Web Sites

Adams, Michael. "Kindly Words and Spectacles: the Art of Barbara Pym."

Interesting assessment of Pym's work, particularly the novel Jane and Prudence. The author convincingly presents the argument that Pym should be better recognized as a writer of considerable achievement.

"Barbara Pym Society."

The site includes links to a variety of publications related to Barbara Pym including Green Leaves, the Society's newsletter. The Society was established in 1994.

Bayley, John. “À La Pym By Hilary Pym and Honor Wyatt.” London Review of Books: 10.17 (1995).

Describes Philip Larkin’s luncheon visit to Pym’s home in 1977.

Bell, Hazel K. “Barbara Pym’s Correspondence With Her Publisher.” YouTube.

Site provides a gateway to a series of videos that showcases presentations made by Hazel K. Bell on various topics including Pym’s correspondence and indexing.

British Broadcasting Corporation Television Service. "Desert Island Discs :Barbara Pym.”

BBC radio live interview with Barbara Pym recorded in July 1978. Discussion of her favourite music and her writing career. Total air time is 40 minutes. A great opportunity to hear Pym’s voice, speaking about her interest in music and her work.

Cooper, Jilly. "The Insider: Jilly Cooper On Barbara Pym." The Telegraph: 12.02 (2007).

Jilly Cooper "Queen of the Bonkbuster", comments on reading Barbara Pym, one of her favourite authors. Discusses the novel Jane and Prudence. Identifies with Pym's unique understanding of women's experience in unsuccessful love affairs. Cooper met Barbara Pym socially and comments on the meeting.

Cruickshank, Hollie. "Crampton Hodnet Is Funny, Poignant, Observant, and Truthful Says Louis de Bernières." Virago Press News & Blog: 8.12 (2012).

Louis de Bernières, bestselling author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, explains the unusual history of Crampton Hodnet in an excerpted version of his introduction to the re-release of the novel. He finds Pym’s Crampton Hodnet intriguing and he writes with enthusiasm about its publication history.

Curran, Jane. "Barbara Pym: 20th Century Austen." BBC Oxford: 10.20 (2009).

Biographical sketch of Pym's life and work. Includes information about her youth and parents Frederick and Irena Pym.

Darlyn. "Your Move, Dickens: Thoughts: Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym." 1.12 (2012).

A blog with a review of Barbara Pym’s novel Some Tame Gazelle.

"Excellent Women - Barbara Pym - Book Clubs - Penguin Group (USA)."

Short analysis of Pym's novel Excellent Women.

Fowler, Christopher. "Invisible Ink: No 68 - Barbara Pym." Independent: 13.3 (2011).

Provides an overview of Barbara Pym's career. Describes it as nearly destroyed due to a “fall from fashion” and Pym’s re-discovery as miraculous. Considers her work timeless and popular.

"A Glass of Pym." Catholic Herald (U.K.): 17.6 (2005).

States that “not since Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels has the Church of England received such minute and detailed treatment in fiction. No other modern novelist was so accurate on Church matters, nor had the feel and details of High Churchmanship since Compton Mackenzie’s novels of Edwardian Anglo-Catholicism.” Also states that Roman converts “get a rough deal” in Pym’s novels. Agrees that Pym knew the difference between the High Church's aesthetic appeal as opposed to theological conviction. Provides some discussion of the book of essays No Soft Incense. Also mentions Pym's treatment of Catholicism in her novels.

Henscher, Philip. “Philip Henscher Toasts the Novelist Barbara Pym.” The Telegraph: 2.6 (2013).

A biographical and critical essay on the life and work of Barbara Pym that examines her life as a writer and some of her novels. Written on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth.

Jones, Rebecca. “PD James: Pym Wrote ‘Gentle Books.” BBC Today: 10.7 (2009).

Audio interview with author PD James, among others, about Barbara Pym and her writing.

Maddox, Adrian. "Classic Cafes: Rendez-Vous Maddox St. Special."

Provides information about working men's cafes in London. One page is devoted to the Rendezvous Cafe used by Barbara Pym in her novel Quartet in Autumn. Pym mentions similar cafes and restaurants in London and Oxford in her fiction. These were typical 1950s-style eating establishments where, quite typically, single diners ate meals alone. Includes information about Barbara Pym’s life.

