Companion to August Folly

Takes place in Worsted in East Barsetshire. Most of the plot centers around the rehearsing and production of Euripides’ Hippolyta, directed by Mrs. Palmer and involving the Deans, Tebbens, and many of the villagers. Highlights: Richard Tebben is infatuated with Rachel Dean, in addition to pouting about his poor showing at Oxford; Betty Dean, Oxford-bound, drives everyone crazy with her know-it-all attitude; Helen Dean is jealous of her favorite brother Laurence’s attention to Margaret Tebben; Rachel Dean worries about her heart murmur; Charles Fanshawe fears he is too old for Helen Dean; Mrs. Tebben remembers her long-ago and never-expressed fondness for Mr. Fanshawe, who was her tutor; Jessica Dean is rescued from a bull by Richard Tebben. Richard gets a job with Mr. Dean, Laurence wins Margaret, Charles wins Helen. Outstanding light entertainment, ideal for reading on a shady porch on a hot afternoon in July with strawberry ice cream and tea—which is how I read it!

Book Title and Abbreviation

High Rising HR
Wild Strawberries WS
The Demon in the House DH
Mrs. Morland and Son MMS
August Folly AF
Summer Half SH
Pomfret Towers PT
The Brandons B
Before Lunch BL
Cheerfulness Breaks In CBI
Northbridge Rectory NR
Marling Hall MH
Growing Up GU
The Headmistress H
Miss Bunting MB
Peace Breaks Out PBO
Private Enterprise PE
Love Among the Ruins LAR
The Old Bank House OBH
County Chronicle CC
The Duke’s Daughter DD
Happy Return HR2
Jutland Cottage JC
What Did It Mean? WDM
Enter Sir Robert ESR
Never Too Late NTL
A Double Affair DA
Close Quarters CQ
Love at All Ages LAA
Three Score and Ten TST


Character, Description, and Book Abbreviations

Bird, Mrs. Chairman of Women’s Institute at Worsted. AF
Bond, Alured d. 1952. 2nd Lord Bond. Resident of Staple Park near Worsted. Wife Lucasta, son C. W. Strongly opposed Sir Ogilvy Hibberd’s purchase of Pooker’s Piece in BL. Small, round, with white mustache. Fond of Gilbert and Sullivan. A bit overshadowed by his masterful wife. During the war he gave Staple Park to a boys’ school and lived at the White House. Traced ancestry back to King Alfred with a “gap of only 30 generations.” Surprisingly, a Liberal. Dead by time of WDIM. AF, BL, MH, GU, MB, PE, LAR, OBH, DD, WDIM, ESR, DA, 3S&T
Bond, Cedric Weyland (C. W.) Son of Lord and Lady Bond of Staple Park. Attended Hacker’s public school. In AF was fond of Betty Dean, but this was ruined by “excessive parental enthusiasm.” Became engaged to Daphne Stonor in BL. Lived in the White House next to Laverings after the war. Two sons. AF, BL, LAR, OBH, WDIM, ESR, LAA, 3S&T
Bond, Lucasta Wife of Lord Alured Bond of Staple Park. “Benevolent Tyrant.” Half-sister of Lord Stoke. An organizer and go-getter for causes she believed in. In ESR lived in Bath, then in 3S&T moved to Cheltenham to live with Old Lady Norton. AF, BL, MH, GU, MB, LAR, DD, HR2, WDIM, ESR, NTL
Bowen Mentioned as Master of Paul’s College who resigned just after Mr. Tebben went down. Lived somewhere in the West. Married his housekeeper after his wife died. “An able man, but no disciplinarian.” AF
Dean Twin sons of Frank and Rachel Dean. Served in the same Naval squadron during war. AF, PE, LAR, OBH, HR2
Dean, Betty b. 1917. Second daughter of Frank and Rachel Dean. 18 at first appearance in AF. Scholarship to Oxford, took first in Greats, did post-graduate work at Bryn Mawr. Fond of C. W. Bond, but their relationship was “spoiled by excessive parental enthusiasm.” Matured from self-important, obnoxious, ostentatiously agnostic teen who psychoanalyzed everyone and had the usual schoolgirl crushes on educated women, to a competent if masterful type. Worked for the Red Cross during war. Married wealthy American Woolcott Van Dryven. Three children. AF, BL, GU, PE, LAR, HR2, WDIM, LAA
