Archives for Yorkshire Wolds

Book review: Anderby Wold

Winifred Holtby was born seven miles from where I was born and I have always felt a connection with her, forged primarily by reading South Riding as a teenager and reinforced by re-reading and two television series. And she also did what I wanted to do; she left the Yorkshire Wolds and became a writer. But until now, I am ashamed to say, I had not read her earlier novels. Anderby Wold is her first; published in 1923 it is a portrayal of a Yorkshire Wolds village in the first years of the twentieth century. I was struck by the similarity to Jane Austen: both focus on the personalities, tensions, the pettiness, resentments and emotions of small communities, and both combine acute social observations with sharp humour. The novel opens with a family party at the farm, Anderby Wold, as Mary Robson and John, her husband of ten years and also her cousin, are celebrating a decade of hard work and penny pinching to clear the mortgage on the farm they had inherited. We are introduced to Mary and the family from the viewpoint of John’s sister, the spiteful Sarah. If ever there was a negative first chapter that makes
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Categories: Book Love.