Man Booker Prizes. "Barbara Pym: The Man Booker Prizes."

Barbara Pym was short-listed for the Man Booker prize in 1977 for her novel Quartet in Autumn. Provides information on this event.

McCall Smith, Alexander McCall. "Very Barbara Pym." The Guardian 4.5 (2008).

An appreciative review of Pym's novel Excellent Women and a brief biography.

Miller, Caroline. "A Very Different Austen." The Guardian: 1.31 (2009).

Review of Barbara Pym's novel No Fond Return of Love, written at the time of the novel's re-issue. Reviewer is appreciative of Pym's quiet insights but finds the novel and its characters too dated.

Miller, Ellen. "Following Barbara's Footsteps."

Text provides a guided tour of locations and buildings Barbara Pym lived in or visited throughout her life, from her earliest years to her death. Includes locations used in her novels and numerous churches. Photos. *Note: Text downloads very slowly.

Miller, Laura. “Barbara Pym Gets Rediscovered – Again.”

Article from the reputable web site Salon.com written by a senior editor. Discusses Pym’s popularity, her humour, and appeal to American readers who may find her novels quaint and somewhat unusual. Discusses the novel A Glass of Blessings. Written in 2013.

"The novels of Barbara Pym | Books | The Guardian"

Some analysis of the novel Excellent Women as a world of "genteel drabness" in post-World War 11 England.

"Orlando Project: Women's Writing in the British Isles From the Beginnings to the Present" Cambridge University.

Orlando is an online resource which provides information about women writers' lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies.
There is considerable material on the life, writing career, family, and critical interpretation of Barbara Pym’s fiction. Such topics as feminist interpretation of her novels and literary reputation are included. Very useful as a complete overview of Pym’s life and work plus the site provides lesser-known information.
Access is by subscription or through your local library.

Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme

The blue plaque unveiled at Barbara and Hilary Pym's home, Barn Cottage, Finstock, Oxfordshire, on September 1 by Deirdre Bryan-Brown, Chairperson of the Barbara Pym Society. Includes a brief biography of Barbara Pym. The Blue Plaques project promotes recognition of people, places, and events of lasting significance to Oxfordshire. Individuals included must show significant accomplishment in their field of endeavour.

"Pym and Proper." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Details of the writer's first encounter with Pym's novels and her experiences at the 2007 Barbara Pym conference. Includes some thoughts on Barbara Pym's life and work.

"Pym, Barbara: Quartet in Autumn " Literature Arts and Medicine Database.

Discusses Barbara Pym's novel Quartet in Autumn from the perspective of geriatric issues in medicine as well as mid-twentieth-century British office culture. Comments on the passivity and isolation of the four aging main characters in the novel.

Pym, Barbara. "Finding a Voice: A Radio Talk."

Text of a talk given by Barbara Pym and recorded on 8th February 1978 for the BBC. It was transmitted on BBC Radio 3 on 4th April 1978. The transcript was published in Civil to Strangers and Other Writings by Macmillan (1987) and Dutton (1988). In this talk Pym discusses why she became a writer and matters related to her writing career.

Pym, Barbara. "Letters From Barbara Pym To Philip Larkin"

Online index to the letters written by Barbara Pym to Philip Larkin 1961-1979 held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Includes nine Christmas cards.

---. "Papers Of Barbara Mary Crampton Pym (1913-1980)."

Online index to the papers of Barbara Pym held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Includes literary papers and notebooks, diaries and a memoir 1932-1979, correspondence, and miscellaneous other papers.

Raz, Orna. "News Clippings From the Hilary Walton Archive."

A blog post by the academic and author Orna Raz who has written a number of articles, essays, and other materials on Barbara Pym. Includes a list of news clippings from the Hilary Pym Walton archive.

"Seeing the World Through Books: Barbara Pym Quartet in Autumn."

An appreciative overview of Barbara Pym's novel Quartet in Autumn.

Shorr, Vicky. "Reading Barbara Pym."

Interesting short article on the writer's first encounter with Barbara Pym's novels Jane and Prudence and Excellent Women.