Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Merry Hall (Beverley Nichols Trilogy Book 1) Hardcover – Illustrated, March 1, 1998


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, Illustrated
"Please retry"
$23.74 $8.00
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
12%20Days%20of%20Deals%20in%20Books
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Series: Beverley Nichols Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated; Reissue edition (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881924172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881924176
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Published in 1951, this example of "garden literature" relates how author Nichols constructed a massive garden on a run-down estate. Not a straight "how-to," Nichols's text also includes humorous portraits of the locals who both assist and frustrate his efforts. The text is buttressed with numerous black-and-white drawings.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

...Merry Hall, first published in 1951 and reissued this year by the redoubtable Timber Press, is the very model of gardening insouciance. -- Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times Book Review, 12/6/98

His real energy goes into his opinions, which-like those of most English garden lovers-are unshaded by doubt. -- Katherine A. Powers, The Boston Globe, May 21, 2000

Nichols' particular gift is to entertain, enlighten, and enrich his readers. -- Stephanie Feeney, The American Gardener, May/June 1998

Nichols's wit and silly adventures...add a bit of welcome hilarity to the all-too-serious literature of gardening. -- Anne Raver, New York Times, February 27, 2000

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
20
4 star
1
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 23 customer reviews
Love the author's descriptive writing style and wit.
Dana
I'm not a gardener, although I do enjoy other's gardens and I especially enjoy reading about gardens and gardeners.
R. Tiedemann
I loved this little book, and now I'm going to read the whole trilogy.
Emily

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Emily on May 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I grabbed this one from the New Books Shelf at the library pretty much because I liked the cover and the dustjacket said something about gardening. Beverley was an English gentleman who wrote popular fiction during the 40's. This one is the first in a series of books he wrote about living in Merry Hall, a run-down Georgian mansion that he bought after the war. I loved this little book, and now I'm going to read the whole trilogy. You should, too! At times you might find him irritating, but isn't that to be expected from an egotistical Englishman writing about himself? Besides, he's very funny in that droll way Englishmen have, and he even has two cats named "One" and "Four." How can you not love that? Here's a bit from it: After breakfast I went along to the music-room, to spend half an hour on the waterfalls. By spending half an hour on the waterfalls, I mean practising the double descending cadenzas in Chopin's Third Scherzo. It is perhaps the most superbly 'pianistic' piece of music ever written; to be able to play it properly must give to any pianist a sense of almost god-like power... a feeling of floating on wings over a sea of roses. I do not feel at all like that when I play it; I feel as if I were stumbling, with bare feet and with considerable pain, over the sharpest pebbles of Brighton beach. So, no doubt, do my listeners. But I have been practising it for nearly ten years, and I shall go on practising it, flat by flat and sharp by sharp and natural by natural, with an increasing hatred of the fourth finger of my left hand, which has Communist tendencies.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on January 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Beverly Nichols, author of MERRY HALL says the love of gardening involves the love of art, the love of love, and the love of death. Following his experiences in WWII, Nichols retired to the English countryside to restore himself mentally, physically, and spiritually. He doesn't inform the reader directly of his background (I know this from having read some biographical material from other sources), but he had another life before he bought the house and grounds describes in his trilogy beginning with MERRY HALL. He was a journalist and writer, and during WWII he spent some time abroad in His Majesty's Service.
To the unknowing, Nichols narrative may seem a bit too cheerful, frivolous, or shallow, but his book is intended to entertain the reader--this is gardening mind you not the aftermath of war. To the extent he able to do so, Nichols kept the events in the DAILY MAIL out of his gardening books. As a result, some readers today can mistakenly think him an English prig who had no concern for life outside his own back yard.
MERRY HALL begins one afternoon when Nichols and his 'man' Gaskin stumble across a derelict Georgian manor house and it's grounds. Nichols is overcome with a desire to restore the house and rebuild the grounds. He has been living in London and until that fateful day was more or less settled, but now he wants to "move beyond the Tudor world" and into the world of the Georgian Manor House. He buys Merry Hall and thus begins his adventure.
MERRY HALL was written about six years into the project. By that time Nichols had undertaken the restoration of the foul smelling pond just off the music room and won the support of the able Oldfield, the gardener who came with the house and grounds.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By petajayne on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's wonderful that Bev is at last being remembered for his timeless, hysterical stories. This particular book is best remembered by me for the holly hedge burning episode & reminds me of many of my own champagne enhanced escapades! His books are appealing to anyone who remebers the forties in Britain, gardeners, house buyers & general lovers of gentle observational comedy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C R Williams on April 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I first read Merry Hall over 30 years ago, and having recently re-read it I was impressed by how much an impression it had made on me. Many a time I have unknowingly quoted from the work, thinking the quote apocryphal!
You must read for yourself how to deal with an overgrown holly hedge, and how to plant hundreds of trees without buying them, and what berberis can do for you, and why you should cultivate periwinkle...
I'm sure you'll be delighted with the finely drawn sketches of the real people populating the story: the characters of gardeners, society ladies, and men who work for the government in a clearly covert and somewhat sinister capacity. You'll enjoy the cats, the lilies, and how to create an English country garden from a neglected and ill directed site.
The gentle humor reflects the gentler times before the horrors of World War 2 brought violence, destruction, and death into the hearts and homes of most of Britain.
This book is a keeper!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I howled with laughter till I cried. It's a book worth it's weight in gold, or at the very least, in fertilizer. I'm ordering the remaining two books of this trilogy, plus anything else this author has written (be it a book or a shopping list).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rebekah on April 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just as Trollope passed the literary torch to Angela Thirkell, so did E. F. Benson pass his to this good fellow! Mr. Nichols' trilogy about Merry Hall is so entertaining, even though at times he comes across as a bit "twee". As you get to know him and his neighbors through the books, you come to realize that yes, some things are more important in your own blinkered surroundings than in the big wide world. I would recommend these books to anyone who loves gardening (on a grand scale), gossip, and the minutiae of life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?