Page 73 - PB Cat 1999-2021
P. 73

 NO 72
   In the TLS in 1985 the novelist and critic Penelope Fitzgerald,Winifred Peck’s niece, chose House-Bound as the book she would most like to see reprinted. Published in 1942, it explores how war forces people to change.The heroine, unable to find a maid, decides to do her own cooking and housework, then a radical and brave step for a middle-class Edinburgh woman.
Winifred Peck is funny and perceptive about Rose Fairlaw’s decision to manage her house on her own. For years her family ‘had been free of nine or ten rooms in the upper earth, while three women shared the exiguous darkness of the basement.’ But, like Mollie Panter-
Downes or Lettice Cooper,Winifred Peck could foresee the future and wrote informatively and amusingly, not complainingly, about the need for middle-class women to run their home without help.
‘House-Bound examines both movingly and painfully concepts of maternal love, marital love and family feelings,’ wrote Matthew Dennison in the Glasgow Herald. ‘It confronts with wisdom and humour the glue that binds each of us to those closest to us, as well as to the place we call home.’
1941 watercolour design by Eric Ravilious (1903–42) for a textile commissioned by the Cotton Board as a way of persuading cotton manufacturers to produce economical fabrics in wartime conditions.
312pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS ISBN 9781903155622

   71   72   73   74   75