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The Other Day (No. 68)
  • ISBN: 9781910898932
  • Pages: 264
  • Dimensions: 170 X 110 mm
  • Publication date: 1 September 2024
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Binding: Cloth hardback
  • Trimmings: Coloured endpapers; silk ribbon, head- & tailband; gold blocking to spine; blind blocking to front
  • NB: Hand-numbered limited edition of 2,000
  • Preface: Hazel Wood
  • Number in SFE series: 68
Made in Britain

The Other Day (No. 68) - Release date: 1 September 2024

Dorothy Whipple
From£18

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‘Children bear a great deal that their elders know nothing of,’ wrote Dorothy Whipple, and that is the keynote of this lovely memoir – a book her agent described as ‘the best thing she had done yet’, though she was already a successful novelist when it was published in 1936.

Born in 1893, Dorothy grew up in the mill town of Blackburn, Lancashire, in a large, cheerful, middle-class family, with affectionate parents, friends to play with, her adored maternal grandmother near enough for dropping in, and a full complement of high-spirited young uncles and aunts either still living at home, or newly married and visiting. On the surface The Other Day is the account of an idyllic childhood. Dorothy Whipple’s genius is not only to bring this small world vividly alive but also to show the gulf of perception that exists between children and the adults who look after them, however kindly.

Like many small children Dorothy was full of generous impulses that didn’t, as she puts it, ‘come off’, the attempt to cheer up the gardens of the local almshouses with plants from her father’s precious garden for example. It’s heartbreaking stuff, yet there’s humour too, and Dorothy Whipple’s brilliant ear for dialogue and talent for description makes her people jump off the page – her aunt’s grim companion knitting ‘iron grey socks on murderous steel needles’, her schoolteacher Miss Sophy who stood so close to her in class that Dorothy could hear her stays creak and her stomach rumble. Though nothing overtly dramatic happens in this warm and funny account of growing up at the turn of the century, it takes us into the heart and mind of a very ‘noticing’ child, and, like its author’s novels, is a real page-turner.

 



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