e14 Hilda Fearon (British artist, 1878-1917) Tea Party 1916

Hilda Fearon, 1916

This is one of the most engrossing books I’ve read in ages. It’s a wonderful exploration of child psychology, and a haunting evocation of a lost world of British interwar life. There seems to be an interesting number of early 20th century writers who gained fame for their children’s books, but whose real talent lay in their books for adults that are about children. Saplings by Noel Streatfeild is an excellent, if heartbreaking example, alongside Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary by Rose Ferguson. I wish these were better known and more widely read; to be known for jolly-holly-sticks children’s stories when you have such brilliant masterpieces gathering dust in your back catalogue is a real shame. If you can find any of Richmal Crompton’s out of print adult novels (aside from Family Roundabout, which Persephone have republished) then I can assure you that you will be in for a real treat. – Rachel