Dean, Frank b. 1874. Head of an engineering firm. Resided at Manor House, Worsted. Wife Rachel, children Laurence, Helen, Betty, Susan, a pair of twins, Gerald, Robin, and Jessica. AF, GU, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Dean, Gerald Son of Frank and Rachel Dean. In Army in India during war, stayed in Army afterwards. AF, GU, PE, LAR, HR2
Dean, Helen Eldest daughter of Frank and Rachel Dean. “Demon driver” of fast cars. Married middle-aged Oxford don Charles Fanshawe. Three children, including Rachel. AF, HM, PE, LAR, OBH, HR2, JC, ESR, CQ, 3S&T
Dean, Jessica b. 1925? 1932? Youngest daughter of Frank and Rachel Dean, Child of 3 or 4 at first appearance in AF, but was an actress in PE; confused chronology unless she was a stage veteran at 16. Collected salvage and learned jujitsu during war. Married producer-writer Aubrey Clover, who wrote sophisticated small cast plays for her with his music and lyrics. Had daughter Sarah Siddons. Clever, voluble, sympathetic with shy people like Ludo Lufton. Interfered in people’s lives for their own good. AF, BL, GU, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, ESR, NTL, DA, CQ, LAA, 3S&T
Dean, Laurence Eldest son of Frank and Rachel Dean. Became engaged to Margaret Tebben in AF. Did liaison work with Poles during war. Later became a partner in father’s engineering firm. AF, BL, GU, PE, LAR, HR2, JC, WDIM
Dean, Rachel Wife of Frank Dean of Worsted. Sister of Mrs. Palmer. Languid and attractive; like Mrs. Morland and Mrs. Brandon, enchanting to younger men. Used the excuse of “having a heart” to avoid unpleasant tasks. Ran land army for area during war. AF, GU, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, WDIM, ESR, LAA, 3S&T
Dean, Robin Youngest son of Frank and Rachel Dean. Student at Southbridge in Tony Morland’s form. Graduated from OCTU during war. Married with twins by 1946. A farmer after war. AF, GU, LAR, OBH, HR2
Dean, Susan b. 1919. 3rd daughter of Frank and Rachel Dean. Sixteen at first appearance in AF. Worked with prisoners of war at Oxford during war. Red Cross Librarian for Barchester after war. At one time fond of Colin Keith, but became engaged to Freddie Belton in LAR. AF, GU, PE, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, HR2, JC, WDIM, CQ
Dean, Young Kitty Cat belonging to Dean family at Worsted. Friend of Gunnar, a cat belonging to Tebben family. Left with the Birketts at the Dower House. AF, LAR
Elton, A. P. A contemporary of Gilbert Tebben and Charles Fanshawe at Oxford. Had something to do with the Budget. His oldest son was “in a very poor way.” AF
Elton, F. P. Brother of A. P. Married a Majorcan peasant who dominated him. Was planning a critical edition of Pindar, but “obviously drinks and seems sadly broken.” AF
Fanshawe, Charles Don at Paul’s College, Oxford, self-proclaimed “despiser of women,” something of a character. Honorary “Uncle” of Dean children at Worsted, former tutor of Winifred Tebben. In his late 40s when first introduced in AF. Married much younger Helen Dean, after believing he was too old for her. Three children, including Rachel. Later became Dean of Paul’s. Was remembered for climbing around entire outside of college without touching round when he was an undergraduate. AF, CBI, HM, LAR, OBH, CC, HR2, JC, ESR, DA, CQ, 3S&T
