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Antonia White (1899–1980)

Author of Frost in May

20+ Works 2,250 Members 54 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

Eirene Adeline Botting wrote under the name Antonia White.

Image credit: Time Warner Books UK


Works by Antonia White

Frost in May (1933) 922 copies
The Lost Traveller (1950) 339 copies
The Sugar House (1952) 291 copies
Beyond the Glass (1954) 275 copies
Strangers (1954) 140 copies
As Once in May (1983) 48 copies
Minka and Curdy (1957) 33 copies
Virago Omnibus III (1936) — Contributor — 20 copies
Virago Omnibus I (1986) — Contributor — 13 copies

Associated Works

The Collected Stories of Colette (1983) — Translator, some editions — 646 copies
Gigi / The Cat (1958) — Translator, some editions — 575 copies
Claudine at School (1900) — Translator, some editions — 448 copies
I Am Fifteen--and I Don't Want To Die (1956) — Translator, some editions — 390 copies
Claudine in Paris (1901) — Translator, some editions — 244 copies
History of Charles XII, King of Sweden (1731) — Translator, some editions — 218 copies
Claudine Married (1902) — Translator, some editions — 208 copies
The Shackle (1964) — Translator, some editions — 192 copies
Claudine and Annie (1903) — Translator, some editions — 176 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies
The Tender Shoot and Other Stories (Noonday Press Book; N504) (1958) — Translator, some editions — 65 copies
The Gender of Modernism: A Critical Anthology (1990) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Rainy Moon and Other Stories (1962) — Translator, some editions — 57 copies
Infinite Riches (1993) — Contributor — 54 copies
Saints and Ourselves (1953) — Contributor — 43 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 33 copies
The Old School: Essays by Divers Hands (1934) — Contributor — 30 copies
Mystery and Adventure Stories for Girls (1960) — Contributor — 5 copies
A pathway to heaven — Translator, some editions — 3 copies


Common Knowledge



Would never have picked this, but ran out of books on hol and borrowed one of A's, and it's really really good. Not all that much happens, but it's very funny and quite moving in places.
hierogrammate | 22 other reviews | Jan 31, 2022 |
Set in the early 1900s, Nanda is nine years old when her father enrolls her in the convent school outside of London called Convent of the Five Wounds. She quickly learns, in this closed society, that she has to please only God. And, of course, the stodgy, cruel nuns that run the place. (I can say that, as a lapsed Catholic who has had my fill of nuns.) There was a little too much of the holy affairs in the early part of the book but then as Nanda grew up to be a teenager there was a sense of dread that somehow her attention to the rules was slipping and the nuns were going to catch her doing something they didn't allow which was just about anything really. The author was great at character development and creating this sense of doom.

I followed it up by listening to the Backlisted podcast about the book and it was absolutely wonderful and revealed that the book was very autobiographical and played parts of an interview with the author from the 60s.
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brenzi | 22 other reviews | Jan 22, 2022 |
The Virago group is doing themed monthly reads and the first was "Nuns, Teachers, and Governesses". I have about 6 unread viragos on my shelf, so I'm trying to read them when they fit a category. I had never read [Frost in May], which is Virago #1, so I took the opportunity and I'm so glad I did!

[Frost in May] is about a young girl whose father has recently converted to Catholicism. He sends her to a conservative Catholic boarding school. There, 9 year old Nanda whole-heartedly discovers the Catholic faith, makes friends, and begins to know herself. She is immersed in the closed world of the convent, where self-control, discipline, and humility are demanded of these young children. The glimmers of non-conformity come from a few of her friends at the convent who have more worldly families and from Nanda's mother, who during brief visits, obviously shows that she does not buy in to the system. Though internally Nanda embraces the lifestyle, some of her actions don't fit with the convent rules and the book does not end happily from Nanda's point of view.

I unexpectedly found this book delightful. There is a subtle and slightly subversive humor throughout from the author, but at the same time she perfectly captures the rigidity of a child's mind as it opens up through the teen years.

I would love to know more about the politics/cultural ramifications of converting to Catholicism in England in the early 1900s. I'm curious if there was a deeper cultural statement being made in the book that I didn't have the background to comprehend.

Original publication date: 1933, Virago publication date 1978 (#1)
Author’s nationality: British
Original language: English
Length: 221 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Format/where I acquired the book: given to me by Barbara/romain from the Virago group
Why I read this: virago monthly challenge
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japaul22 | 22 other reviews | Jan 13, 2022 |
The amazing mostly mental cruelty of nuns toward the children they are raising.

Every will must be broken and completely reset.."
dimajazz | 22 other reviews | Nov 17, 2021 |



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