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9781903155059

Saplings

Streatfeild, Noel Author

9781903155059: Saplings

Noel Streatfeild is best known as a writer for children, but had not thought of writing for them until persuaded to re-work her first novel as Ballet Shoes; this had sold ten million copies by the time of her death. Saplings (1945), her tenth book for adults, is also about children: a family with four of them, to whom we are first introduced in all their secure Englishness in the summer of 1939. 'Her purpose is to take a happy, successful, middle-class pre-war family - and then track in miserable detail the disintegration and devastation which war brought to tens of thousands of such families,' writes the psychiatrist Dr Jeremy Holmes in his Afterword. Her 'supreme gift was her ability to see the world from a child's perspective' and 'she shows that children can remain serene in the midst of terrible events as long as they are handled with love and openness.' She understood that 'the psychological consequences of separating children from their parents was glossed over in the rush to ensure their physical survival... It is fascinating to watch Streatfeild casually and intuitively anticipate many of the findings of developmental psychology over the past fifty years.' 'A study of the disintegration of a middle-class family during the turmoil of the Second World War, and quite shocking' wrote Sarah Waters in the Guardian.

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About the Author:

Noel Streatfeild, born 1895, was one of the daughters of the Bishop of Lewes and a great-granddaughter of the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry. She was unmarried and led a busy London literary life and had written over eighty books by the time of her death in 1986. Jeremy Holmes is a noted psychiatrist and psychotherapist with an international reputation.

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Book Description Persephone Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Saplings was first published in 1945. Noel Streatfeild takes a happy successful, middle class pre-war English family (and the Wiltshires, like their name are very English - there is no hint of the Celtic fringe or the cosmopolitan exoticism which lurks in the background of Ballet Shoes), 'beautiful, orderly, full of children' (the four 'saplings'), with holidays at the seaside, a comfortable house in Regent's Park, a glamourous mother and successful industrialist for a father, nannies and nurses, prep schools and public schools - and then tracks in miserable detail the disintegration and devastation which war brought to tens of thousands of such families. Streatfeild's supreme gift was her ability to see the world from a child's perspective. What makes Saplings special is her use of that skill to explore a very adult problem - the psychological impact of war and trauma on family life. (From the Afterword by Dr Jeremy Holmes.). Bookseller Inventory # 017810

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