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That's a lovely box set! I have three of the books, but haven't got around to reading them yet. They do sound like very interesting stories.

Cathy Johnson

Oh, I loved these books when I was younger. Thanks for reminding me about them. Will have to search my bookshelves to see if I still have any of them.

Fran H-B

I too loved Barbara Willard when young. She lived on Ashdown Forest, (also where A A Milne lived) not for from the town I was brought up in. Not only did she set her novels in Sussex but wrote non fiction books about the county and the Forest.


I would have read them (carefully!) but they sold very fast! I am very glad they've gone to a good home though!

Joan Kyler

Her Mantlemass series sounds good. At the moment, I feel like I'd like to immerse myself in a long story. I've just ordered the first one in the series.

Rosie H

Coming in late, but I love love love her books! The Mantlemass series is my favourite, but I also like her other historical fiction and some of her contemporary children's novels as well.


Super! Thanks, Rosie.


My history teacher Miss Adams used to rave about these nearly 40 years ago! I remember reading A Sprig of Broom and enjoying it.


Good to have a history teacher's seal of approval. I'm looking forward to them.

Anne Simonot

I loved these when I was in my early teens! So much that I have, over the years, collected the whole set from various sources, for a future reread. A Cold Wind Blowing is my favourite. I hope you enjoy them.


Thank you, Anne - it sounds as though my impulse buy was a good one!


It is a wonderful series. I have not reread for a while but I think the first book is the most uplifting. In some ways, this series reminds me of Norah Lofts who does not spare the reader from some very sad albeit realistic situations. You don't want to time travel after reading either one!

Some of her best contemporaries, should you come across them, are Storm from the West (aka The Battle of Wednesday Week) about two sets of siblings thrown together when their parents marry (which I annoyingly gave to a very unworthy acquaintance who never even read it) and two about a family - The Family Tower and The Toppling Towers.


Many thanks for those recommendations, Constance.

Caitlín Matthews

I read the series regularly for my health and wellbeing, these finely-written books never fail to move me. The sense of home, place and family continuance are what I appreciate most about them, and the foundational mystery of the family.

Clara Abrahams

Currently reading for some post Covid rest and recuperation. Gosh, they're good aren't they? For those of us who managed not to pick up any history at school, they are an invaluable window into what it was like for ordinary people at times of great historical change. Every time I re-read the series I think how good it would be if somebody would draw out a family tree of the Mallorys and Medleys.... (one day when I have nothing better to do...)

Clara Abrahams

There's a Mallory/Medley family tree in The Keys of Mantlemass.

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