common feature of Pym's fictional world and it often serves as a foil for the incongruous, the unexpected and, in Pymian language, the "unsuitable" in social interactions. Quite often these eruptions are described comically. Alaric Lydgate disrupts a quiet suburban meal with the comment that in Africa many tribes "relish even putrescent meat". In Quartet in Autumn Marcia Ivory has her tenuous sense of reality disrupted by the discovery of an "alien" milk bottle in her hoard which she presses on a co-worker in a restaurant. At a dinner party in A Few Green Leaves Daphne Dagnall informs the guests that fox’s dung is grey and pointed at both ends. The author also focuses on Excellent Women in examining Pym's use of food and drink within Bakhtin's theory of the carnival.

Galef, David. "You Aren't What You Eat: Anita Brookner's Dilemma." Journal of Popular Culture 28.3 (1994): p.1-7.

Discusses the significance of food in the novels of Anita Brookner and includes some references to the use of food in Barbara Pym's fiction and in Pym's diary account in A Very Private Eye. In the latter autobiography, Pym mentions eating slabs of Cadbury's chocolate in times of emotional distress. The author considers the implications of excessive eating and one's emotions.
Full text available in the database Wiley Online Library.

Gan, Wendy. "A Return to Romance: Winifred Holtby's Spinster Novels From Between the Wars." Orbis Litterarum 58.3 (2003): p.202-18.

Discusses Winifred Holtby's feminist desire to re-write the maligned spinster in literature. In the author's view Holtby's failure to alter the literary coupling of romance with the spinster narrative only further emphasizes the position of the unmarried woman in her traditional social role. Post-World War 11 "spinster fiction" continues to replay the familiar narratives of independence and work versus marriage and respectability in, for example, Anita Brooker's Hotel du Lac or the unappreciated, sidelined, spinster-as-observer in Barbara Pym's Excellent Women. These writers do not disguise the fact that any independence that women achieve comes at a price.
Full text available in the database Wiley Online Library.

Gooch, Brad. "Waverly Wafers." New Republic 212.6 (1995): p.10-11.

The author describes a recent Sunday service at St John's Episcopal Church in New York's West Village in celebration of the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost. The whole event, including pseudo-intellectual conversations afterward, is described as a very Barbara Pym affair. The event included comical conversation over coffee in the church hall and peculiarly behaving parishioners.
Full text available in the database Academic Search Complete.

Greenway, William. "The Trivial Round, the Common Task: Barbara Pym's Working Girls." Barbara Pym Newsletter 6 (1992): p.4-6.

Pym's female characters usually work, if only part-time, but work isn't always liberating or fulfilling. Her attitude to working women seems ambivalent. While Pym values work for providing a sense of life's purpose, all too often her female characters end up providing unpaid labour to the men they know. In Excellent Women Mildred Lathbury initially works for distressed gentlewomen but at the conclusion of the novel assists Everard Bone in his scholarly work with an eye to marriage. Similarly, Dulcie Mainwairing in No Ford Return of Love works from home as an indexer but ends up agreeing to work for Aylwin Forbes with whom she has a love interest. Viola Dace drops out of the workforce for a conventional marriage. The home/workplace dichotomy pervades Pym's novels and implicates her female protagonists, not always positively.

Griffin, Barbara. "Private Space and Self-Definition in Barbara Pym's Excellent Women." Essays in Literature 19.1 (1992): p.132-43.

In Excellent Women Barbara Pym presents Mildred Lathbury's problem as one that involves space, both living space externally in the world, and internally as a free woman. She is viewed by other characters as not entitled to take up space; she lacks validity as an unmarried woman and is without personal ties. Throughout the novel Mildred's personhood tends to be defined by other people who tell her who and what she is. Her response to this identity issue is either to rebel internally or to acquiesce externally appearing as an "excellent" woman, sensible, and with small expectations of life. Pym allows us to see Mildred as a more complex character, not always submissive but frequently resistant to the forces that bind her. Pym treats Mildred with irony, a woman who subverts her apparent personality.
Full text available in the database Expanded Academic ASAP.

