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Miss Read Books In Order

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Publication Order of Fairacre Books

Village School (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village Diary (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Storm in the Village (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Clare Remembers (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Over the Gate (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village Christmas (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fairacre Festival (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Emily Davis (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Christmas Mouse (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tyler's Row (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Farther Afield (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Holly for Miss Quinn (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village Affairs (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The White Robin (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Village Centenary (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summer at Fairacre (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Pringle of Fairacre (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Changes at Fairacre (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Farewell to Fairacre (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Peaceful Retirement (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Fairacre Collections

Tales from a Village School (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Thrush Green Books

Thrush Green (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter in Thrush Green (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
News From Thrush Green (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Battles at Thrush Green (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Return to Thrush Green (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gossip from Thrush Green (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Affairs at Thrush Green (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
At Home in Thrush Green (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The School at Thrush Green (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Friends at Thrush Green (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Celebrations at Thrush Green (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year at Thrush Green (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christmas at Thrush Green (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Thrush Green Non-Fiction Books

The World of Thrush Green (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Caxley Chronicles Books

The Market Square (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Howards of Caxley (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Fresh from the Country (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hobby Horse Cottage (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Bed (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Plum Pie (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little Peg Doll (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tiggy (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hob and the Horse Bat (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Animal Boy (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Little Red Bus & Other Rhyming (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Read's Christmas Book (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Country Christmas (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Miss Read's Country Cooking, Or, to Cut a Cabbage-Leaf (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fortunate Grandchild (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time Remembered (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The English Vicarage Garden (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Early Days (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Griffin Sends Her Love and Other Writings (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Miss Read was a pen name for the English novelist Dora Jessie Saint. She most often wrote under the name of Miss Read, but also published books under the name of Shafe. Saint came up with the name of Miss Read by taking her mother’s maiden name. In addition to her work as a novelst, she also worked as a schoolmistress.

Dora was born in 1913 in London, but due to her mother’s health, the family would move to the country when Dora was just seven years old. She would attend school there and became inspired when her own father became a schoolmaster to follow in his footsteps. She would go to teacher training at Homerton College, Cambridge to learn her craft.

She would go to work in Middlesex, at Hayes and later at Ealing, until she met her husband, Douglas Saint. The two were married in 1940 and had one daughter. World War II took place which changed a lot at the time and after the war, she only worked occasionally as a teacher. This is when she began getting into writing, starting off by writing about schools and country topics for magazines like Punch. She would also do some work for the BBC schools service as a scriptwriter.

Saint was inspired by the work of Jane Austen and began to write her own novels. She published Village School in 1955, the first book in the Fairacre series of books. After that, she continued writing at a frequent pace and published many novels in her career.

Village School is the first book in the Fairacre series of books. This is the first book featuring Miss Read and her remarkable group of children. The story takes place in the English village of Fairacre which is filled with thatch-roofed cottages, a church, and a school. The town is known just as much for the fair weather as it is for the good cheer. That said, it is a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business which doesn’t stop anyone from liking each other. This first entry sees Miss Read take the reader through one autumn in her village and introduce us to the unforgettable characters of Fairacre.

The Fairacre series then continues with Village Diary. Each month of this book covers a month in the life of Miss Read. This is an exciting time in the town as Fairacre welcomes many newcomers for the village’s country pageant. At this time we meet Mr. Mawne, the man who all of the other villagers want Miss Read to marry.

Storm in the Village is the third book in the Fairacre series. This book sees trouble brewing in the small country village when it is found that Farmer Miller’s Hundred Acre Field is set for a real estate development. This leads to alarming rumors circulating throughout the town, including one that the school may be closing soon. Despite that, Miss Read manages to keep a level head and bring her clear-sighted candor to the report. However, the village is in for a battle to keep their village as it is as they are worried of being engulfed.

Miss Read also penned the Thrush Green series of books. The series begins with a book titled Thrush Green. The story introduces us to the village of Thrush Green, a neighbor of Fairacre, which is filled with enchanting landscapes, blackthorn bushes, and thatch-roofed cottages. This series aims to get you invested in the village’s characters and fates just as the Fairacre series did.

The series of Thrush Green continues with Winter in Thrush Green. The story picks up two years after the last book and focuses on more of the secondary characters from the first book while the main characters fade into the background. You have Mr. Piggott who complains about work while waiting to go to the pub, Ella and Dimity gossiping about their neighbor, and the the headmistress Miss Watson being robbed in her own home. The town is also planning a memorial for a local hero, Nathaniel Patten, as the 100th anniversary of his birth is upcoming. The series remains sweet and charming as the others with each chapter alternating between characters.

The Year at Thrush Green is the 12th book in the Thrush Green series. The book sees spring unfolding and the drama of village life blooming with it. The book offers more stories of the lives of some of the villagers including Dotty Harmer, Albert Piggott, architect Edward Young, and an American stranger who arrives to town looking for some family connections. Miss Read finds a way to tie together all these stories in a satisfying way and capturing the charm of the era.

Miss Read explored another village in Market Square which takes place in the village of Caxley. Life in the village revolves around the Market Square, even at times when the open air market isn’t open. The Howards and the Norths are two families who live here. Their families are coping with their lives and the readers come to care about them in the years before World War II. The book, like much of Read’s work, shows us a simpler time when family and friends was the most important thing to many.

Another great Miss Read book for fans of the Fairacre series and the Thrush Green series is Fresh from the Country. The story begins with a young woman named Anna Lacey who has spent the majority of her young life on a farm in Essex. Now, she has taken her first teaching position which takes her to a new suburb where she has to live in cramped lodgings and teach overcrowded classrooms. She came into her career with idealistic theories about teaching which she now has to change in the face of the reality of her pupils. The book is an accurate look at school life and the people who attended.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Miss Read

3 Responses to “Miss Read”

  1. Susie Lewis: 1 year ago

    I have been reading Miss Red for many years and her books Make me feel that life is very beautiful and kind. I have purchased several so when I need one I can just pull it out and read it the people in the books are gentle and kind and care about one another Dotty Harmer is one of my favorites

  2. Laura Candy Smith: 2 years ago

    I was first introduced to Miss Read as a child when my mother bought me The Christmas Mouse. Which is still my favourite of her books
    I found right back then that Miss Reads books offered me a world to immerse myself in when I needed an escape from the grim and the brutal of everyday life
    Her books tell of fictional South England villages but they are drawn from what was real- a rural village England that is sadly gone and for that matter- an England that tragically no longer exists
    The books are all fascinating and easy enough to read for those with memory or concentration issues like myself
    They are like no other books. Despite comparisons.
    I feel the author -real name-Dora Saint- has based the character Miss Read upon herself.
    The places the books are set in are Fairacre, Thrush Green and Caxley.
    Miss Read has also written childrens story books and many of these are extremely difficult to find now
    The social observations are quietly made but are very comical.
    There is no modern sarcastic humour or blandness
    This is simply a very realistic yet very comforting world that certain of us out there truly need

  3. Susan Kirkham: 3 years ago

    Miss Read’s books make for very soothing reading. I have found them invaluable during the Covid pandemic. Yes they are illustrated which I find charming but that, to my mind does not mean they are a child’s book. The genre is portraying a much gentler time. Of course you can find fault with them for example the pupils attending Fairacre School never change despite the years moving on but I can forgive that because for me I’m not haunted by anything I am reading. I know that Miss Read preferred her Thrush Green characters but I much prefer the Fairacre stories.


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