Friday, 6 February 2015

Page 56, Winifred Holtby

Last week, for Freda's 56, I chose Vera Britain's 'Testament of Youth' after having seen the film of the same name. Vera was a close friend of the writer, Winifred Holtby. They met at Oxford after the First World War and after Winifred's tragic early death at the age of thirty-seven Vera wrote the following book as a tribute to her and as a memorial.
Virago published a selection of Winifred's books in the '80's. 'The Land of Green Ginger' was first published in 1927. I like her novels very much. Like me, she was Yorkshire born and bred and I understand her voice.
Page 56.

"Oh darling," said Joanna, who did not bring up her children at all properly, and who measured her iniquity in going to the party by the extent of her desire to go. "You shall have parties one day. Lots of them. And lovely silk dresses when, when..."
She did not say "when our ship comes in," because for her the merit of ships lay in their sailing out, away from Scatterthwaite and the North Riding and the grim menace of poverty, the hostility of the land, and the haunting fear of physical disease.

Of course, the book that I can't wait to get my hands on, and shall have to wait until the summer before I can do so, is this weeks literary sensation, the information that Harper Lee is going to have her first book published, the one she wrote before 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. HOW EXCITING!  (And if ever there was a perfect film made from a book, surely it's this one.) I wonder what sort of an adult Scout has become? Wee-One, our younger daughter was always a bit miffed that we hadn't called her 'Scout'. She's quite right, it would have suited her well!


  1. I was really excited about the Harper Lee news until I read all kinds of articles about her maybe not being fully aware of what is happening or tricked into publishing a book and that made me really apprehensive. I do want to go see 'A Testament of Youth' because it sounds beautiful and heart breaking! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. I'm nervous about the Harper Lee book. I can't imagine the pressure of having to follow up To Kill a Mockingbird especially after all these years. I love the excerpt from The Land of Green Ginger and that's a book I've missed. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I've not heard of the book or the movie but it sounds like a wonderful journey in friendship.
    I don't know if I'll read the Harper Lee book. I can't see anything measuring up to To Kill A Mocking bird. Yet, curiosity might get me:)

    My 56 -

  4. Testament of Youth sounds like a story I'd enjoy reading. I'm curious about how Joanna deals with her disappointments.
    I hope the truth about whether or not Harper Lee wanted her second book released will come to light. It's hard to know what's real and what's "spin" sometimes, isn't it?
    My Friday post features ROSE’S GIFT.

  5. Some great covers. Publishers - pulling out her first book - I wonder if they tweaked it or just pulled it out of the drawer. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  6. 'She' sounds like my mother back when I was a child.
    Happy weekend!

  7. I am embarrassed to say I have never read the Testament books! Off to the library tomorrow to look!

  8. I do know what you mean about the "Yorkshire voice". As a soft Southerner, I've always hovered between fear and admiration when in its presence!

  9. I have never read her either so will put her on my list