The Ballad of Peckham Rye Author:Muriel Spark When Dougal Douglas comes to live in Peckham Rye and to work for Meadowes, Meade & Grindley, textile manufacturers, the lives of many people there undergo a change; and when he decides to work for their rivals, Drover Willis's textile manufacturers, as well, the lives of people undergo a change there too. In fact, wherever he goes, Dougal is the... more » agent of change and disturbance. In particular, he is responsible for the legend of the young man who walked out at his wedding.
In the dance-halls of Camberwell, in the back streets of Peckham, in the residences on Denmark Hill and even on the Rye itself, the comic/satanic influence of Douagal Douglas is felt. Especially it is felt by Henrty Place, a refrigerator engineer, who later says 'No' at the altar rail; Dixie Morse, typist, who has 'No' said about her on that occasion; Mr Druce, managing director of Meadowes, Meade & Grindley, who has not spoken to Mrs Druce for five years and has a taste for going up and down in lifts; Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, who feels that she is 'living a lie' and whose life comes to a violent conclusion; Nelly Mahone, a prophet, who has lapsed from her religion on religious grounds; and Miss Belle Frierne, his landlady, who has known all Peckham in her youth. Among many others affected are Collie Gould and Trevor Lomas, leaders of their gang, Dawn Waghorn, conewinder, Elaine Kent, process cotnroller, Odette Hill, uptwister, Raymond Loqwther, packer, adn Lucille Potter, gummer.
The Ballad of Peckham Rye is a novel of contstant movement, written with brilliance, wit and perception. Murial Spark's genius for combining truth with dazzlingly funny fantasy has never been better displayed - and readers of Momento Mori and her earlierbooks will know how good that is.« less