My Summer With Dorothy

Clare Harvey
Tue 26 Jun, 2018

The Notts author Dorothy Whipple was a literary star in her day but is rather overshadowed in posterity by Byron, Lawrence and Sillitoe. Best-selling writer Clare Harvey wants to restore Whipple to the pantheon of greatness, and here's how:

The literary history of Nottingham is all about male writers, right?

Lawrence, Sillitoe, Byron…I thought I knew all the authors linked to my adopted city, until I discovered Dorothy Whipple.

Described as the ‘Jane Austen of the twentieth century’ by JB Priestly, Whipple’s fiction was immensely popular in the inter-war years, and two of her works were made into feature films. Whilst her novels went out of vogue in the latter part of the century, they were recently rediscovered and re-published by Persephone Books. Eight novels and one collection of short stories are now in print again, and Whipple is such a popular choice for Persephone readers, that the company even produce a Dorothy box set (see their website for details:

Like me, it was marriage that brought Blackburn-born Whipple to Nottingham, and from this city that she launched her career in commercial fiction. Noticing these parallels between Whipple and myself, and wanting to celebrate a slightly overlooked member of Nottingham’s literary heritage, I have decided to begin #MySummerWithDorothy:

This Summer I’m going to read and review all nine of Whipple’s books currently in print, and I’d love you to join me on my journey…

I’m starting off with Someone at a Distance (for no other reason than that I really like the cover!), which is available online from Persephone Books or Amazon.

As I complete every book, I'll write a short review which will appear on this site: also, follow me on Twitter: @ClareHarveyauth

Historical Fiction author Clare Harvey is published by Simon & Schuster, and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Nottingham. She lives locally with her family.

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