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Miss Read

  • The avid interest of the countryman in his neighbors is a most vital part of country living, and is the cause of both pleasure and annoyance. I suppose it springs from the common and pressing needs for a story. Books supply the panacea to this fever for those who read; but for the people who find reading distasteful, or are too sleepy after a day's work in the open air to bother with books, then this living drama which unfolds, day by day, constitutes one long enthralling serial, with sub-plots, digressions, flash-backs and many delicious aspects of the same incident as seen through various watchers' eyes.

  • What I do feel the modern child lacks, when compared with the earlier generation, is concentration, and the sheer dogged grit to carry a long job through. ... Helping children to face up to a certain amount of drudgery, cheerfully and energetically, is one of the biggest problems that teachers, in these days of ubiquitous entertainment, have to face in our schools ...

  • ... marrows — alas! — are arriving in a steady stream at the back door. ... Oddly enough, the majority of people who grow them in Fairacre say, as they hand them over: 'Funny thing! I don't care for them myself. In fact, none of the family likes them!' But still they plant them. It must be the fascination of seeing such a wonderful return for one small seed, that keeps marrow-growers at their dubious task.

  • Not to be alone — ever — is one of my ideas of hell, and a day when I have had no solitude at all in which 'to catch up with myself' I find mentally, physically and spiritually exhausting.

  • ... it seems to me that grandmothers have a very special place in the affections of young children. Not obliged, as parents are, to provide food, shelter, protection, advice and discipline, day in and day out, they can afford to be much more easy-going. The unexpected present, the extra outing, the little treat of a favourite meal prepared especially to delight the child and, above all, the time to listen to youthful outpourings, all make a grandmother a loved ally. It is hardly surprising that the bond between grandmother and grandchild is often stronger than that between parent and child.

  • ... happiness is the result of an attitude of mind. I believe you can build it out of small things ...

    • Miss Read,
    • in The Los Angeles Times ()

Miss Read, English writer

(1913 - 2012)

Real name: Dora Jessie Shafe Saint.