The Third Miss Symons

Read by Rachel Lintern

(4.2 stars; 16 reviews)

Miss Mayor tells this story with singular skill, more by contrast than by drama, bringing her chief character into relief against her world, as it passes in swift procession. Her tale is in a form becoming common among our best writers; it is compressed into a space about a third as long as the ordinary novel, yet form and manner are so closely suited that all is told and nothing seems slightly done, or worked with too rapid a hand. (Summary from the Preface by John Masefield) (3 hr 17 min)


01 - Preface 8:57 Read by Rachel Lintern
02 - Chapters 1 - 4 59:40 Read by Rachel Lintern
03 - Chapters 5 - 8 57:04 Read by Rachel Lintern
04 - Chapters 9 - 11 41:03 Read by Rachel Lintern
05 - Chapters 12 - 13 31:12 Read by Rachel Lintern


The Third Miss Symons

(5 stars)

The singular life of a lonely and rather grumpy woman. Sounds depressing? Not at all. It's a masterful work partly because the author resists the temptation to make the character likeable. The introduction by poet John Masefield (The Midnight Folk, etc.) is just brilliant. Having never run into this book before, I downloaded it on the expectation of an excellent reading. I was not disappointed! Rachel Lintern has a soft and pleasing voice, and never hurries. I also recommend her earlier recording Thank you, Rachel, for digging up this small masterpiece. TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)


(5 stars)

Henrietta (Etta) Symons grows from childhood into adulthood unloved. She longs for someone to love and who will love her in return, but every relationship she has (friends and family) is dysfunctional in some way - all due to human frailty in one form or other. She reminds me of people in my life who are callous, bitter, and simply hard to love. Very possibly, they're unlovable for the same reason as Etta - no one is able to see beneath the crusty surface to the hurting person underneath. Well written, well read.

Life Without Love

(5 stars)

The flawless narration makes this short tale come to life and it is well worth a listen. Miss Symons is more than an ordinary person but the author’s great character development makes one care what happens to her. She goes through life without love from seemingly anyone.

(1 stars)

A depressing story. Is the purpose to teach us how NOT to be?

Five stars.

(5 stars)

Just to endorse the views of the previous reviewers.