I was a voracious reader as a child; I read all the book sin our house, and all the books in the children’s library, before borrowing my mum’s library tickets and having a go at the adult section. However, I would go back to the children’s books for my favourites, and ones I read and reread many times were the Green Knowe series by Lucy M. Boston.
There were six novels,
- The Children of Green Knowe
- The Chimneys of Green Knowe
- The River at Green Knowe
- A Stranger at Green Knowe
- An Enemy at Green Knowe
- The Stones of Green Knowe
… but I think I only read the first three, as the latter ones were published in 1961, 1964 and 1976. Green Knowe was an old house, full of ghosts and spirits which the children in the story had adventures with… actually, I really ought to read them again as I have forgotten much of what the stories were about. Green Knowe was such a magical place, I have such a strong sense of it, and I never realised when I read the stories as a child that it was based on a real house.
Lucy M. Boston is a fascinating person, and I’m reading her biography at the moment, ‘Perverse and Foolish’. if only I had known when I was young and reading the stories, that green Knowe was actually The Manor, a house I had passed dozens of times in Hemingford Grey where our cousins lived! I may have well passed Mrs Boston in the village street!
In another curious thing, I was talking to friends of ours who live just down the road, and it turns out that they also had relatives in Hemingford Grey, and on one occasion, they met Mrs Boston who invited them into the Manor to look round! The house, it seems is open to visitors, so next time we are in the area, I am going to ring in advance and arrange to visit… I will read the novels again before I go!