I wrote here once before about the novelist Elizabeth Taylor, so I won't repeat myself. Recently there was a discussion on the BBC's Night Waves programme with her biographer Nicola Beauman and David Baddiel, both admirers of Taylor's work. You can listen to it here, from 9 till about 23 minutes in. Coincidentally, I just finished reading Taylor's novel, Palladian. What Beauman and Baddiel say about her being unsentimental and bleak pretty much applies. Cassandra Dashwood enters employment as a governess in the home of Marion Vanbrugh, a widower, and boy, does she find herself in the middle of a family situation. Baddiel quotes John Updike about 'giving the mundane its beautiful due'. In Palladian the mundane, as often, is anything but flat and featureless. Of the nine of Taylor's books I've read, this is my second favourite, behind Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont. Definitely worth giving it, and her, a try.