This weeks’ Inheritance Books are from Anne Harvey.
Hi Anne, welcome to Inheritance Books, please, tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Anne Harvey and, since taking early retirement, I’ve had a second career as a writer writing family and social history articles for various national magazines. Just recently, I’ve self-published my debut novel A Suitable Young Man on Kindle and Createspace and am delighted to report steady sales.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
The original copy of my inheritance book is long since lost, probably in one of the many moves we made over the years, but the book impressed me so much that I obtained a second-hand copy. The book is ‘My First Two Thousand Years’ by George Viereck and Paul Eldridge, first published in 1928. It is supposedly the story of the Wandering Jew, a legend that has persisted since the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. The legend stems from a Jew, Cartaphilus, who taunted Jesus on his way to the cross and was then condemned to remain alive until the Second Coming. The book follows Isaac Laquedem’s adventures throughout history, covering all the major events and figures up to the First World War. It is long and rambling, the style archaic and the content often stereotypical and somewhat esoteric, but the story fascinated me as a young girl and still does (must read it again and soon). As much as anything though, the book reminds me of my late Dad. A working man all his life who didn’t have much education, he nevertheless had a sharp and enquiring mind. He was an inspiration to me and I still miss our lively conversations, even though he’s been dead sixteen years.
Which book would you leave to future generations? Why?
I would pass on to my children, now grown up with families of their own, not one book but two. They are ‘The Little Grey Men’ and ‘Down The Bright Stream’ written in the 1940s by ‘BB,’ the pen name of Denys Watkins-Pitchford. I suspect they are both first editions as they were given to me by an elderly bachelor who happened to be a friend of ‘BB’ when I was around nine or ten. They follow the adventures of the last gnomes of Britain and their many animal friends. The first book is about three gnomes, Dodder, Sneezewort and Baldmoney taking a trip upsteam to find their brother Cloudberry who’d gone adventuring years before. In the second book, the four brothers are forced to flee their home in an oak tree as the stream on which their livelihood depends begins to dry up. As a child, I became absorbed in their miniature world and loved the warm friendships they had with the animals. BB conveyed a real sense of wonder in the natural world and the books are enhanced by his own beautiful illustrations. The worn and shabby covers and stained pages tell of how many times I’ve read them. Writing of them now, has inspired me to read them again. They are timeless.
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Anne. All the best with your book.