The Fortnight in September

The Fortnight in September The Fortnight in September embodies the kind of mundane normality the men in the dug out longed for domestic life at Corunna Road in Dulwich the train journey via Clapham Junction to the south coa

  • Title: The Fortnight in September
  • Author: R.C. Sherriff
  • ISBN: 9781903155578
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Fortnight in September embodies the kind of mundane normality the men in the dug out longed for domestic life at 22 Corunna Road in Dulwich, the train journey via Clapham Junction to the south coast, the two weeks living in lodgings and going to the beach every day The family s only regret is leaving their garden where, we can imagine, because it is September the daThe Fortnight in September embodies the kind of mundane normality the men in the dug out longed for domestic life at 22 Corunna Road in Dulwich, the train journey via Clapham Junction to the south coast, the two weeks living in lodgings and going to the beach every day The family s only regret is leaving their garden where, we can imagine, because it is September the dahlias are at their fiery best as they flash past in the train they get a glimpse of their back garden, where a shaft of sunlight fell through the side passage and lit up the clump of white asters by the apple tree This was what the First World War soldiers longed for this, he imagined, was what he was fighting for and would return to as in fact Sherriff did.He had had the idea for his novel at Bognor Regis watching the crowds go by, and wondering what their lives were like at home, he began to feel the itch to take one of those families at random and build up an imaginary story of their annual holiday by the seaI wanted to write about simple, uncomplicated people doing normal things.

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    About “R.C. Sherriff

    • R.C. Sherriff

      Robert Cedric Sherriff was an English writer best known for his play Journey s End which was based on his experiences as a Captain in World War I He wrote several plays, novels, and screenplays, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay and two British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

    961 thoughts on “The Fortnight in September

    • The Fortnight In September. The two weeks when the Stevens family left their South London home for their annual holiday, by the sea in Bognor.It sounds simple, and yes it is, but it is also lovely.One summer, between the wars, R C Sherriff visited Bognor. As he sat on the seafront, watching streams of visitors pass by, he realised what he wanted to write.“I began to feel the itch to take one of those families at random and build up an imaginary story of their annual holiday by the sea.It could [...]

    • I really loved this book, and when I first started it I wasn't sure that I would, despite rave reviews from some of my friends. It is a seemingly very simple book, about one family taking their annual seaside holiday, and I was afraid that its very simplicity would make it dull. But the story grows and grows on you as you read, and somehow Sherriff manages to devote enough time to each character so that you begin to care about them very much, and wonder what will happen to them on the next day o [...]

    • The foreword to this book is an excerpt from R.C. Sherriff's autobiography, wherein he discusses how he wrote The Fortnight in September. He had had a marvelous success as a playwright with Journey's End: Play, but then he had an idea which he could only turn into a novel: the simple story of a family on their annual seaside holiday. Sherriff groped for the right style, finding that "flowery stuff and highfalutin words" weren't right and seeking a more down-to-earth style which would match his c [...]

    • Exquisitely written, this 1931 novel is a deep contemplation of life, with all its disappointments. The long discriptions miss nothing out: a fortnight's holiday at the seaside, in all its minutiae. The characters are delightful, but lead very mediocre lives.I really wanted to love this book, but found that I was needing something more exciting, more substantial to bite into.

    • Lovely story of a lower middle class family between the wars, taking their annual holiday at the seaside boarding house they go to every year.

    • Very little happens in this novel, but it was still one of the most charming, thoughtful books I’ve read in years. It’s a simple account of a middle-class family’s annual visit to the seaside: the shucking off of day-to-day worries along with city clothes, visits to the band pavilion and amusement arcade, long days baking under an autumn sun or reading in the cool shade of a rented bathing hut, the teenaged son’s solitary musings about his future and his slightly older sister’s first t [...]

