In Memoriam: Dora Saint

My world is sad right now: I learned this week that one of my favorite authors passed away very recently.  Dora Saint (better known by her pen name Miss Read) was a prolific writer of novels, as well as magazine articles and British television programs. But it was her novels that endeared her to me.  They were truly some of the most uplifting, comforting, life-appreciating novels I have ever read.  I have read most of them over and over again — and in fact am in the middle of one right now.

I’m always saddened when someone with such a powerful gift and talent from God departs this earth and leaves us a little poorer. But she wrote scores and scores of books in her 90+ years, and her gift to the world is still very much alive.

I post this memorial in honor of Dora Saint, in gratitude for her legacy, and for the joy she has given and continues to give.  I only hope that I can at least come close to being as influential and life-affirming for my readers as she has been for me and for the tens of thousands of other readers who have loved her dearly.

Can Anyone Help Me Find ‘Miss Read’?

I have just conceived this “brilliant” idea  which I hope will help me conclude a search that has been going on intermittently for the past couple of years.  But it’s only now that I have found some “friends,” via the blogging community, who, because they live in England, just might be able to help me.  I have exhausted all the resources I can find, but to no avail.

I am looking for Miss Read (actually Dora Jesse Saint) the English author of  scores of the most delightful novels I have had the privilege of reading.  Although she has written of other things, her most popular works — and my favorites — are her lighthearted renderings of the everyday life of people in the fictional English villages of  “Fairacre” and “Thrush Green.”  For those who are unacquainted with her work, I might say that you could liken their tenor and quality to the stories of The Andy Griffith Show in the United States, with their unobtrusive, kind-hearted, home-made comfort for the soul.

When I am stressed, troubled, down-hearted, or just in the mood for a quiet, relaxing evening, I pick up a Miss Read book, prop my feet up, and live happily ever after — at least for a while. I have read most of these books at least three times each, and some a few more.  But for some reason, I never tire of them.

Knowing Dora Saint was born in 1913, I guess I had just assumed she was no longer with us. However, only recently I discovered that she is evidently still very much with us and is currently living in a hamlet near Newbury in Berkshire.  But there is no contact information for her online anywhere that I can find, and my experience in the past with trying to go through publishers to pass on information to authors has proven useless.

I would very much like to just send her a message to say how much joy and refreshing her books have given me.  I’m sure, with all the praise she has had from more worthy sources throughout her career, my words would seem small.  Nevertheless, as an author myself, who is always thrilled to know my work blesses anyone, I believe that she would appreciate hearing that ‘thanks’ from even one more person. And I feel it’s important for me to tell her.

If I knew she lived in a small town in the U. S., I would simply call the local post office, tell them I was sending a letter to her in that city, and ask if they would be so kind as to make sure it gets delivered to the correct house.  Post offices have done that in the past.  But I have no idea how the postal service works in England — or what other means of communication might be available in a Berkshire hamlet. So I’m calling on any of my English “friends,” whom I have recently met through WordPress,  for help: if the names of these communities are familiar to you, and/or  you can add to the information I have concerning where Miss Read lives and how I might mail, e-mail, or fax a message to her personally, I would appreciate the input very much.

Also, I do know that her husband (now deceased) was named Douglas.  They had one child, a daughter named Jill. Perhaps even that information could be of help to someone who understands how to obtain contact information in England better than I do.

What a treat it is to be able to communicate with people from all over the world through the technology available today.  I am blessed to have that opportunity, and to live in what really is “a small world after all.”

Thank you for any help you can offer.  It is really a “long shot,” as we say in the States, but for me it is important enough to at least try this avenue!