Merry Hall

Beverley Nichols was an author, playwright, journalist, composer and public speaker. Between his first book, the novel Prelude, published in 1920, and his last, a book of poetry, Twilight, published in 1982, Nichols wrote more than 60 books and plays. Besides novels, mysteries, short stories, essays and children’s books, he wrote a number of non-fiction books on travel, politics, religion, cats, parapsychology, and autobiography. It is his later books, a trilogy written between 1951 and 1956 Nichols’s documents his travails renovating Merry Hall (Meadowstream), a Georgian manor house and garden in Agates Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, where Nichols lived from 1946 to 1956. It is these books that AMC Pictures have adapted into a one hour television series with writer Larry Barker.

Whilst the backdrop to the stories revolves around Beverley’s renovation of his Georgian manor and garden, the real story is in the wealth of extraordinary characters that inhabit his life and the local village in 1950’s England. It is a rich vein in terms of comedic characters and Beverley’s writing itself lends itself to visual adaptation.

Nichols is as observant as Jane Austen, as witty as Oscar Wilde, and as sentimental as James Herriott. He also happens to be as funny, timely, and un–P.C. as Jon Stewart.
Home and Garden 

Nichols … is nearly the Bertie Wooster of gardening, and I say nearly only because some would consider it an insult to be called the Bertie Wooster of anything.
New York Times Book Review

The charm of Merry Hall, Laughter on the Stairs and Sunlight on the Lawn is undeniable, a mixture of the lyrical, the teasing, the understatedly witty and the self-mockingly camp.
Daily Telegraph