Retro Reads discussion

The White Witch
This topic is about The White Witch
38 views
Group Reads > The White Witch October 2017 Group Read

Comments Showing 1-41 of 41 (41 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Hi

Just putting this up a little early. I'm hoping to get started the 21st my time, the 20th for most of you. I'm really looking forward to this read - it has been years!since I read any Goudge!


debbicat *made of stardust* (cr8zycat) | 332 comments I forgot about this. Let me see if I can get a copy.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments My copy is in the mail (from England) and I’ll dive in as soon as it arrives.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "My copy is in the mail (from England) and I’ll dive in as soon as it arrives."

Wow that is dedicated!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments Well, I don’t have any expensive vices except books (okay, and really nice sheets), so I like to support booksellers and authors whenever I can. And I have a lot of Goudge novels in hardcover, thanks to a dear friend who gave them to me for Christmas for years, and a paperback would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb on the shelf.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
& just about to start.

This is my cover The White Witch It is faded but I quite like it.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments Woohoo! Got my copy in the mail today. It’s odd—published in the year of the first edition but not by the original publisher, Hodder and Stoughton. Something called The Book Club is the publisher instead. But it’s a very nice copy with an intact dust jacket. Score!


message 8: by Judy (new) - added it

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 66 comments I got a Kindle copy when the price went down - just checked and it is still £1.99 in the UK if anyone is interested. My cover isn't on Goodreads, so just trying to add an alternate cover edition!


message 9: by Judy (new) - added it

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 66 comments I've now added the Kindle edition with my cover:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

But I actually prefer the cover it used to have:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Judy wrote: "I've now added the Kindle edition with my cover:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

But I actually prefer the cover it used to have:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..."


I prefer the newer cover.:)


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments Started it last night and oh, the beautiful language! Promises to be vintage Goudge. From chapter 1: in the scene where the artist meets two young local children at the edge of the woods, “The boy who had become himself had once been as happy as this child in the unconscious conviction that he and his immortal world would never know parting or change. What was art but an attempt to recover that faith?” Really sets the tone of poignancy, beauty set against its fragility, a longing to prevent inevitable loss. As Brad Kessler has said, “Wherever the notion of paradise exists, so does the idea that it was lost.”


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Does your copy also have the poem at the front?

& right at the start Goudge's trademark beautiful depiction of children.

Book, where have you been all my life???


Peggy (dandelion_cottage) | 264 comments I started reading last night and am loving it so far, especially, like Abigail and Carol, the wonderful language.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments Yes, I have the poem (folk song?) at the front.


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments I've got an incredibly tattered paperback copy, but all the pages are here which is what matters most.

It's fascinating how Goudge weaves all of these disparate characters together and how we get to understand them not just by themselves but by their relationships with each other. And the feel of Fairyland that's running through the descriptions is lovely.


message 16: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (last edited Oct 23, 2017 12:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Goudge really creates magic! I'll be fascinated to see how all the characters work into the story!

& I'm just about to start Chapter VI & things ar e starting to tie together for me.

Metheglyn is an older name for mead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Oops! Edited my last post instead of making a separate one. :)


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments Lots of Biblical quotes, which is appropriate for the times of course, and I'm reminded of reading an article awhile ago which spoke of how we as a people are losing our cultural literacy. We no longer are able to recognize where a phrase comes from and, worse yet, are not likely to realize that it even IS a quote.

I think I probably learned more ancient phrases from reading old novels than I did from reading the sources themselves - which makes me feel sorry for the kids today who will never have more than a nodding acquaintance with either.


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments I was trying to get back up to the top and add "Shakespeare", too, but my phone is tetchy, even with coffee...


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Poor Jenny (view spoiler)


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments Yes, poor Jenny!

I'm really enjoying Google, by the way, because I don't think it had been invented the last time I read this, and although my working knowledge of history is pretty decent, Google is handy for checking stuff out. Have any of you actually read Piers Plowman, by the way?!?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "Yes, poor Jenny!

I'm really enjoying Google, by the way, because I don't think it had been invented the last time I read this, and although my working knowledge of history is pretty decent, Google..."


No. :)

I've stopped checking all the unfamiliar plant names too, as it was just slowing me down.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments I read Piers Plowman in college but it didn’t leave much of an impression. In those days I was more into things like The Knight of the Burning Pestle.


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments I just realized that of all things Goudge which I love, my favorite might be that she's not a scoffer. She never runs down anyone or anything; it's not exactly a spirit of tolerance, exemplary though that is, but more of a spirit of wonder and humility. She's got a wonderful talent for entering into the lives of her characters without bowing down to the conventions, the "we all know" and "the experts say" crowd.

