A se­lec­tion of favourite ti­tles cho­sen by the read­ers of Ev­er­green

Evergreen - - Evergreen -

Mrs. Mar­ion Bythell, a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor who lives at Tar­por­ley in Cheshire, has writ­ten to tell me how much she en­joyed read­ing Mem­o­ries and Gar­dens by Mar­ion Howard Spring. She was the wife of jour­nal­ist and nov­el­ist Howard Spring ( 1889- 1965), many of whose books, which in­clude Shabby Tiger ( 1934), My Son! My Son! ( 1938) and Fame is the Spur ( 1940) will, I am sure, be fa­mil­iar to Ev­er­green read­ers.

Mem­o­ries and Gar­dens, which was first pub­lished in 1964, de­scribes her early life and child­hood hol­i­days at St. Mawes in Corn­wall. She be­gins…

Now that I am an old lady, with grand­chil­dren grow­ing up, I am go­ing to write about my life and gar­dens, an un­his­tor­i­cal sub­ject in­deed. The lovely thing about grow­ing old is that the beau­ti­ful mo­ments of life — the love of one’s fam­ily, mu­sic, gar­den­ing, po­etry — all be­come more pre­cious with the knowl­edge that they must soon be left be­hind. In spite of hav­ing lived through ter­ri­ble wars, I can look back on much hap­pi­ness. This, then, is noth­ing out­stand­ing or spec­tac­u­lar; just the ev­ery- day life of an ev­ery- day per­son.

Even in 1964, the in­crease in the vol­ume of traf­fic was be­com­ing no­tice­able:

Noth­ing short of an atomic bomb can change the fine po­si­tion of St. Mawes, but once you land the vil­lage seems to me nowa­days like a vast smelly garage. The cars are bumper to bumper and the poor pedes­trian has the filthy smell of petrol in his nos­trils…

Mrs. Bythell also wanted to share with us the author’s de­scrip­tion of her visit to St. Just Church, near St. Mawes:

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