The Ballad and the Source

The Ballad and the Source Ten year old Rebecca is living in the country with her family when Sibyl Jardine an enigmatic and powerful old woman returns to her property in the neighborhood The two families once linked in the
  • Title: The Ballad and the Source
  • Author: Rosamond Lehmann
  • ISBN: 9780156102605
  • Page: 201
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Ballad and the Source
    Ten year old Rebecca is living in the country with her family when Sibyl Jardine, an enigmatic and powerful old woman, returns to her property in the neighborhood The two families, once linked in the past, meet again, with the result that Rebecca becomes drawn into the strange complications of the old lady s life with her husband, her errant daughter, and her grandchildreTen year old Rebecca is living in the country with her family when Sibyl Jardine, an enigmatic and powerful old woman, returns to her property in the neighborhood The two families, once linked in the past, meet again, with the result that Rebecca becomes drawn into the strange complications of the old lady s life with her husband, her errant daughter, and her grandchildren Through the spellbound eyes of the young Rebecca we enter into an intricate and scandalous family history and slowly the story of the passionate, stormy life of Mrs Jardine unfolds.
    The Ballad and the Source By Rosamond Lehmann,
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    About " Rosamond Lehmann "

  • Rosamond Lehmann

    Rosamond Nina Lehmann was born in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, as the second daughter of Rudolph Lehmann and his wife Alice Davis, a New Englander Her father Rudolph Chambers Lehmann was a liberal MP, and editor of the Daily News John Lehmann 1907 1989 was her brother one of her two sisters was the famous actress Beatrix Lehmann.In 1919 she went to Girton College, University of Cambridge to read English Literature, an unusual thing for a woman to do at that time In December 1923 she married Leslie Runciman later 2nd Viscount Runciman of Doxford 1900 1989 , and the couple went to live in Newcastle upon Tyne It was an unhappy marriage, and they separated in 1927 and were divorced later that year.In 1927, Lehmann published her first novel, Dusty Answer, to great critical and popular acclaim The novel s heroine, Judith, is attracted to both men and women, and interacts with fairly openly gay and lesbian characters during her years at Cambridge The novel was a succ s de scandale Though none of her later novels were as successful as her first, Lehmann went on to publish six novels, a play No More Music, 1939 , a collection of short stories The Gypsy s Baby Other Stories, 1946 , a spiritual autobiography The Swan in the Evening, 1967 , and a photographic memoir of her friends Rosamond Lehmann s Album, 1985 , many of whom were famous Bloomsbury figures such as Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Carrington, and Lytton Strachey She also translated two French novels into English Jacques Lemarchand s Genevieve 1948 and Jean Cocteau s Children of the Game 1955 Her novels include A Note in Music 1930 , Invitation to the Waltz 1932 , The Weather in the Streets 1936 , The Ballad and the Source 1944 , The Echoing Grove 1953 , and A Sea Grape Tree 1976.In 1928, Lehmann married Wogan Philipps, an artist They had two children, a son Hugo 1929 1999 and a daughter Sarah or Sally 1934 1958 , but the marriage quickly fell apart during the late Thirties with her Communist husband leaving to take part in the Spanish Civil War During World War II she helped edit and contributed to New Writing, a periodical edited by her brother She had an affair with Goronwy Rees and then a very public affair for nine years 1941 1950 with the married Cecil Day Lewis, who eventually left her for his second wife.Her 1953 novel The Echoing Grove was made into the 2002 film Heart of Me, with Helena Bonham Carter as the main character, Dinah Her book The Ballad and the Source depicts an unhappy marriage from the point of view of a child, and has been compared to Henry James What Maisie Knew.The Swan in the Evening 1967 is an autobiography which Lehmann described as her last testament In it, she intimately describes the emotions she felt at the birth of her daughter Sally, and also when Sally died abruptly of poliomyelitis at the age of 23 or 24 in 1958 while in Jakarta She never recovered from Sally s death Lehmann claimed to have had some psychic experiences, documented in Moments of Truth.Lehmann was awarded the CBE in 1982 and died at Clareville Grove, London on 12 March 1990, aged 89.


  • This is my first reading of Lehmann and was probably not the best place to start Lehmann came from a Liberal family her father was an MP her brother was a publisher and her sister an actress Lehmann wrote several novels and many short stories This novel was published in 1944 It is written from the point of view of ten year old Rebecca It revolves around the figure of Sybil Jardine, an older woman and one of the great literary creations The back of the virago edition sums up Ten year old Rebecca [...]

  • Some years ago I read The Weather in the Streets and The Echoing Grove, and from reading these books thought well of this author This book is not good Its story is complex, not in itself, but in the way it is told, most of it to the girl Rebecca by various other characters Each gives her one or pieces of the jigsaw and she fits them together The result is an incredible number of arms length events which we meet second hand only In fact, we also meet some of them third hand, for example, when Mr [...]

