Archive for July 27, 2016

Scent Of Water


April 2007 and I’m standing in the lime avenue on the approach road to Turville. The day is grey and overcast and all sound is muffled. The trees soar away towards the clouds and at their feet a few bluebells are beginning to unfurl their crumpled petals. There are no people in sight and only a kite traversing the field beyond the limes shows any sign of life. I have come to Oxfordshire to attend the Blue Plaque ceremony which will take place  tomorrow, today is for exploration and how could I not come to the place where Elizabeth set my favourite of her books?

Avenue of Limes

The Scent Of Water was written in the early sixties, published in 1963, at a time when Elizabeth had just moved to Peppard Common from Devon. and it chronicles the move of the central character Mary from a high powered executive job in London to the rural quiet of Appleshaw. She tells her disbelieving friends that she wishes to experience village life before it disappears for ever. Her reasons however are deeper and more personal than that. She has been bequeathed a house by a cousin whom she met just once as a small girl and thinks at first that she will just put the property on the market and sell it. But as the memories of her visit resurface she changes her mind and moves in.

For me this novel is a distillation of all the books that have gone before as it contains all that is best in Elizabeth’s work. Her ability to layer a book so that the threads and narrative lead one ever deeper into the heart of the story, in this case renewal, is inspirational.

Elizabeth herself was coming to terms with the lose of her mother and the lose of her Devonshire home. She was obeying the dictates of her concerned family and moving closer to the few cousins she had left at their request. At first she was unhappy and missed the countryside of her beloved Westerland valley and the companionship of the village people she had come to know. She was always nervous and shy about meeting new people, and the thought of a whole new community to come to grips with must have been daunting to her, even with the help of Jessie.

The world must have seemed a frightening place in the early sixties with the Cuban missile crisis dominating the news and President Kennedy advising all prudent families to build a nuclear bomb shelter. The Berlin wall was dividing communities and the whole world seemed on the brink of a nervous break down. All the tried and tested theories of the past where being severely tested. What hope for the future was there except to retreat to a safe haven and pray?

At that time Elizabeth and Jessie were both young enough and curious enough to start exploring the neighbourhood and it wasn’t long before the charm of their more manicured surroundings captivated her imagination. It was in fact to become one of her most productive writing periods, producing a book every two years until in her eighties she became to frail to write.

Turville is a charming village a few miles from Elizabeth’s new home, nestling under an arm of down land and surrounded by wooded fields. It has been used as a location for screen and television, the latest productions to use it being The Vicar Of Dibley and Midsomer Murders. So it is hardy surprising that Elizabeth should have been inspired to use it as the template for Appleshaw. The novel she placed there has stood the tests of time dealing with subjects such as; financial fraud, infidelity, teenage crime and the complex relationships within families and the wider community. It could have been written yesterday.

It is a book of discovery, a journey into the heart and mind of mental illness, a subject on which Elizabeth had personal experience and as such is one of the most auto-biographical of her works. She speaks movingly of the isolation that depression brings, as only someone who had experienced it could.

“I thought, I can’t bear it,. I was lying on stones and the walls were moving in. And then, and that was the third time, I said, “yes I will”. But it didn’t help. The walls moved in nearer and as they closed right round me, trapping me, I screamed. I don’t suppose I really screamed. What had happened was that I had fallen asleep at last and drifted into nightmare. I was imprisoned in stone. I knew then what men suffer who are walled up alive.” (Goudge 1963 p 136 )

Elizabeth had always been haunted by the Ely ghost and the horrific tale of entombment, but I have also been told by those who suffer depression that this is a very graphic and honest portrayal of how it feels. So many people see mental illness as an affliction sent by God as some form of punishment and only get as far as questioning why it has happened to them. Elizabeth seems to have got beyond this and in her suffering come a little closer in her understanding of God’s love and compassion.

“They’ve not come yet, I thought. All the prettiness the artists painted isn’t here. No angels, no shepherds, no children with their lambs. Its stripped down to the bare bones of the rock and the child. There’s no one here. And then I thought, I am here, and I asked, who am I Lord? And then I knew that I was everyone.” (Goudge 1963 p 136 )

There is no sense of pride here, Elizabeth had discovered and is trying to share with us her way of Prayer. The offering of her, as she would see it, small pain as recompense for others greater trials. Elizabeth’s compassion for out casts and outsiders is well known, a whole section of her Diary Of Prayer is directed towards prisoners and refugees. I wonder what she would have made of Sangatte just across the channel from us today?

