British Import: Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield
Our latest find explores England at the turn of the century through the lives and loves on one country estate.
Alright, Anglophiles, by now you know the drill: We are on a quest to unearth more Downton Abbey-esque and Sherlockian literary treasures, as we are insatiable in our deep need for all things British.
Meet R.F. Delderfield, a British author and dramatist, whose works have inspired a positive plethora of BBC miniseries, as well as the big-screen comedy On the Fiddle, starring none other than Sean Connery, the original James Bond. (Is there anything more British than that?)
Our favorite, though, is a novel series titled A Horseman Riding By, which begins with Long Summer Day. Like all good British stories, Long Summer Day features romance, murder, and a spot of tea (of course).
In the story, our intrepid hero, injured Boer War veteran Paul Craddock, purchases an overgrown 1,300-acre estate at auction, determined to start a future away from cosmopolitan London. Enter an eclectic cast of locals, two beautiful women, and some poachers, and Craddock’s simple dream becomes a tad more complicated. As he navigates suffragette activists, affairs of the heart, and even a shipwreck, we catch a glimpse of life at the turn of the century.
It’s a saga you won’t want to end. Good news is it’s just the beginning of a trilogy that follows the Craddock family through both World Wars. Brilliant!