1 December 2017 Susannah

A Precious New Child

Baby's Feet on Brown Wicker Basket

I am a grandma!! Little Arabella arrived into this world in the evening of 30th November (which is Mark Twain’s birthday, so an auspicious day from a literary point of view)and I am fast discovering the truth of Shakespeare’s words: “a grandma’s name is little less in love than is the doting title of a mother.”

Have you read The Summer Book by Finnish author Tove Jansson? I hope I can be like the grandmother in that story – wise, patient, and loving. But what I most hope to do as a grandmother is to bring the joy of books into little Arabella’s life. My first personal gift to her is a copy of Georgette Heyer’s delightful novel Arabella after whom she is named.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

  Susannah Fullerton: Grandparents in Literature
   The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
   Arabella by Georgette Heyer

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Featured image credit- Baby’s Feet on Brown Wicker Basket. Public Domain, from https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-s-feet-on-brown-wicker-basket-161534/

Comments (36)

  1. Gabrielle Donovan

    Congratulations Susannah on becoming a grandmother for the first time with the birth of Arabella. It is only now that I have had time to read up on my emails as I have overseas for some time.

    I am Mémé to three interesting grandchildren, two girls with both names starting with “A”. one now heading for her 17th birthday and the youngest towards her 2nd birthday. My sensitive and charming grandson will be 15 this year. They have bought so much love into my life and every minute with them is treasured like a special jewel. With these thoughts in mind I know you will travel a road so special that sometimes your heart will nearly burst with happiness.

    For the second year the youngest enjoyed her advent opening of a book each day leading up to Christmas even though I was thousand of miles away. Her love of books is deep though only 22 months old, and any opportunity to open a book gives her so much pleasure, whether at the shoe shop or doctors waiting room. You see her in another world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, just like my first grandchild.

    So sorry I could not make it to Blue Mountains on Friday to hear your lecture this first one I have missed since you starting opening the year of ADFAS Blue Mountains. Hope some time I can make your lectures in Sydney, though between looking after Audrey and working I have little free time.
    Kindest regard to you

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much for your good wishes, Gabrielle. I now know why so many friends raved about being grandmothers. My Arabella is a delight!
      I did miss seeing you at ADFAS. They all seemed to enjoy the talk. Do hope we can catch up soon.

  2. Rosemary Stipanov

    Wonderful news Susannah, ” A garden of love grows in a Grandmother’s heart”. What joy awaits you with little Arabella.
    We had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Maryanne last night at a Christmas function, she was looking forward to meeting up with you in Sydney.
    Susannah we think we may have to move to Sydney to be able to enjoy your wonderful lectures. When is Melbourne scheduled?
    The introduction to Donna Leon has filled many evenings with delight & reminiscence of our wonderful time in Venice.
    Thank you again Susannah for hosting such a fabulous trip & we look forward to joining you again.
    Best wishes to you & your family for a very Happy Christmas & safe travel.
    Kind regards Rosemary & Romano.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Many thanks Rosemary for your kind congratulations. Little Arabella is gorgeous and I’m lovely every moment of being a grandma.
      I am delighted you enjoyed our Italian journey so much. I’d love you to join me on future tours. I’m also very glad that reading Donna Leon is bringing back beautiful memories of Venice. I will let you know when I have Melbourne lectures coming up. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas.

  3. Stacey S

    Congratulations! This is such wonderful news 🙂

    Arabella is my favourite Heyer novel to date – it is such a beautiful name. I hope there is a talk about this novel at the next Heyer conference.

    Best wishes to your family.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Many thanks for your kind congratulations. Arabella is my favourite Heyer novel too. Not sure yet when the next Heyer conference will be, but we will definitely have a talk about grandmothers in her novels and hopefully on Arabella as well.

  4. The rewards for ageing are grandchildren. We make time to listen to hug to explain to enter their world as they discover life. There is no greater gift. Arabella is the most fortunate of little girls

  5. Congratulations Susannah, Arabella is a lovely name, I hope it won’t be shortened to Bella. My eldest granddaughter presented me with my great grandson last December I have just attended his first birthday party, a lovely idea was having notes for everyone to write, things like how do I know you, what do you think I will be when I grow up, what are your best memories of me, what is 2017 like, what do you think 2037 will be like, some words of wisdom and lastly, your message to Austin. Lovely to think he will get these messages from me on his 21st.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Isn’t that a nice idea! It will bring a lovely sense of connection with family members who are no longer around.