Her empathy with Paul the writer and the processes he uses to manifest his craft make me wonder if Elizabeth wrote at night to minimize distractions. Perhaps she too, liked to map out whole sections of her story in her mind and then write them down in large sections or chapters. I suspect that Jessie didn’t involve herself in proof reading or criticism of Elizabeth’s work. One of the reasons Elizabeth cites for getting along with Jessie so well is that she has never read any of her books which she finds refreshing. But was there someone in the village who did have this enviable role?

There is a sense of renewal throughout this book, from Edith confessing her small sin, to Mr Hepplewaite’s major fraud, from Mary’s conversion to Cousin Mary’s revelation, each of the characters becomes reborn. It is a book full of hope, hope founded on the past and a belief that we can bring what is of value back to bloom in the future. Mary who had moved to Appleshaw to discover the past, ends up with ” the future shining on her face,” (Goudge P 282 )

I didn’t find the Talbots new build hidden behind firs in Turville although the cottages nestled around the old church is pretty much as Elizabeth describes it. The house which could be the model for The Laurels was close by, if not opposite. It had a walled garden with a door in the thickness of its stone, but it was called Orchard Cottage, and I couldn’t see the tunnel of wisteria which led to the front door, just a gate and a gravelled drive. Probably another instance of Elizabeth transposing a childhood memory to some where else.

Appleshaw

The Randall’s row of cottages were undergoing extensive renovations and were partly shrouded in tarpaulin. A windmill is perched on the downs shoulder dominating the skyline and is never mentioned. But the lime avenue is there in all its glory.

Job chapter 14

  1. for there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
  2. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
  3. Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

This sense of renewal is something Elizabeth experienced again and again through out her life, and it is one of the precious gifts she won, struggling with her own personal demons.

 

The scent of water was in the air that day too, misting through the trees and slicking the horizon with the promise of proper rain. It gave to this pretty little village glamour, a soft beauty the harsher light of summer with its compliment of tourists would have destroyed.

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Children & Childhood

Article of the Month September 2009
Deborah Gaudin

Children & Childhood
(In the books of Elizabeth Goudge.)

Elizabeth was born and grew up an only child of loving parents in the safe and privileged environment of Edwardian Wells. She herself tells us that she led a life of bliss and comfort, secure in the knowledge of being loved and cared for. One of her first memories is of her mother and father and herself ” The three of us were on the same hearthrug together, our arms about each other and my mother was saying in her clear voice A three-fold cord shall not be broken.” ( Goudge p 5 1974). Her life revolved around the gentle and well ordered lives of her parents, a clerical father and her well educated mother.

She was fortunate, most children in the Edwardian age had left what little schooling they were going to have and were working by the age of nine. They would have been seen as valuable contributors to the family income. Children ‘s education was arranged in such a way that they could attend school and hold down a job at the same time, a state of affairs that did not change until 1918 when the school leaving age was raised to 12. Schools still arrange long summer holidays which used to coincide with harvest time.

Elizabeth like the majority of children living then could have grown up having no contact with other children not in her social class. Class conscious parents were worried about their off-spring not only catching physical infections, but catching bad manners and speech as well. This was not the case in Elizabeth’s upbringing, she says, ” My parents were more aware of the suffering of the world beyond the charmed circle than were many of their friends, my father because he had been born in London and as a young priest had worked in a factory town, and my mother because she was deeply compassionate and had made it her business to know.” ( Goudge p60 1974) Any one who has read The City Of Bells will remember the children giving away their toys at Christmas, something that Elizabeth herself was encouraged to do every year. At a very young age she was made aware of the unequal nature of social existence and its harsh realities stayed with her for life.

About herself at this age Elizabeth says” I have met many delightful untarnished only children but I was too spoilt to be one of them. I do not see how the spoiling could have been avoided. In my early years no one expected that my mother would live long. She herself was quite sure she would not and like so many sensitive extroverts her own suffering caused her not only to be acutely aware of illness in others but even to imagine it was there when it was not. She considered me a delicate child who might not live long either. Whichever way she looked at it fear of being parted from this adored child, whom she had nearly died to bring into the world, was always a shadow upon her. And so she, who if she had been a well woman would have been the wise mother of many children, was in illness the reverse.” (Goudge p 76 1974 )

Contact with children of her own age, would have occurred only when she was on holiday with her Oxfordshire or Guernsey cousins. On the Island away from the strict conventions of the cathedral close and her anxious parents she had a larger degree of liberty. Her childhood Island reminisces are of family beach parties where she hunted in rock pools and climbed cliffs, or helped her grandfather with his weather station, an idyllic time, her “rainbow days ” as she describes them.

