I wrote it [Cider With Rosie], I was writing it in order to set
down things I remembered with pleasure about our small, local life
I remember towards the end thinking "why am I writing this
in a world which is so threatened by the dark clouds and threats
of cosmic destruction?" This is only a small story, it can
only interest my family and a few neighbours.
I remember towards the end thinking 'why am I writing this in
a world which is so threatened by the dark clouds and threats
of cosmic destruction?' This is only a small story, it can only
interest my family and a few neighbours.
happened was unpredictable but it also reminded many readers of
their beginnings and their family recollections.
was getting letters saying 'I've read your book and it's just like
what my grandmother used to tell me' or 'your mother does remind
me of my mother' and long pages about returning to their recollections
of their beginnings in similar circumstances.
reminding them of their lives and I think that was why it was read
so much, but this was quite unintentional and unpredictable.
was the end of a semi-feudal life and it was also the beginning
of one's own life. And these I think were the reasons why so many
people read it - of course it was beautifully written too!
I take that back, it's not beautifully written, it's funny.
very ill in my early days and on day my mother was having Tony,
my younger brother, Dorothy who was very bored and about 12 went
up to see her in the bedroom.
conversation went like this:
Harold?" "Oh, he's cleaning his bicycle."
"Where's Marge?" "Oh, she's peeling spuds."
"Where's Phil?" "Oh, she's playing with her dolls."
"And where's Laurie?" "Oh, Laurie's dead." "What?"
"Yes, he turned a very strange colour and the neighbour's laying
him out in the kitchen."
going to lay out our Laurie," said Mother, giving one of her
screams and leaping out of bed.
dashed down into the kitchen and said: "What are you doing
with our Laurie, you wicked woman."
said "I'm just washing him".
took me and wrapped me in a blanket and sent out for the vicar to
christen me in case I did die that day.
was very far gone, very far gone indeed and it was only Dorothy's
boredom that saved me. Those things I remember vividly.
Lee on his early days in Slad
Lee on his school days
Lee on the Spanish Civil War
Lee on his favourite place - the Slad Valley