Mandoa, Mandoa!: A Comedy of Irrelevance

Winifred Holtby


Mandoa, Mandoa!: A Comedy of Irrelevance

Mandoa, Mandoa!: A Comedy of Irrelevance

  • Title: Mandoa, Mandoa!: A Comedy of Irrelevance
  • Author: Winifred Holtby
  • ISBN: 9780860682516
  • Page: 449
  • Format: Paperback



Mandoa is a small African state at its head a Virgin Princess, conceiving immaculately further princesses The old traditions remain undisturbed until Mandoa s Lord High Chamberlain, Safi Tala, visits Addis Ababa There he discovers baths and cocktail shakers, motor cars and cutlery from Sheffield, telephones and handkerchiefs In short, he has seen an apocalyptic visioMandoa is a small African state at its head a Virgin Princess, conceiving immaculately further princesses The old traditions remain undisturbed until Mandoa s Lord High Chamberlain, Safi Tala, visits Addis Ababa There he discovers baths and cocktail shakers, motor cars and cutlery from Sheffield, telephones and handkerchiefs In short, he has seen an apocalyptic vision a new heaven and a new earth.Meanwhile in England it is 1931 Maurice Durrant, youngest director of Prince s Tours Limited, has won North Donnington for the Conservatives His socialist brother Bill is unemployed and their friend Jean Stanbury loses her job on The Byeword, a radical weekly paper How all three, and others too, find themselves in Mandoa for the wedding of the Royal Princess to her Arch archbishop is hilariously told in this wonderful satirical novel, first published in 1933.


Recent Comments "Mandoa, Mandoa!: A Comedy of Irrelevance"

Mandoa, Mandoa! By Winifred Holtby was published in 1933 and its story takes place between 1931 and 1933 in England and in the fictional country of Mandoa which supposedly borders Abyssinia (Ethiopia now), Somalia and Kenya. Holtby had traveled extensively in Africa and seen at first hand the impact of colonialism on African cultures. An ardent socialist, she wrote this novel, her last, as a satire on these clashes of culture.Mandoa is ruled by a princess, born of a virgin mother, who can only b [...]

Oh Winifred, why were you taken from us so prematurely? What delights could have been ours had your pen not been stilled? What moments of joy and laughter could we have experienced had there been time for even one more delightful novel? I must admit that a story mostly set in a fictitious African country seemed more than a world away from the Yorkshire Wolds I had grown accustomed to reading about in Winifred Holtby's novels. I was a little unsure, but I should have kept the faith. As a varied g [...]

This is a book that is hard to get hold of now, and so although I would have preferred a virago edition of it to read I was glad of the chance to read it via kindle. I really enjoyed this slightly unusual novel. Written in the wake of the general election of 1931, and during the depression, it is an enormously intelligent political satire. Alongside the story of the launch of the new Mandoa is the story of the relationship between Maurice and Bill Durrant - between whom there exists terrible sib [...]

Don't you just hate it when you've discovered a magnificent writer, someone whose novels are right up there in the Pantheon, and then she goes and writes something clunky? Mandoa, Mandoa is Winifred Holtby's not-very-funny take on British Imperialism in a fictional African Land during the 1930s. It had its moments, its enjoyable characters and situations, but mostly it was a slog through the sand. Dang. Holtby is pitch perfect in her native land, Yorkshire. She does not speak fluent Mandoanese.

This is a really delightful book -- a satire, I suppose -- about a small emerging African nation that is just discovering 20th century technology and luxuries.

I'm not sure who exactly I would recommend this book to, but I'd do it wholeheartedly. What a bizarre, hilarious, and moving novel.


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    Published :2019-02-10T18:36:26+00:00