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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:45   #1
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Default Dornford Yates

This is not a review but a question:

Has anyone here read this author and can you comment on whether it's worth digging for his novels-now mostly out of print?

I ask for this reason:

I have just finished The Harmony Silk Factory and one of the characters favourite authors is Dornford Yates. Reading this, I had an immediate recollection of the name and felt sure I'd read this novelist when I was young- 12 or 13. Upon googling him, I found a site featuriong his dust jackets and distinctly remebered two tiltes that I know I've read: The Ne'er Do-Well and B-Berry and I Look Back.

I seem to recall loving these books but everything is so vague, that even when I read the synopsis, I remembered nothing.

Any info appreciated.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:53   #2
John Self
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Default Re: Dornford Yates

Hm, more a Richard Yates man myself, Oryx. Meaning: sorry, never even heard of him (her?).
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 17:54   #3
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Default Re: Dornford Yates

On his Wikipedia page there is a link to one of his books on Gutenberg, and other links and info. It appears he was a cousin of Saki.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 18:24   #4
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Default Re: Dornford Yates

I started to read The Brother of Daphne in e-book form (maybe I got it from Gutenberg?) and the style was rather like a more intimate, gentler version of PG Wodehouse. It was quite sweet and charming, but very dated (or 'of its time', not necessarily a bad thing) but the appeal waned after a while and I didn't get awfully far with it.

If I had page numbers, I'd give you p.69, but I don't, so here's a random sample:

It was getting very cold, and I put the rug carefully about her.

"You're very good," she said,"but wait."

I felt her hand on my knee.

"Oh, you haven't got any of it."

She would have untucked it again if I hadn't caught her wrist.

"That's all right," I said. "I'm not allowed rugs."


"My dear, doctor's orders. The last thing the great Harley
Street specialist said to me, as I pushed the two pounds two
shillings beneath the current number of The Lancet, was, 'Now,
mind, no rugs. Eat and drink what you like. Smoke in
moderation, and get up as late as you please. But no rugs.'"
As the wrist felt unconvinced, I slipped it through my arm, where
it lay comfortably enough.

"Do vou often do this sort of thing?" I said presently.

"Get late coming home and have no lights? Not often."

"I'm glad of that- I'm sure it's very dangerous. Good whips like
myself aren't as common as blackberries. And so few tramps one
meets nowadays can drive really well."

"I don't look as if I'd got any money, do I?"

"Well, you don't look anything just now, as it's too dark to see;
but you sound like a wrist-watch and a chain- purse."

"How did you know?"

"Intuition," I said carelessly. "You see I'm a boy-scout."


She laid a slim, warm wrist against my cheek. I distinctly felt
the cold round glass of a wrist-watch.

"And I've got a chain-purse in my bag."


"Go on, boy-scout. Tell me what I look like in the daytime."

"You have ear-rings and your face is rather cold. About the kind
of ear-rings I am not certain."

"How did you know that?"

"I found that out, when- er- when we went up the bank."


"Yes," I went on hurriedly," and- "

"Am I dark or fair?"
I looked hopelessly at where I knew my companion was sitting.
"Dark," I said, after a minute. "Dark, with long eyelashes and
two brown eyes."


"Yes, I think so. You sound extravagant."


"I think not."



"Yes, what?"

"Yes, please, teacher."

"Nonsense. What did you mean by 'yes'?"

"Sorry. I thought you were asking me if you'd got a nose, and I
think you have. That's all. Sorry if I'm wrong, but when
you're in the dark- "

"Yes, but what sort of nose?"

Here I got the near wheel up the bank again with great effect.
When we had sorted ourselves:
"If you do that again," she said severely, "I'll leave you in the
road- "

"In the what?"

"In the road to find your own way home as best you can."

"You have a hard nose," I said doggedly. I was almost sure that
the ear-rings were pearl ear-rings.
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 18:44   #5
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Default Re: Dornford Yates

Thanks Ono. Hmmm, maybe page 69 is better.

Ironically, reading on the Wikki link Col supplied, his only son is named Richard.

Thanks all.
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