Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The River Thames and Kew Bridge with Brentford Eyot in the Foreground, JMW Turner

On my walk this afternoon I came across the house - now a pub - where JMW Turner lived with his uncle, a local butcher, during his childhood. This is where he began painting. I sat in the garden (so much for walking!) with a glass of cider and my book, looking over the weir and thinking of young JMW learning to paint.There is still a tiny artists' colony on the canal nearby.  Whenever I'm by the canal, I remember the Idle Women, who weren't idle at all, the 'land girls of the canals' who chugged up and down here during the war. Emma Smith told their story in Maidens' Trip, now a Persephone title - but this book is far better.

Sue has corrected me: Persephone republished not Maidens' Trip but another title by Emma Smith, The Far Cry. (Lingering unread for the past several years on my bookshelf-of-shame but one of these days I'll get round to it...)


Sue in Suffolk said...

apologies for being a bit picky but the Emma Smith book that's a Persephone title is The Far Cry. Maidens trip is a different book by her. Susan Woolfit wrote a book called Idle Women in the same canal series as the Margaret Cornish - Troubled Waters.
( Husband has a huge collection of canal books!)

mary said...

You're right, Sue, my mistake - but it was republished recently, think maybe it was by Bloomsbury? I do think the Margaret Cornish book was much more interesting but never got as much attention as Emma Smith.

The universal cabinet said...

The Far Cry was in the same place with me for many years, but as soon as I picked it up I was kicking myself for not having read it earlier. It's so good I want to gush and call it a gem, but will refrain... Thanks for the reminder too, as Emma Smith's memoirs are published now & I want to read those too.

mary said...

I did enjoy Great Western Beach but I haven't read the sequel. And I really must get round to The Far Cry! I find that I end up reading books that are due back at the library and forgetting the books I've actually bought!