Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh, Yes She Said Yes He Will Yes

. . . [The Finishing Touch]'s plot, containing nothing of cold wars, or any wars, concerns only the arrival at the school (and hasty departure) of an English princess, her royal breast stung by a nasty local wasp, her headmistress's oral remedy caught by a contraband camera . . . Brigid Brophy's work attracted much thoughtful criticism in its day, but in 1963, no one saw the slightest connection between The Finishing Touch and the Blunt affair, Britain's greatest postwar spy scandal . . .

TLS Editor Sir Peter Stothard lays it on the hi-pri spy-guy dreadline in this deft, distinguished, and distinctive re-examination of Brophy's lesbian-fantasist novel, the fifth "Buried Treasure" unearthed for The Globe and Mail's ongoing series of sadly neglected gems. The results? Hardcore brilliance, a diamond in the no-guff tough-enough pas-de-bluff finishing-school stuff.
P.S. Happy B-Day eight days early, Sir Peter [Rabbit] (since we're 'bout eight days late featuring this sublimely stun-thundrous cut-above great)

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