Sunday, 27 May 2018



... her heroine has the fate to be born in a land where myriads of women of her station go passively like poultry along all the tramways of their parishes; life is something that happens to them, it is their duty to keep to the tracks, and having enough to eat and enough to put on therewith to be content, or if not content, sour, but in any case to seek no further over the parochial bounds...

In a land like England, where there is great wealth, little education and little general thought, people like Miss Mayor's heroine are common; we have all met not one or two but dozens of her. 

From John Masefield's preface to FM Mayor's 1913 novella about one of those unloved surplus women. It's a while since I've read any spinster lit ... always gives me a shiver to think that I was born  not much more than 40 years later.

6 comments:

callmemadam said...

But this particular heroine is responsible for much of her situation, don't you think?

Mary said...

I'm only half way through but yes, she seems to make bad choices at every turn. It's heart-breaking.

Cosy Books said...

You had me at 'spinster'. I must have pulled my copy of Miss Mole from the shelf four times since Christmas and keep putting it back. It's a ridiculous case of delayed gratification that needs to stop.

Mary said...

Oh, Darlene, what a treat - Miss Mole is wonderful. This one is very short, I finished it on the bus home just now.

Veronica Cooke said...

I've got this! I managed to get about three or four by this author in a charity bookshop in Cambridge last year. I had read a review by someone of Miss Mole and wanted to read it. I have been dithering over what to read next so this may be the one!

Mary said...

I think we're all getting our spinster lit in a twist, Veronica ...all those ladies with initials. But Miss Mole is by EH Young. And much as I enjoyed FM Mayor's poor, unhappy Miss Symons, Miss Mole is far better! This is what I wrote at the time.http://mrsminiversdaughter.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-inspired-choice-of-cover-i-dont.html
FM was less prolific but I still haven't read The Squire's Daughter and I've a couple more EH's that I've been saving, too. Chatterton Square and William are both lovely.