About a year ago, one of those rare, once in a life time opportunities occurred. E bay had a copy of Elizabeth Goudge’s first published work for sale. I had never seen it before, had indeed only found out it had existed after reading Sylvia Gower’s book. It was the book that Elizabeth had burnt, as she considered it dreadful!
Not only was it a copy of the work, naturally a first edition, it also had pressed flowers in it from the garden of Rose Cottage and a dedication from Elizabeth in the front piece. Oh how I wanted that book, in the way of all obsessive book collectors.
Unfortunately the final price was way over my budget, and I could only sadly wave it Good bye.
So, imagine how delighted I was to receive the following letter and pictures from the person who had sold the book. Thank you Andrew for sending me this wonderful piece, to up date us on a rare and delightful work by Elizabeth Goudge
My mother, Sonia Harwood (now aged 88), was a good friend of Elizabeth Goudge being both a frequent correspondent and an occasional visitor. She did in fact have “A Diary of Prayers” dedicated to her by Elizabeth in 1966!
Elizabeth presented her with a signed volume that it would appear you may not know ever existed! “The Fairies’ Baby and Other Stories” was published by W & G Foyle of London in 1919 and was Elizabeth Goudge’s first attempt at writing at the tender age of 19. I understand that it was not a success and she did not write again for a long time!
This volume (including the pressed flowers collected from Rose Cottage) was offered on E Bay a couple of years ago and, because it was so rare, was purchased for a massive $410 by an American lady called Dancy who has been corresponding with my mother ever since.