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What Hetty Did: Life and Letters by J. L.…
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What Hetty Did: Life and Letters (1988)

by J. L. Carr

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Quite fascinating to find further accounts of characters met in Carr's previous novels, particularly George Harpole and Emma Foxberrow. ( )
  KayCliff | Aug 30, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set
And blew - 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'

Robert Browning and William Shakespeare.
Have you no mind to do what nobody can do for you?
Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote.
Put her in a room with any six people old enough to be her parents and her parents may be there for anything she knows. They may be in any house she sees, they may be in any churchyard she passes, she may run against 'em in any street and never know it. She knows nothing about 'em. Never did. Never will.
Charles Dickens - Little Dorrit.
Dedication
For A, H, P.S, M and N and for many a landlady gone but unforgotten. And also for Edmund Kirby who, in his ninety-eighth year, showed unwearied interest in the production of this book which is dedicated to the Memory of John Baskerville of Birmingham, who designed this type fount, invented wove paper and lost cheerfully on particular books which he published.
First words
Of course, although I didn't know it was the begining of the end, I recall the circumstances exactly.
Quotations
The [Youth Opportunities] project is dolling up headstones in St Tobit's Graveyard ... you will have to find your own bucket and scrubbing-brush.... I considered it not unreasonable to encourage volunteers to make a start on some uncle, aunt or half-remembered grandfather.... "This work is not for them," [the Youth Opportunity Expert] cried crossly. "Not a single one of this lot qualify under Section 19B. They are old has-beens pensioned off by the Government to stay at home. And doing it free is completely irrelevant."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Includes Edward Peplow from Carr's A Day in Summer at the age of 94, and Emma Foxberrow from the Harpole books at the age of 75.

Quince Tree Press blurb: Hetty, a spirited sixth-former with an unlikely penchant for Keats and Browning struggles against a brutish home life in the Fens, with a bullying father, down-trodden mother, and nasty little brother.
Discovering that she was in fact adopted, Hetty gratefully runs away in search of her real parents. She finds shelter in a Birmingham boarding house, where the land-lady, eccentric lodgers, race riots and urban living expand her horizons.
Read on to see if she eventually finds her true family and her place at Cambridge . . .
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