At home in Wells she attended a small day school run by a gentle governess, Miss Lavingham, undoubtedly in the company of children of the local Clergy. One of her friends was Dorothy Pope to whom she was to dedicated her book Henrietta’s House I’d like to think that a “Hugh Anthony” also attended the school. He comes across as such a forceful and likeable boy, just the sort of companion needed by a lonely young girl, whose only masculine company would have been her busy father and their gardener. Somewhere along the way, instead of becoming self obsessed as many only children do, perhaps bred into her, perhaps learnt from Mrs Kennion, the house keeper of the Bishops Palace whom she loved to visit, was born a love of children.

Somerset

When as an adolescent Elizabeth was returned to Ely at the end of her school education, her parents were perplexed as to what to do with her. It was her Mother who suggested Reading College of Art, as it would lead to teaching, and Elizabeth had “always loved children.”

There is a revealing piece in the forward to A Child’s Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson written by Elizabeth in the early fifties. She speaks of her own room in Wells, and unwittingly paints a picture of a rather lonely child who like Robert Louis looked out of the window for inspiration and companionship. There is however no sense of self pity, instead she sees that time of her life as having a “very special magic.” Of her childhood Elizabeth says, ” Childhood then was a world to itself. The door which shut off the nursery wing from the rest of the house made a very real dividing line between the life of the child and the adult. Behind it Nanny and her charges lived in their own kingdom, from which they issued at stated times to shed the light of their countenances upon the outer world. Visitors from this outer world, even mothers and fathers, did not enter the kingdom without hesitating at the portal and saying politely “May I come in, please Nanny?” This state of things made for magic in both worlds, the same sort of magic that an island holds. There was a concentration of quietness and orderliness within the world, a feeling of adventure in leaving it, that fostered imagination and a sense of beauty.”
( Goudge p 23 1955.)

Here we find the template for the Eliots nursery and Ellen who looked after them so devotedly with the help of the long suffering Margaret., a throw back to the Edwardian era she had grown up in

All her life Elizabeth found the openness and lack of guile that most children posses to be very engaging, and any child that she came into contact with seems to have taken to this shy, retiring woman. She had the time to listen to them, probably taking their views and concerns seriously, as Mrs Kennion had hers.

Like the aunts that she speaks so eloquently of in her auto-biography, Elizabeth too had young relations to stay.

” I looked out of my window not long ago and saw almost an exact replica of “A Good Play.” The two small boys who were staying with me had climbed the roof of the wood shed, and with flag flying were going ” a sailing on the billows” there. They had dragged chairs to the top of the wood shed and provisions from the larder, and it was really a better place than the stairs because there was no way of getting them down”
(Goudge p 29 1955.)
A vivid picture of her nephews from a holiday taken with their Aunt, and obviously having a great time, knowing that Aunt Elizabeth would have secretly been thrilled with their imaginative play. It was probably Jessie who had the unenviable task of enticing them safely back down. I still see Elizabeth as more Lucilla than Margaret, certainly during this stage of her life.

Although Elizabeth doesn’t explore the psyche of seriously troubled children, the portraits that she draws of them are not black and white; Ben with his fears and phobias, Tommy with his selfishness and anger, Caroline’s chronic shyness and their relationships with there mostly absent parents are at times painfully described.
The little girls who are evacuated from London in The Castle On The Hill and who are then orphaned with their feelings of abandonment and confusion.
The terror and fear of the young John from the Rosemary Tree, and the schooling and upbringing of his three girls all speak of an inherent understanding of the anxieties suffered by the young.

Like all experienced writers, Elizabeth writes about the world she inhabits and the people she comes into contact with. Her young nephews, a god daughter of Jessie’s who stayed with them in her school holidays and her neighbours children would have kept her informed about the rapidly changing world of child care and education.

When the Goudge Convention visited All Saints church at Peppard Common last year, we were met by Sylvia Seymour who had visited Elizabeth many times when delivering the Parish Magazine. “She always enquired after my children” she said, ” and was pleased to hear any news about them and their lives.” Elizabeth retained her childhood sense of wonder and adventure, something which enabled her to extract maximum enjoyment from the small pleasures of life. She too goes for the heart of an issue as she perceives it without guile or subterfuge. her empathy is with the children and the young at heart, it is always the adults in her books that are the grabbers, the self obsessed and selfish. They have to be reminded by their off spring to take the right course and make the right decisions, decisions that effect all of their lives.

