A collection of stories by E Phillips Oppenheim. Tales of an English Village.
In the sleepy little Devonshire town of Melhampton, the lives of the village stalwarts are revealed in this charming collection of tales by Oppenheim. Mr Tidd, the manager of the local bank branch, has invested his life and savings in the education of his daughter, but has dipped into the banks funds to “maintain appearances.” On the eve of quarterly bank examiners visit, he is confronted with guilt and exposure. In another tale, the town veterinarian is conflicted about his desire to marry the serving girl at the local Melhampton Arms. Each of these stories presents a social or financial quandary typical of England at the time.
Written in the mid 1920’s, and published in book form in 1928, these stories chronicle the evolution of society in rural England during the post-war period. The great upheavals caused by World War One in the structure of society is filtering out of the cities into rural areas. The relative positions of social classes, merchants, farmers, bankers, workingmen and woman are changing. Who can join the golf and tennis club, who may marry whom, who is rich, and who is impoverished are all topics for these stories.