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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wild Mary.

Life is like that.  Things that are not on the menu keep on happening. ~ Mary Wesley.

I've decided I like sinners ~ especially the unrepentant sort.  Not that I would want to be one but they know how to swallow life whole: the good, the bad & the ugly.  Mary Wesley is one of the interesting ones.

What?  You don't know Mary Wesley?!  For my introduction to this fascinating woman I must thank the BBC who turned The Chamomile Lawn into a t.v series.  I promptly went & bought the book.

At the time I knew nothing of Mary Wesley except that she had her first book published when she was 70 ~ which I still find rather inspiring.  She was an unwanted child, badly tutored at home because she stubbornly refused to learn, got dumped alone in a French boarding house at 14, & belonging to a military family moved 27 times in 20 odd years ~ a recipe for disaster if ever there was one.  Her family nick~name was "Wild Mary" ~ & she was very wild.

She was also brave, working for MI5 during the war & knitting jumpers to support herself in her old age before becoming a literary phenomenon.  Her writing is compulsive reading despite being full of rather shady characters & nasty surprises.  Nine months before her death she gave Marnham permission to access her private papers & write an authorised biography.  It is a racy, rackety tale of an unloved child lurching through adulthood from lover to lover while along the way gleaning material for some of the more unusual novels of the 2oth century.

Given how wet it's been ~ & that for all practical purposes I am childless for Easter~  it's not a bad way to spend my time.  Marnham has a pretty engaging style himself  & I am enjoying Wild Mary immensely.  Not for the faint~hearted or those with delicate sensibilities.


Finding Joy said...

Sounds like my sort of book - I will add it to my 'wish list' - perfect for a winter read!!

PS She was also descended from the Duke of Wellington

Finding Joy said...

PSS No I have never heard of her, nor read any of her books - so I might give them a try as well! Thanks

Ruby said...

Just googled her. Very interesting. Have a nice quiet, relaxing weekend Ganeida!

seekingmyLord said...

Oh, my!