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24 June 2019

Camomile Lawn

The Post this week celebrates Mary Wesley (1912-2002) and her best-known book The Camomile Lawn which was published in 1984 and adapted, gloriously, for television in 1992. ‘Mary Wesley came late to literary success. After thirty five years of writing, all she had to show for it were a couple of virtually unknown children’s books. All this changed in 1983 with her appropriately titled novel Jumping the Queue. With the success of her first novel, Mary decided to embark on a blast from the past. If her first novel had been informed by her later years of loneliness and depression, this new venture would be steeped in the carpe diem atmosphere of World War II era England. The book was also written partially in response to the overly sentimental and whitewashed books concerning the era that had been written by other authors. Mary herself had certainly partied her way through the war years and slept with many men, so she saw no reason why this lifestyle should be hidden from modern audiences’ (from a blog about the book here). We of course have our own take on the same subject, To Bed with Grand Music by Marghanita Laski.

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