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Village School author Dora Saint dies at 97


Dora Saint, who wrote many novels about English village life as Miss Read, has died at 98 years old. The first Miss Read novel, Village School, was published in 1955 and led to a successful writing career with many books set in the quaint rural England.

Her books were often compared with those of E.F. Benson, R.F. Delderfield, Barbara Pym and Angela Thirkell, although Mrs. Saint seldom dipped her pen in the acid ink of satire.

“There are plenty of people writing to shock, but I don’t know enough to shock anybody,” she told London’s Sunday Mail newspaper in 1993. “People like something to remind them that there is a happier side to life.”

In her books, feuds sometimes flare up between neighbors, and problems often arise at the vicarage or in planning community flower shows, but in Mrs. Saint’s fictional universe, common sense and cool heads always prevail in the end.

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Richard Davies

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