Another Early Love
Few of the books that I read as a child have survived all the house moves over the years. Looking on my shelves just now I found only What Katy Did at School, Anne of Avonlea, The Count of Monte Cristo, an abridged Alice in Wonderland (given to my mother by Chesterfield Congregational Sunday School) and Princess Anne by Katherine L Oldmeadow. They are all in hardback, which may account for their longevity. Princess Anne, I see from an inscription, was given to me as a Christmas present when I was eight. Katherine L Oldmeadow, Google informs me, was born in 1878 in Chester and died near the New Forest in 1963 and that not much is known about her life. She wrote lots of children’s books, including a series of ‘Princess’ books, Princess Anne, Princess Prunella and so on. Princess Anne was published in 1925 (did I read no contemporary fiction?) and is the story of a thirteen year old orphan whose sweet, but impetuous nature and lively imagination endear her to those around her, but also get her into scrapes. It occurs to me now it owes something to Anne of Green Gables. Truth to tell, Oldmeadow is not a distinguished writer, but I loved reading about Anne and her adventures – and still do, if I’m to be honest.