  • This 1944 novel sits roughly in the middle of the eight Lehmann wrote over 25 years Her writing is intensely focused on women s emotional lives and her female characters are fascinating and nuanced while her male characters are relative stick figures by comparison Much of this story set just before WWI actually takes place some years prior and is being recounted to a girl named Rebecca, aged 10 or 11, by a series of older narrators, who in turn, try to put on the voices of still other characters [...]

  • The Ballad and the Source has a rather different structure from Lehmann s other works It tells the history of rebellious, dramatic Sibyl Jardine, once a beauty, then an outcast from society, now an elderly woman relating her story to a neighbor s child, Rebecca, granddaughter of the woman who was once Mrs Jardine s best friend Rebecca learns through conversations with an old servant and with Mrs Jardine s grandchildren Though the story that emerges is fascinating in spots, too much of it is sec [...]

  • This is a masterly piece of writing The Ballad and the Source is the fourth of Rosamond Lehmann s novels I have read, and I am enormously impressed with it The story of Sibyl Jardine is told mainly in three long conversations, between Rebecca who is ten at the start of the novel, and Tilly a sewing maid, Sibyl herself and later Maisie, Sibyl s grandaughter Sibyl, both saint and sinner is a fascinating figure An unhappy marriage leads her to leave her home, and become cut off from her child The c [...]

  • I bought an old edition of this, with no dustjacket, and, as it s a long time since I ve read any of this author s work, had no idea of what to expect.In fact, I found it very unusual The writing was beautiful the evocation of the house through the blue door in the wall was magical The characterisation was well done and the story enthralling I can t wait to put this to my book group, as I really want to discuss aspects of the book with them.

  • Two generation, mother and daughter, of a troubled family is narrated in an over lengthy conversations with Rebeca, a 10 year old girl from the neighborhood The theme of the book, as well as the locations, English and French countryside are interesting In my opinion the choice of such a young girl as the dialog partner was unlucky On top of it, the dialogs were never ending and made the book a tiring reading affair.

  • I still like this book a lot, though not quite as much as I used to I loathe the way Ianthe is treated as a person within the book s world, and as a character Maisie is great though.

  • I find the most unusual books at Goodwill I have a first edition, printed in the UK, with no dust jacket I don t even think it was published in the US until recently In any case, it was a good impulse purchase The storyline is captivating, and the characters are vivid and fascinating Of course, I have a current obsession with British fiction written or taking place between the wars, so I may be partial to the subgenre My only complaint is that the structure of the book is terrible all tell, tell [...]

  • The Ballad and the Source is a twisted story of intergenerational insanity that is of particular interest to anyone who is familiar with borderline personality disorder It s well written, engrossing, and utterly depressing If you come from a heathy family, this story will be quite entertaining If not, it will be a painful reminder of why you left home in the first place.Rosamond Lehmann is an accomplished author who has sadly fallen out of fashion She s particularly interested in adolescent girl [...]

  • The title sucked me in, and before I had even bought it, I was on page five Jumping right into the midst of a unique family drama, this pulls you along for a strange ride through a family via a ten year old girl There s a LOT of tea time happening, and far too many adults speak far too openly to this ten year old child, but, the plot s gotta advance somehow, ya know It s not the ending you expect, but it is intriguing from first to last I m very glad I picked it up well worth the buck I paid at [...]

  • I gave this a shot 78 pages but there s just not enough going on to keep me interested The narrator is a 10 year old girl who befriends an elderly neighbor and her grandchildren the neighbor, Sibyl Jardine, turns out to have a storied and scandalous past Lehmann writes children believably, but everything is happening at a remove, second or third hand, which I don t like And when I say everything, I mean the two or three things we ve learned about Sibyl Jardine by page 78.

  • A complicated yet intriguing read Intriguing given that the narrative is entirely from the reminiscences of those the lead character Rebecca gossips with However, I felt lost in the detail of what was happening to whom as the novel progressed An interesting read but I get the feeling I should have been taking notes to catch up.

  • Hm A very odd book in some ways, and somewhat unsatisfying Incredibly well written, but I m not sure who I m meant to care about or be interested in, ultimately, which I find unsettling Definitely my least favourite Rosamond Lehmann so far, although in its way it s an incredible book.

  • this novel was stunning i thoroughly enjoyed The Echoing Grove so i knew would like this one The language is beautiful it s music to read it the story captivating.

  • What a writer part of the Bloomsbury bunch along with Virgina Woolf haven t read Woolf but can t imagine she could be any better than this

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