    • Came across this by accident when I heard it mentioned on the radio. Took me ages to track it down when declared they hadn't got it: but they had. On Kindle. And a secondhand one published 1951 (it was first published 1931). It's a miracle of a book: simple story of an ordinary family going on a fortnight's holiday to Bognor in September - as they've done for 20 years. Not much happens. No conflict, no romance, no real tension. Not even much of a story, to be honest. Yet it made me think of tha [...]

    • This is a delightful novel first published in 1931 - about the Stevens annual fortnights holiday in Bognor. Mr Stevens is a middle aged clerk - his wife a quiet gentle woman who secretly finds this holiday a bit of a strain. Their children, Dick and Mary who are now grown up, and out to work themselves, and Ernie their youngest still a school boy. This is a novel about ordinary people who live small lives, and the things which loom large and have unimaginable importance within that life - such a [...]

    • Henry James once said of Trollope that "His great, his inestimable merit was a complete appreciation of the usual." I was reminded of that quote while reading this marvelous work. Mr. Sherriff was able to show beauty in the anticipation, execution and end of a family vacation. He conveyed so much with so few words and in so doing showed his mastery of the written word. Like Trollope, his generous heart shows through his portrayal of each character, sketched with real appreciation of his or her i [...]

    • What a beautiful, beautiful book. Reminded me of the styles of Dorothy Whipple, Barbara Pym and Dottie Smith. It is a book that "simply" describes one middle class, English family on their annual holiday to the sea. What Sherriff does with this setting is a masterpiece. Each member of the family comes alive for the reader and many of the people they encounter. He expertly captures this family's love for one another and their ever-changing dynamics. If you love novels that are beautifully written [...]

    • Delightful.I would never have stumbled across this book had Michael Morpurgo not recommended it at an event he was speaking at. When asked which book he was currently reading he spoke very highly of 'The fortnight in September' by R C Sherriff.This is quite a simple story in which nothing really dramatic occurs. Some would say that nothing much actually happens, yet I would say the absolute opposite. So much happens in this simple story of a family holiday. Not a detail is wasted or washed over [...]

    • A very sweet, thoughtful novel about an ordinary lower middle class family on their annual holiday to a shabby boarding house in Bognor. It is a slow moving story where every detail of the preparations, journey and holiday is described. I love a detailed domestic novel from this period, but I couldn't help wondering where the wider world fitted into their lives, given that this was published just a decade or so after the 1st World War and during a major recessionbut I suppose that would be a dif [...]

    • This is one of those books that pays attention to the minutae of life in order to 'speak great truths'. But by page 106 we were still on the train on the way to Bognor for the two week holiday- we'd cancelled the milk, we'd made sandwiches and a thermos of tea for the journey, we'd dropped the pet budgie off at the neighbour to look after The book continues on and on like this which is good if you want to force yourself to slow down but personally, I'd prefer just to stop for a kitkat

    • There is something very gentle and soothing about this book which simply recounts a two week family vacation at a costal resort town in 1930’s England with touching detail of their hopes, fears, small rituals and quiet comforts. The Stevens family has been visiting Bognor, staying at the same bed and breakfast, for 20 years. Now that the children are nearly grown, this last visit is tinged with a slight melancholy and wistfulness.

    • Few books are so evocative of a time, a class, a country and a season -- and so utterly charming with it. An understated English masterpiece.

    • Warning ! There is no plot in this book - it is just a description of the annual vacation of the Stevens family. And yet this is a book worth reading. Why ? Because there is a fair bit going on behind the placid routine of a seaside vacation. Mr and Mrs. Stevens are very conscious of the fact that this may be the last summer vacation they take as a family - their 19 year old son and 17-year old daughter may prefer different plans the following year. They also realized that the lodging home they [...]

    • If you want to imaginatively experience the mindset and views of vintage life then this is utterly evocative of the time. It canters along in a most compelling fashion, lingering alongside those tiny experiences that seem to be rather like the Tardis in being bigger on the inside than the outside. This book was a huge surprising success for Sherriff so even at the time of publishing it proved popular. It is the type of book, here nothing happens and a great deal happens. The writing pops the ima [...]

