Now tell me, do you know Cluny Brown? You don’t? Then allow me to introduce her, for she is quite the most fabulously, feisty domestic heroine I have encountered in a long time and the book in which she features is an absolute hoot!
“Cluny Brown has committed an unforgivable sin: She refuses to know her place. Last week, she took herself to tea at the Ritz. Then she spent almost an entire day in bed eating oranges. To teach her discipline, her uncle, a plumber who has raised the orphaned Cluny since she was a baby, sends her into service to be a parlor maid at one of England’s stately manor houses.
At Friars Carmel in Devonshire, Cluny meets her employers: Sir Henry, the quintessential country squire, and Lady Carmel, who oversees the management of her home with unruffled calm. Their son, Andrew, newly returned from abroad with a Polish émigré writer friend, is certain that the world is once again on the brink of war. Then there’s Andrew’s beautiful fiancée and the priggish pharmacist. While everyone around her struggles to keep pace with a rapidly changing world, Cluny continues to be Cluny, transforming the lives of those around her with her infectious zest for life…”
Cluny is the niece of a plumber and after she gets herself in a fix when she attends one of her Uncle’s plumbing jobs, she is sent away with her tail between her legs to learn how to control her deliciously wild side, as a housemaid in a manor house. And there among a cast of memorable characters Cluny brings her very own brand of joy and wit in the kind of prose that is so quintessentially English it almost hurts.
Written by Marjorie Sharp in the 1930’s, the book was reborn as a film, directed by the oh so clever Ernst Lubitsch in 1946 and it is just right for the kind of weekend watching we Brocanteers adore… so finding it, in it’s entirety on Youtube is quite the loveliest treat.
Preferably enjoyed in bed with a plate of oranges ala Cluny herself…