The extraordinary journals chronicling one ordinary woman’s life: a fascinating slice of British social history edited and introduced by Simon Garfield
‘Timeless, funny and utterly absorbing’ HILARY MANTEL
In April 1925 at the age of fifteen, Jean Lucey Pratt started a journal that she kept until just a few days before her death in 1986, producing over a million words in 45 exercise books. What emerges is a portrait of a truly unique, spirited woman and writer. Never before has an account so fully, so honestly and so vividly captured a single woman’s journey through the twentieth century.
“Delightful … an extraordinary woman with a dry, wicked sense of humour and such a longing for love and recognition. I inhaled the 700 pages and still wanted more”
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“The most moving and important book I read this year by a mile: funny, tender and gripping”
“It’s not only that Jean is a good writer: observant, funny and rather lyrical. Nor is it that she is so honest … Rather, it’s that her journals, unfettered and intimate, offer up a whole life”
“The sort of reading that will have you grip the arm of your chair in joy”
“Spend Christmas with Jean Lucey Pratt, the siren of Slough: you will not regret or forget it … wholly absorbing and deeply entertaining”
Jean Lucey Pratt was born in 1909 in Wembley, Middlesex and lived much of her life in a small cottage on the edge of Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire. She was a trainee architect, she was a publicist, she gardened, she took in lodgers, she read copiously, she wrote criticism, and in later years she ran a bookshop. But above all, she kept track of her life in the most lyrical of ways, from the age of 15 until just a few days before her death in 1986.
Simon Garfield is the author of sixteen acclaimed books of non-fiction including To the Letter, On the Map, Just My Type and Mauve. His study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham prize. www.simongarfield.com