The story of 'The Little Palace':
The only 8-page long story of The Little Palace deals with a young couple whose names are Tom and Janie.
It is an unusual couple in so far as the two come from different social classes - Tom, who works as a coal miner, from
the working class, and Janie from middle class. That's why Tom's sister once called Janie 'The Dutchess'. In spite
of these differences they love each other and get along very well, although Janie is not accepted by the working class
neighbourhood, where they live in a very modest house in a run-down area of the town. But in spite of the meagre
conditions Janie has decorated their house so nicely that they regarded it as their Little Palace.
A year later, however, they moved to a better and newer part of the town into a semi-detached house.
Extract from The Little Palace:
..And all this was what the Little Palace had come to mean to me (i.e. Janie). More, much more, than cleanliness and
shining paint had emerged from the squalor of flaking plaster and peeling wallpaper that had been the house when first we took
it. A marriage had been made thei, had come through its first vital year; a marriage that had received little but
discouragement because of the differences between Tom and me. I was too good for him, they had said. I was
thowing myself away on a boy from the back streets whose rough-shod nature and way of living would sooner or later break
my heart.But they had been wrong. Those walls had held our year of hope and happiness; our little failures, and, above all,
our success. It was because of this that I knew I should remember it for the rest of my life. ...
About the author:
Stan Barstow is the only son of a coal-miner, and was born in 1928 in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was educated at
the local council school and Ossett Grammar School, and began his working life in the drawing office of a local
He had been writing short stories for some years when the BBC began to broadcast them, and it was the success of A Kind of Loving,
his first published novel, that allowed him to become a full-time writer in 1962.
His later books are the novels Ask me Tomorrow (1962), and his new novel, Joby, which was first published in 1964.
Stan Barstow's interests include music and the cinema. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
THE DESPERADOES AND OTHER STORIES by Stan Barstow
More works from the same author:
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