For our final summer readings session we are looking at a very different piece of writing. It is Lucy M. Boston’s The River at Green Knowe. Lucy M. Boston is probably better known for her earlier book The Children of Green Knowe for which she was runner up for the 1954 Carnegie Medal for best children’s literature. She would later win it with her fourth book in the series, Stranger at Green Knowe (1961). The River at Green Knowe is the third of her six books set in the ancient house of Green Knowe, which also served as Boston’s home.
Although published in 1958, the book has a distinctively Edwardian feel about it despite it dealing with contemporary issues of alienation and homelessness experienced by refugees. The book is a series of stories about three children who are staying at Green Knowe for the summer and their adventures in a canoe on the river and canals around the house. Like all her books, The River at Green Knowe is a story filled with light and shadow, enchanting magic, and the threat of danger.
More information and bibliographic details
Boston, Lucy M. (1958) The River at Green Knowe. London: Faber and Faber.
Green Knowe is located at Hemingford Grey, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, UK. The house and its enchanting garden are open to the public – although check first before you travel. There is a delightful website where you can find lots of photographs of the house and grounds, as well as information about Lucy M. Boston and her books. The website is here: Green Knowe.
For a real treat, Brian Sibley's remarkable and haunting BBC Radio 4 dramatisation of Lucy M Boston's first book, The Children of Green Knowe, is available, free to stream, on SoundCloud. It is spellbinding: SoundCloud - The Children of Green Knowe.
Green Knowe also have social media pages which regularly posts updates, information and images relating to the house and books.
In the intro and the outro, Saint-Saen's The Swan is performed by Karr and Bernstein (1961) and available on CC at archive.org.
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