A nostalgic collection on rural schools, childhood and English country life from the much-loved author of VILLAGE SCHOOL.
From organising the school summer fete...
'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand'.
...to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood:
'I collect stones with holes in them'.
Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can. This collection also includes extracts from her letters:
'Michael Joseph wrote after the Observer thing and is throwing out feelers for a book. I shall know if he still feels like it - me too! - after we've met'.
It will also include an Introduction on how 'Miss Read' was first created:
'Miss Read was born fully clothed in sensible garments and aged about forty. She was born, in fact, when I was struggling to write my first book and needed a village schoolmistress as the narrator.'
Miss Read so understands and loves the country and can write so tenderly and humorously about the minutiae of village life without distortion or sentimentality - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
An affectionate, humorous and gently charming chronicle ... sometimes funny, sometimes touching, always appealing - NEW YORK TIMES
Miss Read, or in real life Dora Saint, was born 17 April 1913. A teacher by profession, she started writing after the Second World War for Punch and other journals and as a scriptwriter for the BBC. She is the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it is for her novels of English rural life for which she is best known. The first of these, Village School, was published in 1955 and Miss Read continued to write about the fictitious villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green until her retirement in 1996. She lives in Berkshire, and in the 1998 New Year Honours list was awarded an MBE for her services to literature.