 

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Elizabeth’s Legacy


by Ruth St Clare.

Thank you so much for the web site of E Goudge.  I have respected and admired her since childhood.  Now I admire her even more.

I am sure that had computers existed and had I not been a slow learner then ( not now)  I would have been one of the  people who  came  to look at a person who could so well reflect the spiritual in a world of war and suffering.

This lady was the key to my visiting Guernsey ( the copy of Green Dolphin Country was damaged so I did not know where the Island was), seeing Mont St. Michele and St Malo.

I finally worked out that it must be Guernsey.  When I left the ferry I met an elderly lady and ask her if the family even existed and she  snarled at me.  I knew then I had found the right place …. so instead of upsetting anyone else I went off to the cemetery.  I smiled and wondered who they were and if they had any real relationship to the book.  It did not really matter to me… I found the place and names

The only name I did not find was William Ozanne and then sitting in an open air cafe and musing to myself whether on not he existed I looked across the road and saw  William Ozanne Hall.

I believe my life was touched for the better because I was privileged to read Elizabeth Goudge’s books.   Many years ago a paper back of Green Dolphin Country was available and I bought a copy and loaned it to a friend.  They never gave it back… forgot they had it…..sigh… not all people with brains know how to use them.

My friends found the same book in New Zealand  in a second hand book shop and they sent it to me.  How wonderful of them and I have the book today and I use it for any of my senior  English students who show that they are  of the thinking nature.

A fourteen year old French lass is reading it now.  I am not sure yet how she will cope with it as she is still at an intermediate English level.

Maybe you could condense Green Dolphin County or Island Magic ( this may not need condensing, I can’t remember!) and try to have  Miss Goudge’s work  included in school children’s texts for English.  They did this with Nicholas Monserrat’s  Cruel Sea.  If you could do this I think you would be doing a world service.

Ruth St. Claire

Dear Miss St Clare,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me, I’m pleased that you enjoyed the visit to the site.
I agree that Elizabeth’s work should be on an English Literature Syllabus but have a horror at condensing any writers work, especially one of my favourite authors. Which bits would you leave out?

I think that most of her books are compact, with the exception of Green Dolphin Country and Child From The Sea, so probably wouldn’t need much editing. Its the themes of her work which our state run schools might have a problem with.
regards Deborah

Hi Deborah

Yes I would hate task of trying to edit Elisabeth Goudge’s work.  It seems a colossal cheek.  On the other had if some one could manage the challenge perhaps young people would be inspired to find and read  her work (unabridged), as adults.

I suppose it is just the desire to share with others. Young people would have the chance to see a “master” English writer.   I teach English now so I suppose I think about it from the perspective of  some of the students here ….. especially the  young teenagers… sigh they might not be permitted to read Green Dolphin Country unabridged.

It was literature that educated me until I reached a stage where I could think and retain  what I learned and now I help others to find joy, delight,  and the rewards of reading.

Best wishes,

Ruth.

Poetry, Yes Please!

 

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a very pleasant few hours in the company of Nikki Lewis-Smith, the daughter of the poet and writer Anne Lewis-Smith who was Elizabeth’s neighbour in Peppard Common for many years. They continued to correspond until Elizabeth’s death, having in common, among other things a deep love of poetry. Mrs Lewis-Smith has kindly given permission for her poem to Elizabeth to be posted on the site.

Letter To Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth

In this envelope
is folded the deep shade
of chestnut trees
and the lighter dancing dark
of young birches.
Perhaps as you open it
the smell of fresh scythed grass
or the dry pepper of sunned lupins
will remind you of summer
and childhood.
Water reflections to delight
your eyes are here,
bright crescents from fast running streams
moving river rings from a trout
sharp glitters of an August sea.

Sound to,  wind in tall barley,
geese overhead, straw loosening from
the fork, the rattle, jingle and
solid heavy hooves of shire horses
in tandem.

Be careful how you empty the last corner
for as I folded down this sheet
the quick shadow of a diving swift
fled across the paper……………….

