V. I. P. by Helen Collopy
Since I was 14, She has exerted a profound influence on my life. I read Green Dolphin Country, then Island Magic and then The Herb of Grace. An only child of loved but anxious parents, living in stressful circumstances (just after the War) with two elderly, difficult Aunts, Elizabeth Goudge gave me an entry into a world of the imagination and the spiritual which has sustained me through adolescence to adulthood and now to grandmother-hood. At every stage of my life I have found comfort and encouragement in her books. I have all of them.
For the last 20 years I have been presenting special friends with The Joy of the Snow. From childhood to maturity-and beyond- this wonderful woman has been my friend. Recently at the Lyceum Club here in Melbourne, I saw that another member was to present a talk on Elizabeth Goudge; it was splendid and she had a display of First Editions. I was delighted to find I was one of many other devoted readers.
In my 10 visits to England (over a period of 32 years; my heart is there ) I have managed to visit nearly all her haunts but never, sadly to the Channel Islands.
It is Good Friday morning and I just happened to be whiling away the time on the internet when I discovered your website. Such occurrences are not coincidental.
Yours sincerely, Helen Collopy (nee Corry)
PS My daughter, born when I was 30, was baptized Marianne Therese. That her 2 elder brothers were called William and Timothy was a coincidence, though a lot of G. D Country readers have commented on it.
When I emailed you an hour or 2 ago, I omitted to say I live in, Australia—where the books of Elizabeth Goudge have always been much in demand. I picked up a p/b yesterday of Green Dolphin Country, just published by Capuchin Classics 2008, with a foreword by her distant relation, Eileen Goudge. (“It’s walking off the shelves” said the Bookseller )