Forbrick, Prof. Author of work on Greek plays and chorus. AF
Gunnar Huge tabby cat belonging to Tebbenses of Lamb’s Piece, Worsted. Dead at age 16 by time of LAR. AF, LAR
Heeling, Mrs. Cook for the Palmers at Worsted. AF
Jackson, Mr. Junior History master at Southbridge School, who was a sixth form student there a few years previously. The boys made noises in his class. He told Tony Morland to shut up and Tony slammed his desk shut, according to Robin Dean. AF
John Cowman for Mr. Palmer at Worsted. AF
Margett Fireman on the Worsted-Skeynes Railroad line. AF
Margett, Alf Younger brother of Bert, son of Margett the builder, nephew of Patten the Worsted stationmaster. In Tanks during war. AF, GU
Margett, Bert Head porter at Worsted. Son of Margett the builder. Married Doris Phipps, became stationmaster after war. Two children. AF, GU, LAR, 3S&T
Masters, Dr. Physician to Rachel Dean. AF
Modestine Long-suffering donkey belonging to the Tebbens family at Worsted. Originally called Neddy, renamed for donkey in R. L. Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey. Intractable for almost everybody. Richard Tebben saved Jessica Dean from a bull by using Modestine as a roadblock. Said to be dead in MB (1945) although Susan Dean in LAR says the Tebbens sold him to the Dean family for whom he was useful in the garden, then was sold to a nursery school during the war, and she thought he was still alive. AF, MB, PE, LAR
Moxon, Rev. Curate to Dr. Thomas at Worsted. Scoutmaster with a strong belief in (and ignorance of) boys, having run a club for boys in the East End and attended Boys’ Camp in summer. Great belief in words, especially his own. Moved to a curacy at Clacton-on-Sea, and his departure was highly unlamented. AF, GU
Nan Nurse to Jessica Dean, later with Lydia Merton. AF, PE, LAR, WDIM
Palmer, Fred Major landowner around Worsted and Skeynes. J.P. Owner of dairy herd. Brother of Rachel Dean. Called Henry by Rachel Dean in AF. AF, BL, GU, MB, PE, LAR, OBH, DD, WDIM
Palmer, Louise Wife of Fred Palmer of Worsted. Female “squire” of Worsted because of her dominant and masterful personality. AF, BL, GU, PE, LAR, OBH
Patten, Bill Cousin of Mr. Patten, the stationmaster at Worsted. Father of second gardener at the Manor House at Worsted. Guard at Worsted Station. AF, BL
Patten, Florrie Member of the chorus in Greek play in AF. AF
Patten, Mr. Stationmaster at Worsted. Brother-in-law of Margett, the builder. Uncle of Bert Margett, the head porter, and Alf. Retired in LAR. AF, BL, MH, LAR
Patten, Mrs. Mr. Patten the stationmaster’s old mother. Died in AF, and was the first to be buried in new burying-ground. “Bucked up old Phipps, the sexton, tremendously,” as it broke a long period of slow business in which he was convinced the new burying-ground was jinxed. AF
Patten, Percy Mrs. Palmer’s second gardener at Manor House, Worsted. Boarded with Mrs. Phipps. AF
Phipps, Doris Daughter of Tebbens’ housekeeper at Worsted. Became kitchenmaid at Manor House for Deans. Worked as a porter at Winter Overcotes during war. In LAA, she had married Bert Margett, had two kids, was working in an airplane factory. AF, GU, LAR
Phipps, Ernie Village boy at Worsted. Son of Tebbens’ housekeeper. Apparently was the “young Phipps” mentioned in BL. AF, BL, GU
Phipps, Mr. Husband of Tebbens’ housekeeper. Did gardening for Tebbens, also served as sexton. AF, LAR
Phipps, Mrs. Housekeeper for Tebbenses at Worsted. Children Doris and Ernie. Née Pollett. AF, BL, GU, LAR, HR2
