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The Rector's Daughter (Virago Modern Classics) - F.M. Mayor The Reader is Juliet Stevenson Abridger Sally MarmionProducer Di Speirs blurb - F M Mayor's masterful novel, The Rector's Daughter, is a rare thing - a novel with a deceptively small canvas, set in the backwaters of a dull East Anglia a century ago, but still as fresh as ever. Much loved by those who have discovered it, it now comes to Radio 4 as one of the Open Book listeners' Neglected Classics.At the heart of the novel lie the fortunes of Mary Jocelyn, a dutiful and devoted daughter content to live out her destiny under the leaden East Anglian skies she loves, to find solace in a robin's song and in the rare moments of warmth from her aged and formidable father. But on losing the one soul who really loved and needed her, Mary finds herself unbearably lonely, and for the first time open to new horizons.With deft precision, F M Mayor captures the emotions stirring in Mary's heart and the pain of thwarted middle aged desire. With her unerring eye, she reveals both the bitterness and strengths of a happy marriage. The Rector's Daughter is acerbic and poignant and much deserves its loyal fans and its place within Radio 4's Neglected Classics season.F M Mayor was born in 1872 and read History at Newnham College Cambridge when university education was still a rare adventure for a woman. Her fiance died in India and she remained within her family circle for the rest of her life (her father was a clergyman like Mary's). She published four novels and a collection of short stories, of which The Rector's Daughter is the best known; it was much praised on publication by Rebecca West, Rosamund Lehmann, E M Forster and Virginia Woolf. Plagued by ill health, she died in 1932 aged 60.Broadcast on:BBC Radio 4, 10:45pm Monday 28th June 2010Duration:15 minutesAvailable until:11:02pm Monday 5th July 2010Categories:Drama, Classic & Period, Relationships & Romance