Anne Lewis-Smith

Copyright Anne Lewis-Smith 1996

I find this a poignant and moving epitaph, embodying the sights and sounds of the natural world that Elizabeth loved and was inspired by. To her, places are more than stage settings, they are inspirational manifestations of God. Elizabeth’s writing  opens doors for us, doors onto another world. But unlike her other contemporary writers such as C. Day Lewis’s with Narnia or Tolkien’s Middle Earth, they exist. We don’t have to slip on a magic ring, or find an enchanted wardrobe, we can go there, today, now, it only takes a shift in our perception to get us there.

Miss Ada Gillespie

Miss Ada Gillespie
Where did she go?
sent in by Vanessa

Good Afternoon,

 

Thank you so much for your website. Ever since I stumbled upon Elizabeth Goudge’s books I have been entranced…

The latest book I am reading is A Pedlar’s Pack which has a excerpt called the Shepherd and Shepherdess which features a Miss Ada Gillespie. I searched the internet to find out if there was a book that is about her, but I didn’t find out anything. Can you tell me if Miss Ada is a character in one of Elizabeth Goudge’s other books? I would love to read the whole story.

 

Thank you for your time,

Vanessa

Dear Vanessa,

I don’t have a copy of A Pedlar’s Pack one of the few Goudge books I haven’t got. But I have read of Miss Ada Gillespie in White Wings another of Elizabeth’s collection of short stories. I know of no other book that this character appears in. Perhaps she was a prototype of future people such as Margaret in The Eliots or Daphne in The Rosemary Tree.

Elizabeth certainly admired the family “aunts” who descended on a house in the time of illness or trouble.

Dream Team

Dream Team
sent in by Patricia Donohue
One readers choice of director for a remake of The Little White Horse

Hello,
I had no idea that a T.V.series had been produced around the ‘Little White Horse’ in the U.K.! I sincerely hope it was better than what I am reading about the movie, which, again, I had no idea had been produced. I, like so many, found the book in the library when I was a child and have returned to it many times over the years. I even toyed with the idea of writing a screen play (no, I don’t live in California!) but don’t have those skills. It would be so fantastically easy to produce it true to its written form. One only has to think of ‘Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The producer/director stayed absolute true to the books and the result was fabulous.

The person I would love to pitch this book to would be the director of the Tolkien series, Peter Jackson or his wife Fran Walsh. It would be a walk in the park for them! Alas, if only one knew how to contact them.

It’s lovely to have stumbled upon your website. Thank you!

— Kind regards,
Patricia A. Donohue

Dear Patricia,

Thanks for the email, I totally agree about “the Jacksons” being the right team for the film. I enjoyed Lord Of The Rings  film almost as much as the book. Great actors too!

 

Moonacre Madness

Moonacre Madness

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Goudge’s work since childhood, almost 40 years of trying to find the next one in the library or second hand bookshop and almost 40 years of rereading the ones I have over and over. The Little White Horse was the first of hers I ever read and it is still magic to me. I was very excited when I first read a film was being made of it but now I’ve seen the trailers and read the synopsis I am so disappointed – no, that’s not strong enough; I feel Outraged – that I can’t see myself paying money to see the film.  While I was extremely cross the film-makers changed the title I am now pleased and hope there may be some chance that a good version of it might someday be made.

It was good to read the views expressed on your site, to see I have some kindred spirits.

What has been done to Robin, to Miss Heliotrope, to Sir Benjamin and to so many others? How could they take the Christian theme running through the book (as in so many others of hers) and turn it over to what one of your other readers calls “new age witch”-iness? To completely obliterate Old Parson and therefore deny a happy end to Miss Heliotrope (who as an elder person Hollywood apparently considers unworthy of both romance and dignity) and – worse – destroy the threefold symmetry of the original

Now I’ve had that thought, it occurs to me that Hollywood is just incapable of counting beyond 2. They just cannot conceive of a plot that brings three sets of plot threads together, over two. In this they are constitutionally incapable of dealing with a plot wherein Loveday and Robin in their gatehouse form one group, Moonacre Manor another and the Coq de Noir castle another; or, seen differently, Loveday and Sir Benjamin, Robin and Maria, and Miss Heliotrope and Old Parson; or Wrolf, Periwinkle and Serena (I shudder to think of what hell they have played with the animal characterisations) A tripartite structure escapes them entirely but what a mash they have made of a plot. With an eye to the main chance they have witchified a Christian theme and background and frosted over dehumanised characters which had been beautifully warm and human And all that rubbish about “the last ever Moon Princess”…. They didn’t trust either in the story or the audience.

I’d like just one quote from J K Rowling now on what she thinks of what’s been done to the book. Presumably they are paying her to keep quiet.

