Miss Read


Miss Read
Dora Jessie Saint MBE née Shafe (born 17 April 1913), best known by the pen name Miss Read, was an English novelist, by profession a schoolmistress. Her pseudonym was derived from her mother's maiden name. She began writing for several journals after World War II and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC.

She wrote a series of novels from 1955 to 1996. Her work centred on two fictional English villages, Fairacre and Thrush Green. The principal character in the Fairacre books, "Miss Read", is an unmarried schoolteacher in a small village school, an acerbic and yet compassionate observer of village life. Miss Read's novels are wry regional social comedies, laced with gentle humour and subtle social commentary. Miss Read is also a keen observer of nature and the changing seasons. In 1940 she married her husband, Douglas, a former headmaster. The couple had a daughter, Jill.

Her most direct influence is from Jane Austen, although her work also bears similarities to the social comedies of manners written in the 1920s and 1930s, and in particular the work of Barbara Pym. Miss Read's work has influenced a number of writers in her own turn, including the American writer Jan Karon. The musician Enya has a track on her Watermark album named after the book Miss Clare Remembers, and one on her Shepherd Moons album named after No Holly for Miss Quinn.

In 1996 she retired. In 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature. She died 7 April, 2012 in Shefford Woodlands.
Born:
April 22, 1913
Died:
April 07, 2012
Genres: