Business as Usual (Paperback)
This classic illustrated novel in letters sure to delight fans of Jane Austen and Winifred Watson.
Hilary Fane is an Edinburgh girl fresh out of university who is determined to support herself by her own earnings in London for a year, despite the mutterings of her surgeon fianc . After a nervous beginning looking for a job while her savings rapidly diminish, she finds work as a typist in the London department store of Everyman's (a very thin disguise for Selfridges), and rises rapidly through the ranks to work in the library, where she has to enforce modernizing systems on her entrenched and frosty colleagues.
Business as Usual is charming, intelligent, heart-warming, funny, and entertaining. It's deeply interesting as a record of the history of shopping in the 1930s, and fascinating for its unflinching descriptions of social conditions, poverty and illegitimacy.
About the Author
'Jane Oliver' was the pen-name of Helen Evans (1903-1970). Formerly a PE teacher, a pilot, and Clemence Dane's secretary, Helen met her co-author Ann Stafford (the pen-name of Anne Pedler, 1900-1966) when working at the Times Book Club. Business as Usual was their first joint novel: together and as solo authors they published at least ninety-seven books. Helen married the author John Llewelyn Rhys, who was killed in the Second World War. She and Anne founded the Llewelyn Rhys Prize in his memory. They later lived near each other in Hampshire where they were prominent historical novelists and campaigners for animal welfare.