I recognise of course that bringing a book such as The Little White Horse to the screen today poses problems There’s a lot of detail and a lot of character motives that would be incomprehensible to the young today. The conflicts which propel the novel are some of them quite subtle, much more so that the obvious antagonism between Moonacre Manor and Coq de Noir. All the characters have to overcome flaws in themselves and to be more accepting of those in others But surely there was enough magic inherent in the book to make more of an effort worthwhile. Generations of readers are disappointed here.

Michele Morgan

Cook The Books

(http://cookthebooksclub.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/a-little-white-horse-the-cook-the-books-roundup/

Last month I was emailed by one of the Hostesses of The Cook The Books Blog site. The bloggers are inspired to create recipes from the fiction that they are currently reading and then propose to the rest of the group. Last months choice was the Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge and I had been invited to judge the entries.

This is a little gold nugget of a food site written by people who obviously have a passion for good food. Coming from the first Cittislow town in England, somewhere where food has been taken seriously for a long time, it seemed made for my taste buds. My family have been involved in the catering business for over thirty years, twenty of which were spent owning and running a family restaurant in the heart of the town. Good food, locally sourced and seasonally used is something we were and are very passionate about.

The Little White Horse is full of descriptions of mouth watering food. Written in the 1940’s when rationing was still in use in England, most people could only dream about food as good as this, and Elizabeth probably harps back to the pre 1st World War days of her childhood, a time when “tea” was taken very seriously indeed.

It was with great delight that I read about the sweet sticky making of “parkin” gingerbread, syllabub, the wholesomeness of home made onion soup and bread, chicken casseroles and blueberry scones, just the sort of food Elizabeth might have enjoyed. I could have happily tucked into them all.

To see the results of my very difficult decision and view some good recipes with accompanying photographs, please re visit the blog site again in a few days time. I intend to good back again and again for ideas, inspiration and just plain greed! Well, you can’t put on weight just by looking         can you?

 

Watch Papers

In February this year, during renovation work, I think at the Steeplegate, Ely, the Ely Standard reported the finding of an ancient letter from a young watchmaker to a maid servant. This seems to me to have relevance to the ‘Dean’s Watch’. I wonder if this letter had been found before and replaced under the floorboards. Possibly the Cathedral Archivist could throw more light on this if someone wanted to follow it up.

In my last e-mail I said that the 18th century letter from the watchmaker to the Canon’s maid was found in the Steeplegate – apologies it was in the Almonry Croft. Today is was on display in the Cathedral.

The original letter, which is in good condition and quite clear to read, is now in the care of the Cathedral Archivist.

 

Pilgrimages

Hello!

I just discovered your web site!!  How wonderful to find a place where Elizabeth Goudge’s works are so appreciated and remembered.  There are several of us in Phoenix Arizona who love Elizabeth Goudge and we meet from time to time to discuss her books.  Is there another convention planned?  How would be go about finding out more about taking an Elizabeth Goudge pilgrimage?  It would be a dream come true for some of us to travel to her home and see many of the places that are the settings of her books.

Thanks for your help and time.

Fondly,

Marcia Kuyper

Dear Marcia,

How wonderful to think of you all reading and appreciating Elizabeth Goudge’s work in Arizona, such a different world from the one she writes about.

The Convention was a great success, and I’m sure there will be others in the future.

There would be several “pilgrimages” you could take if you came over to England. One would be the Oxfordshire one that we did this year taking in Rose Cottage, Henley-On-Thames, Turville where Scent of Water is based, and of cause Oxford itself where she lived for a time when her father was made Professor of Divinity there. Towers In the Mist is set where she lived in Tom Quad.

Or you could go to Hampshire where the Eliot novels are set and visit The Hard, the sea marshes and the church where Elizabeth is buried with her parents in New Milton.

Then again Devon is the county that Elizabeth wrote about most. She lived there with her Mother during the Second World War in Providence Cottage Marldon. Here you could visit not only the village but Compton manor where The Moonacre Manor of The Little White Horse stands, see Smokey’s House in the wooded Westerland valley, and the wonderful vista of Torbay setting for much of Gentian Hill. Pomeroy Castle ruins are also open to the public, the “Castle On The Hill”, reputedly one of the most haunted castles in this land of haunted castles.

Finally there is Ely set in the Cambridgeshire fens her “home of homes”

All these tours can be found in Sylvia Gower’s book “The World Of Elizabeth Goudge.”