Carol, I don't know what half of those flowers are, but I do know I want them! I've seen a picture of Goudge sitting on "Froniga's well", and I want that, too. This book is giving me a lot of wants, although I'm not sure I'm up for Piers Plowman yet - or your Burning Pestle, Abigail!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "I just realized that of all things Goudge which I love, my favorite might be that she's not a scoffer. She never runs down anyone or anything; it's not exactly a spirit of tolerance, exemplary thou..."

Do you have a link to a picture of that wall, Karlyne?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Never mind found it - Goudge has a website dedicated to her!

Second picture down! http://www.elizabethgoudge.org/


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments Beautifully said, Karlyne! Spirit of wonder and humility.

I’ve been enjoying the moments following Jenny (view spoiler)—the way she changes and grows. And her moment of comfort with the dog, Maria: “A dog in its utter ignorance of the mind and soul can seem nearer to one than a human being who knows a little of both and knows it wrong.”


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments Abigail wrote: "Beautifully said, Karlyne! Spirit of wonder and humility.

I’ve been enjoying the moments following Jenny [spoilers removed]—the way she changes and grows. And her moment of comfort with the dog, M..."


That's one of my favorite quotes of all time, Abigail. (I was going to quote it here but I've been just with my phone lately, and the Goodreads feed is loopy on it, so I lost this thread!) I can just see Maria looking up into Jenny's eyes with such spaniel sympathy!


message 29: by Judy (new) - added it

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 66 comments Must admit I'm giving up on this - I've read about 20% but am just not enjoying it, a shame since I remember loving The Little White Horse and The Dean's Watch as a kid. Glad to see that others are loving it, though.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Judy wrote: "Must admit I'm giving up on this - I've read about 20% but am just not enjoying it, a shame since I remember loving The Little White Horse and The Dean's Watch as a kid. Glad to see that others are..."

Not every book can be for every reader, Judy. :) The story starts to dove tail a bit further in. :)


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments This isn't my favorite Goudge, Judy, but I have to admit I'm really loving it this time (for more than the herbal lore, which is what I liked before). I think her historical novels do take a longer time to get into and appreciate, but once all of the diverse threads get pulled together, they're worth the time it takes. As long as you have the time, of course...

That said, although Goudge thought her historicals were her best, I tend to love the contemporaries and the children's works the best.


message 32: by Judy (new) - added it

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 66 comments Thanks, Carol and Karlyne. I might still try something else by her in the future, but I just wasn't enjoying the writing style in this.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments I can see why some might not enjoy this; battle scenes and ruminations on heroism not really my thing (trying to remember this was not long after WWII). But I love how characters in Goudge novels communicate soul to soul! Would we had more of those opportunities in everyday life.


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments They're not my thing, either, Abigail, although I'm trying to read them more carefully this go 'round, just because Goudge wrote them.

Here's another great quote: "...happiness is like swallows in spring. It may come and rest under your eaves or it may not."


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
The book improves when it goes back to the children, no doubt about that.

Also, would they have had (view spoiler)


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 606 comments That’s a lovely one, Karlyne!

I wondered about that too, Carol, but was too lazy to go look it up.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
I do remember Goudge had a real howler in Green Dolphin Country. This is from memory but (view spoiler)


message 38: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (last edited Oct 29, 2017 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
Pace definitely picked up - Goudge makes us feel sympathy for all the characters.


Theresa | 32 comments I am not really joining in on reading this book right now (I've read it several time so am very familiar with the plot), but just wanted to mention that I have been following your comments and loving them : ) I think Goudge tries to portray how earth-shaking the civil war was, for both sides, and how faith was really challenged as each side (stubbornly?) held to its own position without really *seeing* that how we treat our fellow man is what should really be the 'proof of the pudding'... what undergirds true faith. (sorry for that long soliloquy... I always know what I want to say and usually can't say it very well!) Froniga goes out of her way to help an enemy (don't want to be too specific) that is despised by some and yet her own personal life is complicated (her cousin is in love with her and unhappy in his marraige, and she in turn loves an enemy...) She is just one example of a character's personal conflict that is surrounded by the civil war conflict...There are so many situations and parallels in this book! Goudge never passes judgment on our human failures but holds out compassion and hope (there. I'm done. Sorry! I just love her writing.) (I apologize for jumping in like this! ) Theresa


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1518 comments Mod
No need to apologise - all views are valuable.This book's charm is really winning me over


Karlyne Landrum | 1925 comments The Postmaster General position was created in 1510 (Just a quick look On Wiki)


back to top