Cousin Phillis – a miniature masterpiece – is set in the 1840s, when the coming of the railway was changing the face of England, and quiet rural communities, coming into contact with the outside world, were changed forever. The story focuses on the effect these changes have on a naïve country girl, Phillis, as she encounters love, with all its pains and pleasures, for the first time.
Narrator Joe Marsh finds the perfect voice for 17-year-old Paul Manning. By turns sensible and naive, straightforward and wistful, Paul moves to the countryside and befriends his beautiful, sheltered cousin Phillis. Both Paul and Phillis are witness to the changes wrought by the coming of the railway to 1840s rural England, with communities forever changed by their contact with the outside world. Marsh subtly evokes the story's delicate eroticism, and, like Paul, listeners will feel as allured by Phillis' chaste sensuality as she encounters love for the first time.
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- Mama C