Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Firstly my apologies to Faith who got the ball rolling for our Homework, my name being the third in the alphabet was seemingly moons ago, but better late than never.

It is 100 years since the Canadian schoolmistress Lucy Maud Montgomery published her first book, Anne of Green Gables, and changed not only her own life, but that of countless little girls around the world. Millions of small readers have since dreamt away the hours, picturing themselves as the freckly, carrot-topped girl who fetches upon Prince Edward Island and bewitches the dour natives of a place known mostly for potatoes.

Within months of the book's publication Anne became a classic heroine for any little girl who has ever fretted about her looks, hungered for Art and Beauty, and pursued long words in the hope they would become her special friends. So anyone who sets out to tamper with her story is taking a great risk. BUDGE WILSON may have had, according to a careful note on the title page, the authorisation of Montgomery's heirs in writing this prequel, but you feel that maybe she is pretty much on her own in this interpretation of what happened during the 11 years prior to Anne fetching up at Green Gables. I have read the original book, and also had the hat and plaits when I went to school.!

BEFORE GREEN GABLES - By Budge Wilson - Publishers - Puffin

Muddie recommended a very good book to me, it's title - COUNT THE PETALS OF THE MOON DAISY - By Martin Kirby - Publishers - Pegasus. Moon Daisy spans the Atlantic and the years, a story of roots, and ghosts, music and nature. Violin virtuosa Jessica Healey finds herself carried to a lost world of water gypsies and teeming wildlife. The Norfolk wind blows to her soul, and the secret of her very being is revealed as their two lives, separated by a century, weave closer and closer......... until they touch. I loved this book and could hardly put it down.

THE BIGAMIST - is an Autobiography written by Mary Turner-Thomson - Publishers - Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd. This true story is of how one man manipulated an intelligent independent woman conning her out of £200,000 and leaving her to bring up the children he claimed he could never have.

THE MORVILLE HOURS : The Story of a Garden - By - Katherine Swift - Publishers - Bloomsbury. When Katherine Swift arrived at Morville Hall in 1988 she suggested to it's owners, The National Trust, that she make a garden. Instead of providing three-dimensional drawings or elaborate planting plants, she wrote about an imaginary garden - the present tense - as if walking along it's paths and borders. She managed to convince the National Trust by words alone.

Swift adores the winter and the cold - 'there is so much more time to look' - stripped of leaves and blossom, the garden exposes it's pure structure and the tiniest detail such as the thorns of the roses. This is truly a magical book.

ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE - A major new collection of poems to console and inspire.

Edited By - Philip Davies - Publishers - J M Dent.

Choosing just five books is difficult, I still have a love of Jane Austin literature, and have a keen interest in the Bloomsbury Group of Writers, but I hope you may be able to read one of my five chosen books between the sheets maybe before you turn the lights out.!!

Lastly I leave you with John Keats and part of his poem - 'Ode to a Nightingale'

Keats wrote 150 Poems, but those upon which his reputation rests were written in the span of nine months, from January to September 1819. This intense flowering of talent remains unparalleled in literary history.

In the Spring of 1819, a Nightingale had built her nest near John Keats friend and room-mate's house, Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song, and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass plot under a plum tree, where he sat for 2-3 hours, it was there Keats composed the poem 'Ode to a Nightingale'. The main picture here is of Keats painted by Joseph Severn, listening to a Nightingale in Hampstead Heath in London.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe -wards had sunk

'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

But being too happy in thine happiness,

That thou, light-winged Dryed of the trees

In some melodious plot

Of beeches green and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full throated ease.

There is a very definate way that one can tell a good poem, it leaves you with a very undefinable feeling. You become pensive, stare at nothing and think.


Frances said...

Camilla, I know how much you enjoy reading, and thank your for this collection of your favorites. Some of the authors are totally new to me ... what a delight to be able to find a fresh book.


ChrisH said...

Will definitely look out for the poetry collection. I echo Frances' comments, it's really interesting to come across new books. Thank you.

Elizabethd said...

Lovely to read that Camilla. anne of Green Gables somehow never became on of my favourites, I dont know why. Maybe I should read it again.
But The Morville Hours is a wonderful book, with so much garden information.

Inthemud said...

Wonderful selection, good to hear more about them.
I loved Anne of Green gables, i must get a copy of this prequel, sounds excellent.

Keats Ode to Nightingale is a favourite of mine too.

DJ Kirkby said...

Hello. This is such a lovely blog! My grandfather lived on Prince Edward Island. I wrote a story about it called 'They're not just spoons, petit minou' which can be found on my memoir blog. I owuld love to have the HTML for your 'Purple Coo'er' badge, please could you send it to me if you still have it?

Cait O'Connor said...

Your last words about how a good poem makes you feel - they are so true and I hadn't realised it before. There is silence and it seems that if you speak and say 'That was good or some other silly nicetie then you feel you are a) just saying it and b)breaking the spell.
This happens in our writing group sometimes when someone reads out one of their (good) poems.
The garden book appeals. The bigamy one too maybe, though it will make me very cross!
The poems of course.
Thanks Camilla!

Casdok said...

I also agree about how a good poem makes you feel.

A lovely list of some fabulous books (i cant get enough of books!)

KittyB said...

Hi Camilla, I must look out The Morville Hours, sounds just like my kind of book.x

Beeswax, said...

My dear Camilla, as usual your blog speaks volumes about who you are, that being of course a wonderful romantic and gentle human being.....I have missed you so much my like many of your favorite books life has a way way of making one pull up their socks and breathe the fresh air....with help and comfort from you my dear I have been able to achieve this...ur a treasure:)..luv and loads of hugs ..kath xxx

Beeswax, said...

camilla pls remove this comment after u have read it email...

im sorry i have not been in touch for a while but will explain all to u soon..xxxx
look forward to hearing from you i hope:)

CAMILLA said...

Hi Kath,

Thank you for your lovely comments, have made a note of address, thank you Kath.


Grouse said...

Lovely choice, beautifully described. Did you listen to the R4 serial of the story of Sissinghurst's restoration? I'll try to find the name of the book for you- wonderful!

Inthemud said...

Just popped by to see if you'd done any new blogs! Thanks for your messages on my blogs.
Will pm you again soon

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog! If you like Anne of Green Gables, you should visit this blog (she lives on Prince Edward Island). Make sure you look back in her archives for the beautiful summer photos of her enchanting garden!