Dora Saint, who wrote as Miss Read, has died at the age of 98. Miss Read is one of my favourite writers of comfort reading. Her books about life in Fairacre & Thrush Green are familiar, full of humour & interest but never sentimental or twee. I’ve reviewed some of her books here & here but fortunately I have many more on the tbr shelves so I’m not going to run out any time soon.
There’s a lovely obituary here. My favourite quote is from H F Ellis, the literary editor of Punch (I didn’t know Miss Read had written for Punch) who called her his favourite contributor. “She had no arrogance at all and didn’t feel her work was sacrosanct, and she never minded revising it. In a way she is like Jane Austen. She writes about what she knows and never goes beyond it.” Dora Saint seems to have had a happy, fulfilled life with a devoted following of readers, mostly library users which seems very appropriate to me. Her books never made her a fortune but provided a steady income that allowed for a few luxuries. I can’t imagine the author of the Fairacre books as a jetsetting glamourous author in the style of Jackie Collins. It seems right that her life was quiet, steady & full of good things, just like her books.