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Editor’s Letter January 2017

Editor’s Letter January 2017

The start of a fresh calendar year. A time of resolution and the gift of a clean sheet, anything seems achievable. I wanted to read something from Elizabeth’s repertoire that reflected this time and came up with nothing. Many of Elizabeth’s works end with Christmas. But the frivolity and secular nature of the New Year celebrations seems to not have inspired her. In desperation I turned to her short stories, a volume called “White Wings” and found that this collection had been printed in January 1952. A small gift of chance.

If anyone knows of a story or story line that Elizabeth wrote about the New Year, please let me know.

Steps Wells Cathedral



A poem by Deborah Gaudin
Chasing the ghost of Elizabeth Goudge
Pembrokeshire Autumn 2007

I thought I’d lost sight of you in the wet
empty town,
but your hair was white mist,
the scribbling waves echoed your pen
in their perfect, quiet constancy.

Extending a hand as your relict stepped
from within
the grey chambered spiral of her home,
stepping over the carpet to take your place
in the window overlooking the bay.

Sheltering in doorways I heard your gentle
themes in
the busker’s flute, the click of dogs claws
on the wet shiny pavements steep street,
accompanying the harp of rain.

I found your prose leaning against poets
at the back
of the small stone book shop, a shy guest
rubbing spines with their dusty eloquence,
a clean taste in the mouth.

The hidden hills were full of others work,
no words of yours.
But your bones were as strong and homely
as the ancient village which overlooked
the distant grey slab of sea.

Sweet Inspiration

Email from America

I grew up reading and loving Elizabeth Goudge’s many books. I loved “A Child from the Sea,” “The Middle Window,” and all of the books featuring the Eliot family. I have been able to acquire a few of these titles to add to my personal library, and I am always looking out for more.

I came upon your site when I was searching for audio book versions of Ms. Goudge’s works, and while I have yet to find any of these, I was pleased to find your site with its interesting sections including photos, biographical information, and readers’ commentary.

So, at your invitation, and as a reader of both Ms. Goudge and of the numerous Harry Potter books, may I point out that on the website the author of the Harry Potter books is incorrectly mentioned as “J. K. Rowlings” ? I believe there is no “s” in the surname.

I was delighted to read that as a child Ms. Rowling had read and been influenced by the work of Ms. Goudge,  what a lovely (and logical) connection between two marvellously gifted storytellers.

I look forward to visiting your site again and seeing additional details about the life and work of Elizabeth Goudge.

With my thanks and best wishes,

Rebecca Thornburn

Perceived Pronunciation


A couple of weeks ago, I received this question about the pronunciation of Damerosehay and thought that the information might be of interest to other Goudge readers.

This must seem a very silly question, but could you tell me how to pronounce Damerosehay?

John Goldsmith



Not silly at all.  After doing a bit of thinking and asking the advice of Sylvia Gower, who wrote The World of Elizabeth Goudge, I came up with the following.

 No one that we know ever heard Elizabeth say the word out loud so we don’t know exactly. But it comes from the Huguenot French, and I think is pronounced;

Dame as in Madam with a silent e, Rose the flower, Hay as in cut grass, Dame/rose/hay.
But as Sylvia pointed out, being fictitious it could be said anyway you wish.

 If I find out any more, I’ll let you know.

Thanks for visiting the site and an interesting question

 Deborah Gaudin



Thanks for such a helpful reply.

I tried dame as in game – but that sounded wrong,
I tried dame as in ham – but that didn’t seem right either.
Dame as in maDAM feels just right!