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Rumer Godden Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Black Narcissus (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The River (1946)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Candle for St. Jude (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Breath of Air (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mousewife (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breakfast with the Nikolides (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mouse House (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Impunity Jane (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Episode of Sparrows (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fairy Doll (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Greengage Summer (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of Holly and Ivy (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kingfishers Catch Fire (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Candy Floss (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
China Court (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saint Jerome and the Lion (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thus Far and No Further (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doll's House (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Little Plum (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Home is the Sailor (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gypsy, Gypsy (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Under the Indian Sun (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kitchen Madonna (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fugue in Time (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
In This House of Brede (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lady And The Unicorn (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Operation Sippacik (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Diddakoi (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mr. McFadden's Hallowe'en (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Peacock Spring (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rocking Horse Secret (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Butterfly Lions (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Kindle of Kittens (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Take Three Tenses (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gulbadan (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Horse (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dragon of Og (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Valiant Chatti-Maker (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Four Dolls (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tottie (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thursday's Children (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tale Of The Tales (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fu-Dog (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coromandel Sea Change (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great Grandfather's House (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Listen to the Nightingale (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pippa Passes (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little Chair (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Premlata and the Festival of Lights (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cockcrow To Starlight (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cromartie Vs the God Shiva (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gypsy Girl (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Mooltiki (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs Manders' Cookbook (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Candy Floss and Impunity Jane (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mouse Time (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Indian Dust (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Pocket Book of Spiritual Poems (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fairy Doll and Other Tales from the Doll's House (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Hans Christian Andersen (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Raphael Bible (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Time to Dance, No Time to Weep (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
A House With Four Rooms (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of New York Review Children's Collection Books

Jim at the Corner (By: Eleanor Farjeon) (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jennie / The Abandoned (By: Paul Gallico) (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thomasina The Cat Who Thought She was a God (By: Paul Gallico) (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Episode of Sparrows (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smith: The Story of a Pickpocket (By: Leon Garfield) (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Milk of Dreams (By: Leonora Carrington) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margaret Rumer Godden, writing under the name Rumer Godden, wrote over sixty books. She was born December 10, 1907 in Sussex, England and grew up with her three sisters in Narayananj, which was then part of colonial India.

In her seventies, she retired to Moniaive in Dumfriesshire. In 1993, she was appointed OBE. She died at the age of ninety on November 8, 1998, just over a month before her 91st birthday.

She went back to the United Kingdom with her sisters while she was in her early twenties, training as a dance teacher. In 1930, she went to Calcutta to open up a dance school for Indian and English kids. With the help of her sister Nancy, she ran the school for twenty years. It was during this time that she published her first best-seller, called “Black Narcissus” in the year 1939.

After she was married for eight unhappy years, she moved back to Kashmir with her two daughters. She would remarry again in the year 1949, and went back to the United Kingdom in order to concentrate on her writing.

Later on in her life, she would convert to Roman Catholicism and quite a few of her books began to deal with women in religious communities. In books like “In This House of Brede” and “Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy” she examined the balance between the submission of the individual and the mystical aspects of religion to the spiritual discipline.

In the year 1947, Deborah Kerr starred in a movie based off of “Black Narcissus” that was produced, written, and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Also in the movie are David Farrar, Sabu, Jean Simmons, and Kathleen Byron.

Godden evoked India’s atmosphere through all the senses: her writing is vivid in detail of the textures, tactile experiences, smells, flowers, and noises. She wrote books for kids, especially about dolls that convincingly convey the secret aspirations and thoughts of childhood. She also wrote several books with her sister, Jon Godden, who penned many books of her own.

“Black Narcissus” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 1939. During the days that it was the General’s ‘harem’ palace, ladies with their rich clothes and retinues could be seen walking around on the high terraces. In the night, music floated out over gorges and villages well into the early hours.

The General’s son has placed it upon the disciplined Sisters of Mary. Starting work in the orchards as well as opening a school and a dispensary for the people of the mountain, the small group of Sisters is depended onfor help on Mr. Dean, the English agent. His insolent candor and charm are disconcerting. He says outright that it is no place for nunnery, it is just like he knows their destiny already.

After reading the book, readers are fascinated and enamored with this book. Godden lays out the plot and different perspectives in a spectacular way. You are unsure of what is around the corner, but get constantly reminded that there is something sinister going on.

“The River” is the second stand alone novel, which was released in the year 1946. Harriet is trapped between two worlds. Her brother is still a child, and her sister no longer plays with her. The comforting rhythms of her Indian childhood, things like: the festivals that accompany each of the seasons, the noise from the jute works, and the eternal flow and ebb of the river will soon be shattered.

Rumer was so exceptional with description that she makes you homesick for a place you have never been and nostalgic for a childhood you never experienced yourself. The book is written in an atmospheric and subtle way that is able to capture the inquisitive nature of childhood with ease.

“A Candle for St. Jude” is the first novel in the “Miss Holbein” series, which was released in the year 1948. While the Madame and her students get prepared for a coming recital set to commemorate her fifty years of dedication to ballet, the reader is able to share in their special world. The unique relationship between Madame along with the brilliant youngsters she trains. The tender loves and burning frustrations of youth, the backstage tensions and onstage triumphs.

Godden skillfully, uniquely, and smoothly inserts back story for different characters. The characterizations are compelling and charming, too. Some readers enjoyed this one, simply for the way it brought back some good memories of first reading it as a kid.

“Listen to the Nightingale” is the second novel in the “Miss Holbein” series, which was released in the year 1992. Lottie, an orphan that has been reared by the costume mistress for a ballet company in London, gets a scholarship to a prominent ballet school. She is torn by the love she has for a puppy and her lifelong dream.

“Miss Happiness and Miss Flower” is the first novel in the “Japanese Dolls” series, which was released in the year 1961. Nona is sent away from her home in India to live with some relatives in England, and it makes her miserable. She gets a box and inside are two tiny Japanese dolls. Nona believes that they must feel lonely as well, since they are so far away from their home. Nona gets an idea, she is going to build these dolls the perfect house.

Even readers who aren’t into dolls found themselves enjoying this one and were captivated both by the little adorable dolls as well as Nona and her story.

“Little Plum” is the second novel in the “Japanese Dolls” series, which was released in the year 1963. Gem moves into The House Next Door, Nona and Belinda believe her to be stuck up and vow that they will have nothing to do with her. They are attracted by the gorgeous Japanese doll that is in her window. They call her Little Plum, but unlike the dolls Nona has, Little Plum seems to be uncared for and unloved. Are the three girls ever going to become friends?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Rumer Godden

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