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Saturday, February 19, 2011

South Riding's Winifred Holtby

South Riding, first of 3 episodes begins Sunday night on BBC One starring Anna Maxwell Martin & David Morrissey. Here's more information on Winifred Holtby, the lady who penned the novel.

"Shirley Williams: "Winifred Holtby, who had met my mother, Vera Brittain, in the autumn of 1919, when both were students at Somerville College, Oxford, was, like her, a writer.
The two young women had rented a flat in Doughty Street, Bloomsbury, after leaving university, and together tried to break into the world of journalism and writing books.
... South Riding, Winifred Holtby's masterpiece, was born of two powerful factors in her life: her deep roots in the Yorkshire countryside and her fascination with the comedies and tragedies of local government."
...Read entire article at The Independent

Read about the struggle in getting the book published, fighting opposition from Winifred's mother Alice Holtby, alderwoman of East Riding (upon which South Riding is based).
Note: "Although the South Riding is a fictional place – there are only North, West and East Ridings, since "riding" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "thriding", meaning a third – Holtby's novel is located in the East Riding she knew so well. Kingsport is instantly recognisable as Hull. Kiplington, the coastal town where Sarah Burton is headmistress, is an amalgam of Hornsea and Withernsea, the seaside towns where Holtby lodged while writing the book."
...Read article in The Guardian

This is the 3rd adaptation of this novel: A film of it was made in 1937, starring Edna Best and Ralph Richardson and it was first adapted for television in 1974, with Dorothy Tutin, Hermione Baddeley and Nigel Davenport.

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