1 March 2023 Susannah

Literary news: some good, some bad

Birthplace of Anna Sewell

Let’s begin with some snippets of literary news – some good, and some bad.

I love to hear about new literary museums being created, and one exciting new one in England is the Great Yarmouth birthplace of Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, a book that brought about more humane treatment of working horses. It was also the first book to use an animal as narrator. The house is being taken care of by the Redwings Horse Charity, which rescues horses, ponies and mules around the UK.

The museum opened in August 2022. There was once a plan for buying the house, dismantling it, and taking it to America, but instead, an English benefactor saved the Grade II-listed home and so it remained in England.

I was gutted to learn that one of my very favourite crime writers ever, Elly Griffiths, will be ‘retiring’ her fabulous heroine Dr Ruth Galloway. The books helped me stay sane during Covid and I am so upset that this latest Ruth book, The Last Remains will be the final one in the series. I’ve loved every one of the sixteen books.

Elly has started a new series featuring a Sikh woman detective, Harbinder Kaur. The series starts with The Stranger Diaries, and the three books so far have all been excellent, but I will so miss Ruth and Nelson and the other memorable characters, the eerie setting of the saltmarsh, the humour, and the excellent writing. Thank you, Elly, for giving me so much pleasure, and I do hope that perhaps Ruth fails to enjoy her retirement and comes back to delight me and many others.

Don’t forget that my exciting new Trailblazer series, about fascinating English men and women, will be starting in a few days. I am so looking forward to having so many of you join me on zoom, to discover more about these four amazing people.

Are you a lover of Black Beauty’s story? Have you been reading Elly Griffith’s books? Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image- Birthplace of Anna Sewell, Copyright Mat Tuck, https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/4237032
Body image- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, https://amzn.to/3Z4vCqx
Body image- The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths, https://amzn.to/3m9hSwb

Comments (10)

  1. Ann Raine

    The house of Anna Sewell in Great Yarmouth is mentioned in Elly Griffiths …Ruth goes to a meeting there. I think in Room full of Bones.
    In the short time since your Newsletter I have become immersed in Elly Griffiths and reading one book after another…thank you

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I had totally forgotten that reference in the Elly books – thanks for reminding me. I do envy you having so many of them still to read for the first time, and am delighted that my recommendation has encouraged you to start the series.

  2. Jan Clemson

    Elly Griffiths, in interviews, has left the door open to further stories with the characters from the Galloway/Nelson/Norfolk series so i am curious to see what form these might take. Meanwhile, I too like the Harbinder Kaur books although they are not in the true sense a series but stand-alones. Clever and unusual plots and I look forward to future books with her as the lively main character. I suspect Elly Griffiths has a plan for a new series ….

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Let’s hope there are more Ruth stories to come. I have tried her Brighton series, but didn’t enjoy them much, but the Harbinder Kaur series is great so I do hope she continues with that.

  3. Sue Scott

    Oh no… not a farewell to Ruth… it has been a wonderful series – like comfort food! I liked Stranger Diaries so will follow the new detective.
    Great reads of late – Horse by Geraldine Brooks- a fabulous uplifting read, and Limberlost by Robbie Arnott – exquisite.
    Happy reading everyone – thank you Susannah

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Yes, it’s awful to have to say goodbye to Ruth. I’ve been told the audio versions of the novels are fabulous, so am thinking of listening to them all. I will so miss those characters!
      Thanks for the recommendations. I need another 12 hours in each day to get through all the books I want to read.

  4. Nina West-Sadler

    I have enjoyed the Ruth Galloway series so much, and like you Susannah, am devastated that this will be the last one! Can’t wait to read it, of course, but am very sad.

    Thank you so much for the initial introduction to Elly Griffiths! Definitely a winner for me!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      How nice to hear form you, Nina. I am so delighted you loved the Elly Griffiths series. Do try her Harbinder Kaur series – not quite as good as Ruth, but still excellent. She has also written a series set in Brighton, but I didn’t enjoy that nearly as much. I will so miss more Dr Ruth adventures! You might also enjoy Julia Chapman’s Dales mysteries, which begin with Date with Death.

  5. Patricia Kerr

    I loved the Story of Black Beauty, It was the first book I read as a child and I loved it, I felt so sad for the horses.
    I haven’t read any books by Elly Griffiths, but I will look for them in the Library next time I go

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I find Black Beauty a very tragic book to read – all that cruelty to the poor horses. But it did bring about change to the way in which working horses were treated, and I think it is fabulous that her house is now a museum.
      Do try Elly Griffiths, but you have to read them in order to follow the progress of the various relationships.

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