Century Sisters : Our Hundred Years by Patricia Owtram


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The redoubtable Owtram sisters, best-selling authors of Codebreaking Sisters, take us back in time once again with recently rediscovered diaries and letters from the '20s and 30s that paint a vivid picture of their childhood at Newland Hall in Lancashire's Lune Valley. Here they lived with their parents Bunty and Cary Owtram and younger brother Bob, supported by a fascinating cast of cooks, maids and groundsmen, all presided over by 'Grandboffin', the sisters' indomitable grandfather. The Owtram sisters' childhood was one of nannies and governesses, balls and tennis parties, theatricals and ponies. But their hilarious stories of British eccentricity and etiquette and the trials and tribulations of boarding school, are set against the backdrop of a world in the throes of great change; the Spanish Civil War, the Great Depression, hunger marches, the abdication of Edward VIII and his wedding to "that American", Mrs Simpson... Closer to home, the sisters witnessed a shocking murder- suicide, in a scenario straight out of Romeo and Juliet. In 1938, the arrival at Newland Hall of the first Austrian Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, became the catalyst for the Owtram sisters' decision to join the women's forces, where they serve with such distinction in World War Two. The war changed their lives forever. The work of post war recovery opened to the sisters a world that hitherto inconceivable. Jean immersed herself in travel, working with refugees. Later, she became a social worker and one of the founding members of the team that set up Lancaster University. Pat became one of the first female journalists on the Daily Mail before pursuing a career in television at Granada and the BBC, producing such great family favourites as University Challenge and the Sky At Night. With Jean soon to turn 98 and Pat approaching her 100th birthday in June 2023, this is a unique opportunity to hear more first-hand stories from a soon-to-be-forgotten world. Using the sisters' contemporaneous correspondence, diary entries (including Pat's 1940/41 Blitz diary) and their 21st century reflection, Century Sisters will tell those stories with the inimitable Owtram style and flair.
Binding: Paperback / softback

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