Waiting on Wednesday--Mermaid House, by Gwendoline Courtney

Gwendoline Courtney (1911-1996) is a favorite author of mine--some her books are go-to comfort reads, featuring close-knit siblings who engage in a variety of nicely detailed domestic tasks and house hold projects and finding old furniture in the attic and polishing it. Sally's Family is the classic example, and I read it every year or so (instead of cleaning my own house and polishing my own furniture). I think I like it because it all gets finished in the end (unlike my own house). Other of her books, in which there is no whitewashing of walls, appeal less to me.

But regardless, it was a great pleasure to learn that Mermaid House, a new book by Courtney is going to be published in the near future by Girls Gone By Publishers, who have been busily bringing back into print a number of excellent (and some less so) British School Girl stories (Chalet School, anyone? I think I came to that series too late in life, and have never cared for it. But other books, like Evelyn Finds Herself, by Josephine Elder, are most excellent).

"It is not very often that one finds an almost unpublished novel by an author one loves, but such is the case with Mermaid House by Gwendoline Courtney. It was never published in book form, but only in The Salisbury Journal, over 48 instalments from 9th January 1953.
The Greystone children are apprehensive about the prospect of spending a summer with their mother’s aunt, the formidable and aptly named Miss Pendragon, who lives in Tremorvyn Cove, Cornwall. However, almost from the moment of their arrival mysteries abound, and as the story unfolds, the Greystones are left with many questions but no answers about what is happening on Tremorvyn Point, and why. Then they team up with Agnes Morvyn and Ned Pengelly, and between them they unravel this exciting story with its surprising conclusion.
We discovered this story a couple of years ago, and decided to publish it this year - the Centenary of Gwendoline Courtney’s birth. It is Gwendoline Courtney at her best."

I dunno if I am going to agree with them or not--there doesn't sound like there's much house cleaning...but still, on my Christmas wish list it goes!


  1. Nice article, thanks for the information.

  2. Fascinating! I hope you enjoy this book- even without the housework. (hee!) It sounds charming. I've never heard of this author, but her work sounds like my cup of tea.


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