The Wheel Spins

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It soothed Iris to a tranquil torpidity. See if you can find a copy of Charters and Caldicott by Stella Bingham published in ; I think you will be charmed. As she grew afraid, the peasant's face began to waver, like the illusion of some bad dream. Feeling that she had lapsed from the dignity of a rational being, she was forced to make pantomimic gestures, pointing to the alternative routes in turn, while she kept repeating the name of the village. Gradually, through the stories of each of them, the reality comes to life.

She is used to having other people around to help her negotiate life. White admires the traditional values, but the irony is that their values are what is keeping them from helping Iris.


The Wheel Spins (a.k.a. The Lady Vanishes) is a mystery novel by British writer Ethel Lina White. Contents. 1 Plot; 2 Publishing; 3 Adaptations. Title: The Wheel Spins (The Lady Vanishes) Author: Ethel Lina White * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: Language: English.

Iris is not your typical heroine. She is vulnerable, and yet she never gives up. She is motivated partially by the conviction that Miss Froy would have done the same for her and partially as an affirmation of her perceptions. She might not be able to trust herself again if it were true she only imagined Miss Froy. This is how people really react in life. People are naturally not inclined to get involved in things that are not their business and are not usually inclined to believe there are fantastic and sinister goings on. There is a romantic interest for Iris in the book: Maximilian Hare.

He likes her, is concerned about her and tries to help her, but still believes that the heatstroke and lack of food and nervous strain have caused her to imagine everything and is not much help in solving anything. The book is more of a suspense thriller than a mystery.

The Lady Vanishes

This dissipates the suspense and seems a little out of place. However, White soon manages to build up new suspense as Iris realizes that Miss Froy does exist and still cannot get anyone to believe her. She even figures out where Miss Froy is as anyone who has seen the movie already knew. Iris is convinced Miss Froy is wrapped up as an accident victim, but cannot summon the courage to remove the bandages, for fear that — should she be wrong — it would kill the victim and land her in jail or an asylum.

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Once again, a reaction I can readily imagine having. It is ironic that normal human inhibitions are what is keeping Iris from rescuing Miss Froy. It is only, at the end of the book, when finally free of those inhibitions, that she can rescue Miss Froy.


They must all pitch in and the one Englishman who wants to appease the Nazis gets killed. Iris, in the movie, ends up with quite a bit of help, as a result of this. After going for a long walk and getting lost in the local mountains, Iris decides to leave also, but waiting at the railway station, she is struck or hit on the back of the head and loses consciousness. She concludes that it must have been sunstroke , but manages to get on the crowded train. She finds herself in a compartment with only one English speaker, Miss Winifred Froy.

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Miss Froy explains that she was a teacher of the children of a local aristocrat. His widow, the Baroness, is also a passenger in the compartment. She spies a heavily bandaged body in another compartment, supervised by a sinister-looking doctor apparently taking an accident victim to hospital in Trieste. Iris and Miss Froy lunch in the restaurant car and on returning, Iris takes tablets for her headache. When she awakens, Miss Froy is not there. All her fellow passengers deny having seen Miss Froy. I don't think Aussie Rules football a serious matter either, an opinion liable to get me lynched one of these days.

Another great thing about White is that she doesn't do stock characters.

Vintage Novels: The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White

I'm amazed at her effortless facility for sketching rich characters in a few sentences. I'm working on a blog post about her. With my thumbs.

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Usually at 3. It may take awhile. She Faded into Air is a bit of a mess. Cheese is a tense little short story.

The Wheel Spins (aka The Lady Vanishes) – by Ethel Lina White

And of course Some Must Watch is probably her masterpiece. Have you seen it? Christina, have I mentioned that I want to be like you when I grow up? Emma, no, I haven't seen it, but thanks for the tip!

I cannot login to Gmail from my computer. The wheel spins and spins endlessly.

I wonder if it's more like an adaptation of the story, or a remake of the Hitchcock film? Thank you for pointing out this new to me author. Just one example is what P. James has written about the police inspector being a substitute for a priest when the villain confesses. Chesterton and Sayers to begin with.

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I hope you'll enjoy Ethel Lina White! Post a Comment. I'd never heard of Ethel Lina White until early last year, on holiday in Tasmania with my lovely and talented friend, Christina of Baehrly Reading.