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Dangerous Ages

Dame Rose Macaulay

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I can't think how you do it," Rosalind was crying to her in her rich, ripe voice out of the splashing waves. "But fancy their all swimming out and leaving you to yourself. Why, you might get cramp and sink. I'm no use, you know; I'm hopeless; can't keep up at all."

"I shan't trouble you, thank you," Mrs. Hilary called back, and her voice shook a little because she was getting chilled.

"Why, you're shivering," Rosalind cried. "Why don't you come out? You are wonderful, I do admire you.... It's no use waiting for the others, they'll be ages.... I say, look at Neville; fancy her being forty-three. I never knew such a family.... Come and sit in the waves with me, it's lovely and warm."

"I prefer swimming," said Mrs. Hilary, and she was shivering more now. She never stayed in so long as this; she usually only plunged in and came out.

Grandmama, stopping on the esplanade in her donkey chair, was waving and beckoning to her. Grandmama knew s. . . Read More

Community Reviews

One of those books where I really didn’t like anybody. I suppose I liked Neville Bendish a bit. She was the first female we were introduced to in the book. She was celebrating her 43rd birthday and was caught up with middle-aged angst over that...that she had raised her children and that is all she

I am so happy to see the number of recent reprints of Rose Macaulay's books. Published originally in 1920, this terrific novel was recently reprinted by the British Library Women Writers. Macaulay focuses on five female characters in one family who represent Dangerous Ages between 18 and 85.

“May I ask your daughter’s age?”
“Nan is thirty-three”
“A dangerous Age”
“All Nan’s ages”, said Mrs Hilary, “have been dangerous. Nan is like that.”

All ages are dangerous in this book. It is the story of four generation of women in one family. From the wise and calm Grandmamma in her 80s to the insipi

The English writer Rose Macaulay – whose work spans the first half of the 20th century – seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment. First with the Virago reissues of Crewe Train and The World My Wilderness, and subsequently with the more recent publication of some of her earlier

This novel, written in 1921, focuses on the dangerous ages of women layered in satire. Obviously despite a century having passed, 'twas forever thus - the same but different. Who knew, or would have identified these as the dangerous ages? I loved that these "ages" are shown through four generations

What is NYRB Classics waiting for to reissue this book? I was lucky to find a battered copy in Montclair, NJ.
The story follows the fortunes of various female members of the Hilary family at the outset of the 1920s. The doyenne, Grandmamma, is a wise old owl, well-loved by everyone. In her 80s, she s

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