Saturday, January 19, 2008
Breadsticks and Broomsticks
The recent blog entry on Mary Norton's BED-KNOB AND BROOMSTICK reminded me of one of the more obscure books in my collection. We all know Norton as the author of the aforementioned novel as well as her series about The Borrowers. But it crossed my mind that many of her fans may not be aware of her book THE BREAD AND BUTTER STORIES, which was published some five years after her death.
This volume is composed of short stories and articles that Mary Norton wrote, mainly for American women's magazines in the 1940s and 1950s, in order to put "bread and butter" on the table for her family.
The accompanying photos show the 1998 hardcover and 1999 paperback editions of this title, both published by Virago. Fans of Mary Norton's children's books may be interested in the entry called "Once Upon a Time (Some Random Thoughts on Story-Writing for Children." They will also discover a different aspect of Norton's talent in her stories of middle-aged, middle-class women searching for identity and independence. The introduction, by daughter Ann Brunsdon, provides a fascinating personal view of the author.
Anyone who collects Mary Norton's children's books will want to add this volume to their library.