Muriel's Reign

Muriel's Reign

Susanna Johnston

The mistress of black comedy returns, pulling no punches, laying bare everything that’s pompous, conceited, vain or deluded.

In Muriel Pulls It Off our heroine inherited an estate from an eccentric relation. Muriel’s Reign picks up the story, following her chaotic attempts to play the role of a landowning country aristocrat. As the shock of her new life begins to wear off, Muriel has to deal with one problem after another. Neighbours competing for her favour, troublesome celebrity guests, an ex-husband living in a nearby squash court and a blind brother-in-law. A sex-crazed judge, recently sacked, makes ill-advised passes at one of Muriel’s female guests, and the mayhem continues from beginning to almost the very end.

Susanna Johnston’s tragically flawed creations inspire compassion even as they have us laughing out loud. Not one to read in a hushed library or a crowded train.

‘Susanna Johnston is the mistress of what the Surrealists called “Black Humour”, the queen of deliberate outrage and offensive scandal. Here, She is in top mischievous form. Her characters, real or invented, most often both, will limp out of the pages bleeding, maimed and furious’ George Melly

‘All tremendously good fun’ Matthew Dennison, Spectator

‘Brilliantly combines irreverence, wit, and, ultimately, rather sane observations of the follies of mankind’ Robert Gwyn Palmer, West Side

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30 Jun 2013
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About the author

  • Susanna Johnston

    Susanna Johnston is a former features writer for Tatler. Her books include The Picnic Papers (Hutchinson), Five Rehearsals (Chatto), Collecting: The Passionate Pastime (Viking), Parties: A Literary Companion (Macmillan) and Muriel Pulls It Off, Muriel's Reign and Late Youth: An Anthology Celebrating the Joys of Being Over 50, all published to great acclaim by Arcadia. Susanna is married, with four daughters and ten grandchildren, and lives in Oxfordshire with her architect husband.

    Titles by Susanna Johnston

    Late Youth
    Lettice and Victoria by Susanna Johnston