14 July 2017 Susannah

Grandparents in Literature – Recommended Reading

Heidi and her Grandfather [cropped] by Jessie Willcox Smith

Suggested reading list for

GRANDPARENTS IN LITERATURE — A reflection on fictional grandparents

In Johanna Spyri’s famous novel, Heidi, Grandfather is what so many grandparents are for children, both in life and in fiction – a source of love and kindness, a mentor and giver of knowledge and experience, a person who has time for the orphaned child and provides her with a stable home, and a symbol of continuity and the passing of time. Lately, I have been giving some thought to grandparents in literature.

I love to recommend books that I’ve read and enjoyed, so here’s my list of great reading about grandparents.

If you haven’t read my Grandparents in Literature Literary Snapshot you can purchase it here.


When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.” Ogden Nash


   Heidi by Johanna Spyri
   Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
   The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera


“Every house needs a grandmother in it.” Louisa May Alcott


   Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook by Joyce Lankester Brisley, Joyce Lankester Brisley (Illustrated by)
   The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
   The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
   The Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope
   He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
   Susannah Fullerton Brief Encounters: Literary Travellers in Australia 1836-1939
  Susannah Fullerton Twain and Trollope in Oz


“If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.” Lois Wyse


   Persuasion by Jane Austen
   Emma by Jane Austen
   Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
   Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope


“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” Alex Haley


   One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
   Sylvester by Georgette Heyer
   A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor
   Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrated by)
   George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (Illustrated by)
   The Crow Road by Iain Banks
   Susannah Fullerton Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade
  Susannah Fullerton Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday

Flannery O’Connor Reads “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (1959)


“Never have children, only grandchildren.” Gore Vidal


   How to Be a Grandfather by Victor Hugo, Timothy Ades (Translated by)
   Tales of a Grandfather by Sir Walter Scott
   The Garden Party: and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

   Susannah Fullerton Finding Katherine Mansfield audio CD
   Susannah Fullerton Of Claire Tomalin and Katherine Mansfield

I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.

Do you know of other memorable ‘grandparents in literature’? I’d love to hear your suggestions so please let me know in the comment area below.

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Featured image credit- Heidi and her Grandfather [cropped] by Jessie Willcox Smith (1863-1935) – http://www.geocities.com/enchantedforest/glade/8905/jessiewillcoxsmith.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=656964
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