Grover, Jan Zita. "Small Expectations." The Women's Review of Books 11.10 (1994): p.38-40.

Comments on the similarities and differences between Pym's female characters and those of Anita Brookner. Similarities include their essentially solitary lives, and ambivalence toward emotional attachments to men whom they find obscurely threatening. However, in Pym's novels the heroines tend to accept their lot with Christian forbearance. They make an effort to understand those around them with an attitude of charity and patience. Pym's women characters often bond and her novels emphasize a sense of community, sometimes emanating from the Anglican Church.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Halligan, Marion. "Novels, Philosophy, and Apricot Jam." Harvard Review 28 (2005): p.100-101.

The author suggests that Pym compared writing novels to making chutney. For awhile all the ingredients, the sugar, the fruit, the onions are separate but they come together in the end to create something quite different. Pym used the analogy of cooking in relation to her writing because food, cooking, and eating were important in her life.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Herman, David. "“A Salutary Scar”: Muriel Spark’s Desegregated Art in the Twenty-First Century." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 54.3 (2008): p.473-86.

Discusses Muriel Spark and Barbara Pym in the context of Hope Howell Hodgkins’ essay Stylish Spinsters: Spark, Pym and the Postwar Comedy of the Object. Hodgkins puts the fiction of Spark into a dialogue with Barbara Pym’s by focusing on representations of single women in both authors’ work. Hodgkins uses these “stylish spinsters” to explore links between, firstly, ideas of style embodied in the discussion of fashion, and secondly, a comparison of fashion and style among the single women characters. Thirdly, the author explores postWar manifestations of literary style such as those associated with the Angry Young Men or Movement writers. These male authors were contemporaries of both Pym and Spark but vastly different from them in literary style and social concerns.
Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Herrick, Scott. "Maschler Pudding." London Review of Books 27.11 (2005): p.4.

Presents a letter to the editor regarding the conflict between Tom Maschler, Pym's editor at Jonathan Cape, and Barbara Pym. Maschler was instrumental in refusing to publish Pym's novel An Unsuitable Attachment in 1961, considering her writing style dated, though he later admitted that he had never actually read any of Pym's work. This caused great stress to Pym who had been successfully published throughout the 1950s. There is evidence that Pym and Maschler did not get along well, which this letter attests to. Hilary Pym, Barbara's sister, is said to have invented a pudding that was lime green in colour which she named Maschler Pudding.

Hinds, Hilary. "Ordinary Disappointments: Femininity, Domesticity, and Nation in British Middlebrow Fiction, 1920–1944." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 55.2 (2009): p.293-320.

Discusses the combination of femininity and disappointment in the British female so-called "middlebrow" novel of the inter-war years, with specific reference to the recurrent theme of the disappointed heroine. The question is posed as to what part these disappointments play in the reproduction of domestic femininity? More generally, how might feminine disappointment be implicated in the widely acknowledged reshaping of the structures of British class and nation in the middle years of the twentieth century? The author argues that certain female writers emphasize such themes as disappointment in love and lack of life options for women. Cites Barbara Pym as an example in her creation of a constricting female world with uncertain and often unsatisfactory personal outcomes.
Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Hodgkins, Hope Howell. Stylish Spinsters: Spark, Pym, and the Postwar Comedy of the Object. MFS Modern Fiction Studies 54.3 (2008): p.523-543.

Analyzes the uses of fashion, narrative style, and the single woman in the novels of Muriel Spark and Barbara Pym. Considers the manner in which their writing intersects with the post-World War II literary world of Great Britain. As Michael Cotsell noted, Pym’s fiction typifies British mid-twentieth-century self-perception with its theme of "minor events in minor lives". Her fiction belongs to the postWar context in which "something major, that is, Britain, became minor” as it lost colonial and world power. From the Movement poets to Alan Sillitoe’s working-class Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, British literature turned away from high-modern experimentation for the gritty world of realism.
Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Johnson, Greg. "Writing Lives." Georgia Review 47.4 (1993): p.790-.

