In Response to Finding Role Models for Women Writers
I was going to write about Eva Figes and Penelope Fitzgerald after reading Linda Ann Strang’s great piece on women writers. Two amazing writers, two truly amazing writers, two writers I would jump through hoops for. But then I had a thought. It came quickly, surrounded in a nebulous cloud of words. Slowly this cloud of words dissipated and the thought popped iridescently as all good thoughts should. The thought was a question. I pondered the question. I felt rather foolish. The idea that I could have thought such a thing perplexed me because it was about a very unhip woman. I laughed it off and once again started to think about Eva Figes and Penelope Fitzgerald. But whenever I thought about Eva Figes and Penelope Fitzgerald I digressed and thought about the silly question. When Dame Barbara Hamilton Cartland’s first novel Jag-Saw was published the critics thought it showed great promise. One critic wrote: “West end life with the lid off, that I can hardly believe it’s been written by a girl”. Next it was plays. One play was even banned. The play Blood Money was banned by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, they thought it was too racy for the London stage. And so the question that has been plaguing me is: what would have happened if Mary Cartland had been hit by a car full of London Thugs the day after the Lord Chamberlain’s Office had banned her play?
Paul Kavanagh’s ‘The Killing of a Bank Manager‘ is out now, priced £7.99/$12.99.
Tags: dame barbara hamilton cartland, eva figes, penelope fitzgerald, pk, women writers