  6. Lois

    Susannah: I would like to join all the other well-wishers with congratulations on your elevated position. You were excited at the last class I attended, so I can understand how thrilled you must be. Hope all are well. Lovely days ahead.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks Lois for your kind wishes. I cannot wait until the baby is old enough for me to sit her on my lap and read her stories.
      Thanks for coming to my class.

  7. Patty Bruniges

    Congratulations on your new status Susannah, becoming a grandmother is wonderful and you can look forward to many happy times with your newly expanded family. Arabella is a lovely name – congratulations to the new parents

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much, Patty. I am sure this is the start of an exciting new journey. Everyone seems to like the name Arabella – I am delighted with it.

  8. Malvina Yock

    Susannah, such wonderful news! Welcome to the world, Arabella. And of course, so many studies link reading aloud to children to early literacy and good vocabularies. I’m sure Grandma is ready, willing and able to start the ball rolling from infancy with favourite books! I recently had the privilege of reading aloud ‘Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone’ to my two oldest grandchildren (aged 8 and 6) while we were away on holidays, and it was a thrilling fortnight for us all. The year before it was ‘Matilda’. Plus multiple picture books for the younger ones. Such happy memories, and such happy days ahead.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I cannot wait to read her books! My mother, by reading to me, changed my life infinitely for the better, and so I hope to do the same for gorgeous wee Arabella.

  9. Margaret

    Congratulations Susannah on birth of your first grandchild Arabella I love the name! As I grandmother of nine I know she will bring you immeasurable joy! A very Happy Christmas 🎄

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Many thanks Margaret. Of course I am now wondering how many grandchildren I might reasonably expect with 3 children of my own. Now that I’ve discovered the joy of being a grandma, I want more of it!

  10. Barbara McKay

    Welcome little miracle – what joy for you Susannah. Wonderful to give the precious child the gift of books. A joyous Christmas for your family

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much Barbara. She is bringing great joy already and will make this Christmas a very special one. I do so hope she loves books. She will certainly get lots of encouragement from her grandma.

  11. Brian Doyle

    Nanna Susannah
    You’ve received the gift that keeps on giving.
    Many congratulations.
    Kindest regards

  12. Margy Syrett

    Congratulations to all your family on the birth of Arabella. A wonderful early Christmas present. I’m sure she will love books and reading. You’ve inspired many of us and will also inspire her.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I hope I can inspire her. My head is full of books I want to read to her, and of course there’s now such a great range of modern books for children.
      See you at the JASA lunch?

  13. I’m so happy for you. Mark Twain’s birthday will do very well, and a literary name to boot!
    She has no hope but to be a reader, as I am sure she will!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Well if she isn’t a reader, it will not be for want of trying on my part.
      Many thanks for the good wishes.

  14. Sheryl Craig

    Congratulations, Susannah. It’s wonderful to be a Grandma. There’s only one job requirement, to love them, and that’s so easy to do. Beatrix Potter and Winnie the Pooh were how I started mine.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I must buy her a copy of The Tale of Miss Moppet. My kids wore out at least 3 copies of that book – they loved it so much. Thanks so much for the good wishes Sheryl. Mery Christmas and I hope 2018 is a fabulous year for you, especially your visit to Australia.

  15. Susan King

    Congratulations Susannah and family on the safe arrival of darling Arabella.
    We as Grandmothers are truly blessed on this joyous occasion with more love than we could ever imagine.
    Are you now known as Nana,Grandma or another endearment?

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I will be Grandma, though you never know what other name I might end up with. ‘Mad Book Lady’ perhaps?
      Thanks for your congratulations – we are just so thrilled and she is totally gorgeous.

  16. Marisa Cano

    What great news to finish the year! Congratulations, Susannah, on your gorgeous granddaughter – with such a beautiful name! I hope she grows up to love literature and follow in your footsteps. Santa Claus came a bit early for you, but what a gift he brought you! Cheers

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Many thanks for your kind congratulations Marisa. Little Arabella is such a wonderful Christmas present. I do indeed hope she comes to love books even half as much as I do. It will give such extra pleasure to her life.

  17. Toni Pollard

    Congratulations, Granny Susannah. And to Arabella’s parents too, of course. A warm welcome to the world to the little one.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks so much, Toni. We are all just so thrilled and our wee baby is simply gorgeous!

  18. Ronda Booth

    Congratulation to all Susannaha and a very warm welcome to the world to Arranbella and of course to the delightful world of literature, and how could she possibly miss out with you as her Grandmother. Merry Christmas to you all, what a delightful early Christmas present. Love Ronda Booth

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Thanks for your lovely message Ronda. Our little Arabella is indeed the best Christmas present ever. I cannot wait to introduce her to the fabulous world of books.

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