Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Grandmothers and I” as Want to Read:
My Grandmothers and I
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Grandmothers and I

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews

Text below extracted and largely copied from
accessed 21 April 2011)

"BORN [25 October 1913] in the bed in which the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt had died three years before, the writer Diana Holman-Hunt was to inherit her grandfather's exceptional memory and gifts as a raconteur. These were cultivated by an e
Hardcover, First Edition, 208 pages
Published 1960 by Hamish Hamilton Ltd
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Grandmothers and I, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Grandmothers and I

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Beth Bonini
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
At the end of this extraordinary memoir, Diana Holman-Hunt's grandfather quotes Byron, and truly those few lines are the perfect summing up of this wonderfully horrible childhood: "'And if I laugh at any mortal things, 'tis that I may not weep . . .'".

Diana Holman-Hunt - only granddaughter of the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman-Hunt - spends her childhood and adolescence "being passed like a parcel" between the two very different households of her grandmothers. Motherless (presumably
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who find real life characters more interesting than fictional characters.

An extraordinarily entertaining and thought-provoking read.

The image of irresponsible parenthood one builds up in one’s mind of Diana’s absent father (Hilary) in the first part of this book is amply justified through the evidence of his presence in the second part. One can but speculate as to the exact nature of his employment in the Public Works department in Burma. Meanwhile, Diana lives with, and is brought up by her grandparents. At this point one feels that the obvious caveat should be add
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Diana Holman-Hunt’s childhood was spent between two vastly different households. Her maternal grandparents lived on a large country estate where she was expected to do chores, and read to her blind grandfather. Visitors provided diversion, as in a Jane Austen novel. She had a fond relationship with her grandmother’s maid Fowler and made friends with a local fisherman who lived in a hut on the beach.

Then for a while she’d go to stay with her father’s mother in London. That grandmother was the wid
Girl with her Head in a Book
Review originally published here:

I tracked down a copy of this after a good bit of searching – it was the author surname that caught my attention (I find the lives of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood interesting in a rather morbid sort of way) as I doubt that the name Holman-Hunt is particularly common. And indeed I was correct, Diana Holman-Hunt was the granddaughter of the famous painter, but born three years after his death, arriving into the world in th
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An account of an extraordinary Edwardian upbringing. As so often with memoirs, the early years are the best but it's a riveting tale of past times.
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it
"My Grandmother and I" is a charming memoir of Diana Holman-Hunt's childhood, and her relationship with two radically different grandmothers. Before starting it, I was sure I would be madly in love with Grand - the wild and eccentric artist's widow, draped in jewels of the Orient while she luxuriated in her wealth of oil paintings; however I ended up preferring the very proper Grandmother Freeman, who, although spoilt and domineering, seemed to at least provide for Diana's well-being. The author ...more
Karon Phoenix-hollis
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's a little difficult to get into at first but gradually the jumping about style and the larger than life characters come to life . It's an amazing book , funny and sad and marking a massive change in people's lives . Well worth checking out
Joan Morin
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recently re-read this book which is one of my all-time favorites. Fascinating story and the differences of the styles of Diana's two grandmothers in raising her are incredible. I loved this book.
rated it really liked it
Feb 28, 2016
rated it liked it
Apr 13, 2012
rated it it was ok
Apr 21, 2014
Arpita (BagfullofBooks)
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2017
rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2018
David Burkam
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2010
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2014
rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2008
rated it really liked it
May 06, 2016
Nicole Davison
rated it liked it
Jul 15, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Nov 04, 2017
Elizabeth Wix
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2018
Paige Curran
rated it liked it
Aug 15, 2014
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2014
Kathleen Mckinley
rated it it was amazing
Dec 15, 2012
Andrea Paras
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2013
rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2018
Holly Kroh
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2015
rated it liked it
May 09, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2017
Áine Ryan
rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
OBITUARY by Judith Bronkhurst 23-Aug-1993, published in "The Independent" (British newspaper):copy below taken from

Diana Daphne Holman-Hunt, writer: born London 25 October 1913; books include My Grandmothers and I 1960, My Grandfather, His Wives and Loves 1969, Latin among Lions: Alvaro Guevara 1974; married 1933 Bill (one son; marriage dissolved 1940), 194