Poet's Pub (Penguin Classics)

Poet's Pub (Penguin Classics)

Eric Linklater

Language: English

Pages: 185


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A literary Cheers—filled with British charm and wit

Comprised of an entertaining series of vignettes that occur at the Pelican Pub in Downish, England, Poet's Pub is a humor-filled collection of stories by award winner Eric Linklater—one of the original titles commissioned by Penguin Classics founder Allen Lane—and again available to American readers. When an Oxford poet named Saturday Keith assumes control of the Pelican Pub, what he desires most is the peace and freedom to craft his poems without being disturbed. This is the least of what happens, for the local watering hole soon becomes an out-and-out attraction for various eccentric characters ranging from uncouth rogues to members of academia.

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(although to his sorrow he loses the most important race, against Cambridge). He also writes spectacularly abysmal poetry, although he rather likes his own work (several cringeworthy examples are included in the novel). After his most recent collection, February Fill-dyke, has appeared to scathing reviews, the very dejected Saturday realizes he quite possibly is in need of a new career. Luckily, he’s offered the job of running a newly refurbished pub called the Downy Pelican, soon to become

sir.” Mournfully Holly prepared it. Quentin sipped it thoughtfully. The silence in the little room grew oppressive. It seemed to contract and draw in the walls. A yellow cat leapt from nowhere on to the outer window-ledge and stared into the buttery. Holly looked at it with a kind of horror. He dabbed his moist forehead with a handkerchief. “I think I’ll have one myself, sir,” he said. “By all means,” said Quentin affably. “Have it with me.” “That’s Lady Porlet, isn’t it?” Holly pointed

of socks; on the third day twenty-five miles and washed his original shirt (which he carried economically in his pocket); and on the fourth day thirty-two miles, arriving at “The Feathers” as the new moon disappeared behind it. He ate cold beef and five tomatoes, drank two bottles of beer, read his three reviews, a letter from his mother, and a telegram saying “Meet you at Betterton Friday—Quentin Cotton”; and went to bed with blistered feet and a dismal apprehension that he was a fool to write

get out of Downish. If he could not hire a car he was ready to steal one. There might be a car or two in “The Pelican” garage, though to reach that he would have to pass “The Pelican” itself. And then the garage might be locked or empty, for few of the visitors had brought motor-cars with them. Mr. Wesson gloomily remembered that in England a car is not considered a necessary domestic utensil, as it is in America. In America one could pick up an automobile at any street corner. But rural England

Inn,’ which has become famous under the management of Mr. Saturday Keith, the old Oxford Rowing Blue and a poet of national repute, had its Sunday peace disturbed by the abduction in broad daylight of Miss Joan Benbow, who was there on holiday with her father. The kidnapper, who had also been staying at ‘The Pelican,’ is possibly a member of an international gang of criminals. His plunder included the manuscript of Mr. Keith’s latest volume of poetry and a secret process for the development of

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