Today I’m delighted to welcome Yorkshire novelist Maggie Cobbett. Her ‘Porridge & Cream’ read is The Beloved Vagabond by William J Locke.
“The Beloved Vagabond by William J Locke has been a favourite of mine since childhood. The now tatty illustrated edition, published in 1922, belonged to my father and we used to read it together. It is that memory that often draws me back to it, together with the fact that Paragot, the main character, (as depicted in the wonderful illustrations by Jean Dulac, see below), bears more than a passing resemblance to Dad as he would have liked to be. An artist, writer and rover at heart, he was trapped for most of his life in mundane occupations that kept him in Yorkshire.”
Born in Leeds, Maggie studied modern languages at the University of Manchester and then spent many years teaching in the UK and abroad, taking every opportunity to travel more extensively in the holidays. Since taking early retirement and now based back in Yorkshire with her family, she writes short stories, articles, reviews, ‘fillers’ and even the occasional poem. Until the pandemic struck, she also appeared regularly as a ‘village regular’ on Emmerdale.
Maggie’s latest book
Maggie explains, “Workhouse Orphan, inspired by a brave young man way back in my family history and dedicated to him, tells the story of a boy forced at a very tender age to leave his siblings behind in their grim London workhouse and work down a Yorkshire coal mine. Despite the hardships he encounters, he never loses sight of his wish to reunite the family. While not originally intended to be a book for children – it’s actually suitable for anyone with an interest in social history – I’ve been told by parents that it’s made a good bedtime read and given their own offspring cause to realise how lucky they are!”
BUY THE BOOK
What is a ‘Porridge & Cream’ book? It’s the book you turn to when you need a familiar read, when you are tired, ill, or out-of-sorts, where you know the story and love it. Where reading it is like slipping on your oldest, scruffiest slippers after walking for miles. Where does the name ‘Porridge & Cream’ come from? Cat Deerborn is a character in Susan Hill’s ‘Simon Serrailler’ detective series. Cat is a hard-worked GP, a widow with two children and she struggles from day-to-day. One night, after a particularly difficult day, she needs something familiar to read. From her bookshelf she selects ‘Love in A Cold Climate’ by Nancy Mitford. Do you have a favourite read which you return to again and again? If so, please send me a message.
Discover the ‘Porridge & Cream’ books of these authors:-
Julia Thum’s choice is ‘The Little White Horse’ by Elizabeth Goudge
Lexi Rees chooses ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams
‘The Shell Seekers’ by Rosamund Pilcher is chosen by Carol Warham
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why does Yorkshire author @MaggieCobbett re-read THE BELOVED VAGABOND by William J Locke? #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-4Yt via @SandraDanby