From organising the school summer fete - 'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand' - to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood - 'I collect stones with holes in them' - Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can. This collection also includes extracts from her letters: 'Michael Joseph wrote after the Observer thing and is throwing out feelers for a book. I shall know if he still feels like it - me too! - after we've met'. It will also include an Introduction on how 'Miss Read' was first created:
Miss Read was born fully clothed in sensible garments and aged about forty. She was born, in fact, when I was struggling to write my first book and needed a village schoolmistress as the narrator.