Sophie: An Edwardian Childhood
We also have the lovely, vivid and often funny book detailing the Edwardian Childhood of Sophie Blair Leighton, daughter of the renowned artist Edmund Blair Leighton (and Amanda's beloved grandmother - wife of Sir Harold Harding). Sophie's childhood was spent in Bedford Park, Chiswick and also Kirby Green on the River Waveney in Norfolk, in the years before the First World War. While she had nannys and there were servants, many other details are also evocative of a time that seems so far ago and yet is within the connected memory of so many of us.
In an early chapter, for example, she comments on the sweeper in the road outside, who for a penny would sweep a passage across the mud and horse droppings, to make it passable for the more daintier footed pedestrian or householder. Later on come the revelations of the naughty donkey Jack who played tricks on the household whenever he could.