The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

July 16, 2016

July 16, 1931

Lady Caroline Blackwood (July 16, 1931 to February 14, 1996) was the daughter of a Guinness heiress and the 4th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. She got her brains from her father. Lady Blackwood was a famous beauty with an authentic artistic ambition. She wanted to impress the world with more than her beauty.

Her books included most famously, Great Granny Webster, (1977) which was short-listed for the Booker Prize. Philip Larkin cast the decisive vote, for a different title (Paul Scott's Staying On). He said Blackwood's book was too autobiographical to be considered for a fiction prize.

The eponymous subject in this book is a woman trapped in an Anglo-Irish hall, with nothing to do but wander through the 

"bleak, cold corridors of Dunmartin Hall, where the paper was stripping off in great sodden furls from the wall....and unused rooms ...[were]stacked like separate junk shops...[and] littered with that special miscellaneous Anglo-Irish rubble of unopened and unpayable bills...stone hot water bottles without stoppers...old yellowing copies of horse magazines....[She had] an eerie pathos like the ancient ghosts of the murdered Irish who were reputed to haunt the mildewed corridors strewn with tiger rugs which this unfortunate had come to own...

Lady Caroline Blackwood married a painter, a composer and a poet, in that order. It did no good.

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