One of my favourite novels is Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It's clever, witty, but never cruel. The heroine is forthright and wise. There's little not to love in the novel. The film adaptation is also excellent.
Quote: "It's bad to be dewy-eyed around smart people, but you can always secretly despise them."
I've been so excited seeing Gibbons' other novels being re-released by Vintage Classics (see an article about it here). I've already devoured Nightingale Wood, which is a brilliant twist on Cinderella, complete with cheap silver dancing slippers. I'm now working through Starlight, which is a surprisingly gentle, wry novel about being old.
And, incidentally, you can catch a little snatch of my own fiction in The Voyage, which is available as a free - yes free! - e-Book (just click that link). Here's the blurb for the book:
The Voyage is an innovative new anthology of writing by staff and postgraduates from both Monash in Australia and Warwick in England. It includes, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama and most other forms of creativity you might imagine.
It also includes a fairy tale.
It actually came upon me as a surprise. I was looking through my google search results for D'Aulnoy and my name came up!