Air Hostess Ann, by Pamela Hawken

Possibly the first edition dustjacket? Did you know that in the early 1950s, airplanes were called air liners? Passengers who were embarking ascended the steps to the plane, were met at the door by the smiling Senior Hostess, who announced their name to those passengers already sitting inside. Like it was a cocktail party. The … Continue reading Air Hostess Ann, by Pamela Hawken

William Golding, The Double Tongue

For two years I've been writing a novel which involves some Greek mythological figures (my agent [still a new enough relationship for it to feel quite unreal] is going to send me final revision notes next week). Naturally I have been avoiding reading new fiction about Greek mythology, because I don't want to inadvertently poach, … Continue reading William Golding, The Double Tongue

Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894-1983) was a novelist, a literary patron, an heiress, and the devoted lover of the modernist poet Hilda Doolittle (H D). She took the name Bryher to disassociate herself from femininity, one asumes, borrowing the name from one of her favourite Scilly Isles. She married her close friend Kenneth Macpherson, who was … Continue reading Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint

I went to the Royal Academy's tiny one-room exhibition of Laura Knight a few weeks ago, and was alerted to the fact that she had written a couple of autobiographies, Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936) and The Magic of a Line (1965). Laura Knight was made a Dame in 1929, and was the first … Continue reading Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint