Posted in October 2013

Men of Mawm by Willie Riley (1921)

I spoke too soon! Here’s one more Riley review. Review by Sylvia D: Men of Mawm is an attractively produced book with line drawings inside the front and back covers and with eight black and white photographs which illustrate the rugged moorland landscapes, the village and the supposed homes of the two main village families … Continue reading

Laycock of Lonedale by Willie Riley (1924)

Our last Riley, I think. Lots of clear themes emerging as our reviewer, Sue, notes: money can’t buy happiness, right prevailing over might, trust in the Lord, for he shall provide… Review by Sue R: Sam Laycock made his fortune through hard work, promotion and a second marriage to the mill owner’s daughter. His will … Continue reading

Jack and John by Willie Riley (1935)

I always have a good look at the prelims and end papers in books in the collection, and in this book published by Herbert Jenkins they are particularly interesting. In the front there is a page titled ‘What this story is about’; a more unusual feature than you might think. Most novels of this period … Continue reading

We’re in the Yorkshire Post!

Our Yorkshire Writers 1900-1950 event has inspired a splendid article about Willie Riley, Phyllis Bentley and Winifred Holtby: ‘Forgotten Pleasures’, Yorkshire Post, 12 October 2013. Stephen McClarence asks ‘is there such a thing as the great Yorkshire novel?’

Jerry and Ben by Willie Riley (1919)

Review by George Simmers (see his Great War FIction blog) This is a book that must have seemed old-fashioned even when it was written (1919), which may have been a large part of its appeal. Peg, Mamie and Betty are single women, with nothing much to look forward to but living as perpetual aunties, until … Continue reading

Willie Riley (1866-1961) and Windyridge (1912)

Willie Riley is another of those authors who were extremely popular in their day and are almost entirely forgotten now that we specialise in at the Sheffield Hallam collection. Riley, a businessman from Bradford, published his first novel, Windyridge, in 1912 when he was in his forties. It was written, not for publication, but to cheer up some … Continue reading

E. M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady

Back in June Margaret Crompton came to the University and gave this fascinating talk about the many literary allusions in The Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930) and its sequels. The talk is called ‘The Special Collection of a Provincial Lady’ in a neat alllusion to our special collection of popular fiction at the University. From … Continue reading