Phipps, Palmyra Niece of the Tebbens’ housekeeper. Worked at the telephone exchange at Worsted, could always provide information on telephone subscribers’ whereabouts and doings. Named Palmyra after Louise Palmer. AF, GU, LAR, OBH, DD, HR2, 3S&T
Picker Owned shop in Worsted. Mrs. Tebbens said his sausages were better than Pollett’s. AF
Pitcher-Jukes, Mrs. Effie “Pidge” Celebrated in the annals of female education at Oxford, but Mrs. Tebben beat her for the Octavia Crammer fellowship. AF
Platt, John Old friend of Gilbert Tebbens from Paul’s. Did poorly in Greats at Oxford, read for the bar, became Chief Justice in one of the colonies. Poisoned by native who bore him a grudge, recovered but still invalid. His sister was said to have married a man who “shot himself in the Isle of Wight in ’94,” leaving her with three children. AF
Pollett Father (nominally) of Ed Pollett. Kept shop in Worsted. Played sun in Hippolytus. AF
Pollett, Ed Village idiot type, in charge of lamp room at Worsted Station. Reportedly half-witted because his mother had an affair with one of Lord Pomfret’s gamekeepers before Ed was born. Had genius for repairing cars. Brother of Mrs. Middleton’s chauffeur. Worked as handyman and chauffeur for Lord Bond, then the Marlings. Almost drafted in WW II until Sir Edmund Pridham’s instinct for preservation of village idiots got him out of it. Married Milly Poulter in MH. Seven children, all half-witted like their parents. Called Ed Packer in OBH. AF, MH, LAR, OBH, CC, DD, 3S&T
Pollett, Jim Drove bus between Worsted and the Ram and Twins. AF, BL
Pollett, Mrs. Member of the chorus in Greek play at Worsted in AF. AF, DD
Pollett, Sid Engineer on Winter Overcotes-Worsted-Skeynes RR line. AF, BL, GU, DD
Punch, Ivy Contemporary of Winifred Tebben at Oxford. Tried to drown herself in the bath because Effie Pitcher-Jukes wouldn’t sit next to her in lecture. Became secretary to a well-known literary figure whose child she had (Brynhild Punch). AF
Rose, Mlle. Professional skating partner with whom Laurence Dean was briefly infatuated. Married a chemist to whom she had been engaged for years. Apparently the same as the barmaid in the Poubelle restaurant in London during war, run by “Les Free Frogs.” AF, GU
Skellogg, E. P. Friend of Gilbert Tebben. Accompanied him on a walking tour from Grasmere to Seascale. First-rate historian whose mind was affected after having a stroke when his invalid sister died. AF
Sparrow Butler to Mr. and Mrs. Palmer at Worsted. The village’s best fast bowler. AF
Tebben, Gilbert Husband of Winifred, father of Margaret and Richard. Resident of Lamb’s Piece near Worsted. Civil servant, interested in old Norse history and epics. AF, BL, GU, MB, PE, LAR, OBH, DD, WDIM
Tebben, Margaret Daughter of Gilbert and Winifred Tebben of Worsted. Married Laurence Dean, later mentioned as having a son and daughter. AF, BL, GU, MB, PE, LAR, JC, WDIM
Tebben, Winifred (Ross) Wife of Gilbert Tebben of Worsted. Mother of Margaret and Richard. Took a First in Economics at Oxford, wrote several books on the subject. Was enamoured of her tutor, Mr. Fanshawe, but met and became engaged to Gilbert Tebben on a Scandinavian cruise. Known for her small and impractical economies, especially with leftover food, which was a sore trial for her family. AF, BL, GU, HM, MB, LAR, OBH, DD, DA
Thomas, Dr. Rector at Worsted, father of Dolly and Phyllis. Aged and deaf, had to be addressed in CAPITAL LETTERS! Dead by the time of GU. AF, GU
Thomas, Miss Dolly Daughter of rector at Worsted. AF
Thomas, Miss Phyllis b.1903. Daughter of rector of Worsted. “Weatherbeaten young woman of thirty.” AF

Valid HTML 4.01!