    • I picked this book up from a blog that suggested it as a good window into 1920s working class England. It was a little slow at first before I got into the rhythm of it but about half way through I realized how much I was looking forward to spending my lunch at work with the characters. It was a splendid little vacation at the beach and reminded me of the vacations to the Lake or the Dunes my family took. Wonderful observations of the routines of family life and how they change and stretch over t [...]

    • This is an affectionately written study of a time now very much past, full of incidental detail of the daily lives of a south London family between the wars, preparations for the annual jaunt to Bognor and the quiet but intense pleasure of actually being there. It feelingly evokes the appreciation of modest excitements felt by a generation whose opportunities for diversion were limited and the preciousness of every moment away from normal routine. Sherriff had a keen eye and ear for his characte [...]

    • I'm shocked that this is a Persephone "forgotten fiction by unjustly neglected authors." It shouldn't be forgotten because it's such a well-written book. It's simple, as the title suggests it is about a family's two week vacation to coast of England. Nothing terrible happens. But it is melancholy which gives it some weight. It's like the real conflicts are just beneath the proper exteriors and expressions and conversations. Conflict in each character about what life is, the passage of time, deat [...]

    • This quiet but moving story of an English family’s annual two week vacation is one of my favorites from this year’s reading. The carefully noted details of their preparation, train trip, and time at the beach gradually surprise the reader with the slow revelation of the thoughts and feelings of each member of the family (except the youngest).

    • What a lovely book to start the year. It was an anodyne to my general daily anxiety. I am sure I will revisit the Stevens family many times throughout the rest of my life. I only wish I had met them sooner.

    • Beautifully written account of an annual family holiday. So much to be recognised even though these days our holidays are very different. But our characters haven't changed that much, first love, disillusionment, anxieties, time marching inexorably on, all are captured perfectly.

    • Delightful vignettes of family members together and separately. Tender and sometimes rather ridiculous moments add to the gentleness of the whole book.

    • 3.5 really for this little gem. Its a beautifully crafted piece. But I could only take it in small sections. Perhaps that says more about my dislike of Bognor than the writing which is glorious. Not a lot happens to this little middle class family but they are your world and you root entirely for them as they champion the humdrum for the two weeks holiday on the Bognor sands. (I don't remember sands). R C S is a master.Toast

    • Such an odd and wonderful book. Nothing really happens - In 1930 Mr and Mrs Stevens go on holiday to Bognor on the south coast of England with their three children to the same boarding house that they've been going to for seventeen years. They (mostly) have a lovely time and then they go home. It's the detail that makes it fascinating, and the observations of the feelings of the family: the huge disappointment when they realise they can't get the beach hut they want on the day they arrive, and t [...]

    • The Fortnight in September tells the story of the Stevens' family's annual summer holiday in Bognor Regis around 1930, probably the heyday of the traditional British seaside holiday. Mr and Mrs Stevens have been going to the same guesthouse in Bognor Regis for two weeks in September every year since their marriage, but what seems an unchanging ritual is on the brink of ending, as their two grown-up children talk of spending their holidays with friends. The Stevens are a very ordinary and quiet f [...]

    • I can't think of a more suitable adjective than "charming" to describe this 1931 novel. It details the family holiday fortnight in Bognor, told by an omniscient narrator. Very quickly you are plunged into comparing with life today where our expectation of everything has grown to almost a sense of entitlement. This is a small stage but beautifully sets up the life and times, the joy of the same annual holiday; its finely tuned preparations for each family member ruled by an evolving list; the sta [...]

    • Visit Literary Lass for more reviews & giveawaysI adore this book. The stunning prose, the fleshed out characters. An average family circa 1931 England taking their annual two-week trek to the seaside hamlet of Bognor.It’s more than a chronicle of a family vacation, the author masterfully weaves so much into the narrative such as family, disappointment, growing up, first love, the challenges life presents to all regardless of age. Each family member is focused on, you read of what’s tran [...]

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