Reviews the current state of biography and presents the view that in the past forty years the genre has generally become a negative assessment of prominent lives. He attributes this change to contemporary literary theory which he believes has greatly altered the genre, and not in a positive way. Works of literature are now critically interpreted through an examination of "known facts" about their authors' lives. In this context, he views Anne Wyatt-Brown's biography of Barbara Pym as exploitive. He states that her psychoanalytic probing of Pym's life and personality resulted in a set of "stunningly banal pronouncements". He also believes that she never clarifies any underlying reasons as to why Pym's character evolved in the way it did. In this connection he nevertheless views Pym as a strange and "dotty" personality.

Kaufman, Anthony. "A Life Like a Novel: Pym's "Autobiography" as Fiction." Journal of Modern Literature 20.2 (1996): p.187-97.

The author comments on Barbara Pym's life as seen in the collection of her letters, diaries, and working notebooks held in the Bodleian Library and in the selection of this material published in the autobiography "A Very Private Eye” (1984). States that the authentic Barbara Pym may not yet be known since part of these papers were destroyed by Pym herself. She also seems to have written her diaries with the idea of future public viewing. Despite an apparent frankness, Pym's diaries can be misleading and A Very Private Eye may be partially incomplete.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

Kelman, Suanne. "Love-Making Through Word-Making." Literary Review of Canada 16.9 (2008): p.6.

Article discusses the book Love's Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie by Victoria Glendinning. Mentions the connection between the writer Elizabeth Bowen and Barbara Pym. In An Unsuitable Attachment Ianthe Broome is identified as similar to an Elizabeth Bowen character, slightly outmoded in her outlook on life. Full text available in the database Literature Resource Center.

Kennard, Jean E. "Barbara Pym and Romantic Love." Contemporary Literature 34.1 (1993): p.44-60.

Analyzes Barbara Pym’s view of romantic love which she typically undermines in her fiction, preferring love of community over the love of individuals. Compares Pym’s characters to other novelists such as Jane Austen and the BrontÑ‘s. States that Pym consistently subverts the traditional romantic love plot, using it for her own purposes. For example, the older less attractive woman displaces the younger female as protagonist. Examines Pym’s feminist view of women as stronger characters than men, the latter usually depicted as ineffectual and self-centered. Marriage is often described as routinized and disappointing, underscored by the realities of everyday life (“the common round”). Comparisons in Pym’s novels include anthropology and Christianity as well as anthropologists and novelists. The community aspect of Christianity is examined in the context of Pym’s canon.
Full text available in the database JSTOR.

King, Francis. “Obituary: Robert Liddell.” Independent (London) 07.29 (1992): Gazette Page p.15.

Obituary reporting on the life of writer Robert Liddell, a friend of Barbara Pym’s since 1932 when they were both students at Oxford. Comments on his friendship with Pym as well as his intellect and excellence as a novelist.
Full text available in the database Lexis Nexis Academic.

Krasner, James. "Accumulated Lives: Metaphor, Materiality, and the Homes of the Elderly." Literature and Medicine 24.2 (2005): p.209-30.

Investigates the elderly in fiction and relates it to theories of spatialized memory. Considers the work of novelists such as Doris Lessing, Barbara Pym, and Muriel Spark. These writers portray the daily lives of the elderly, dwelling on the operation of the self-defining metaphor in domestic space and showing the problems associated with environmental self-representation. In Quartet in Autumn, Pym portrays the gradual decline of elderly, retired Marcia Ivory who hoards food and objects while becoming a recluse. Marcia's ability to engage in the sort of physical rituals that reinforce her memory becomes disrupted by the increasing squalor of her home. The search in the garden for the grave of her long dead cat Snowy is an example. The author relates Marcia's debilitation and eventual death to the metaphor of her memory.
Full text available in the database Project MUSE.

Laughlin, Rosemary. "Recommended: Barbara Pym." English Journal 84.3 (1995): p.91-2.

Critiques several of Pym's novels such as Crampton Hodnet, Some Tame Gazelle, and Jane and Prudence with appreciation. States that she enjoys Pym because "she makes me laugh and she makes me wiser…she shows me the foibles and strengths of the (village) inhabitants with humour, tolerance, and insight. I feel these qualities reinforced in me, for application to my own world when I return to it."
Full text available in the database JSTOR.