The Sea For Breakfast by Lillian Beckwith ; illustrated by Douglas Hall
London : Hutchinson, 1965. Seventh Impression. Stated. Hardcover. 191 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. 21 Shilling dust jacket with minimal wear. Gift inscription on front free endpaper. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.
THE SEA FOR BREAKFAST
'You could die here and none of us the wiser till the butcher smelled you out,' Lillian Beckwith was warned when she moved into her own cottage in Bruach. But privacy was what she was looking for, a thing incomprehensible to her Gaelic neighbours. She didn't find it in her charming cottage of Tigh-na-Mushroomac, but she found a number of other things. One of these was the story of its quaint Gaelic name, so rude that even her outspoken neighbours were reticent about it, and the inconvenient convenience that went with it.
Also, of course, there were the neighbours themselves. Lillian Beckwith's first book, The Hills is Lonely, has proved a little classic of the Hebrides, and the many readers whom it has enchanted will remember how she first came to live in Bruach, seeking a rest cure and finding something infinitely more fascinating. Now she settles into a home of her own, with much neighbourly help, and she comes to regard her new friends with a deepening tolerance and affection which in no way dims her very English eye for eccentricities. Her odd acquaintances include a lady of sound health apparently resigned to a lifetime of sitting stock still, and the lady's active sister, who is heir to an incongruous wardrobe, and often to be seen mucking out the cow byre dressed in sequins. There are also her old friends Peter, Morag, and the rest, a new but persistent one by the name of Hector and charming, unreliable Erchy.
Miss Beckwith becomes a crofter in her own right and engages in such varied activities as peat-cutting, winkle-picking, beachcombing, writing and producing the first pantomime Bruach has ever seen, and entertaining on a hilarious scale. She writes, as ever, with what Eric Linklater aptly termed her 'brio and delight' and her second book is likely to be acclaimed even more enthusiastically than her first.
'The most amusing book to come my way ... a tonic account of life among the crofters of the Hebrides, told without sentimentality or rancour, in a manner of which Jane Austen would approve.' Maurice Wiggin, SUNDAY TIMES Books of the Year
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