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 a teacher by profession who started writing after the second world war, beginning with light essays written for Punch and other journals. She then wrote on educational and country matters and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Miss Read was married to a schoolmaster for sixty-four years until his death in 2004, and they had one daughter.
Miss Read was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours list for her services to literature, She was the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it was her novels of English rural life for which she was best known. The first of these Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write about the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green for many years. She lived near Newbury in Berkshire until her death in 2012.
Two plays based on her work have been written by Ron Perry, Miss Read's Thrush Green and Miss Read Remembered.