Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Fiona Lander was brought up on The Dawnchild, the famous book written and illustrated by David Irving's mother, and hopes, Monday, September 10, 2007, to buy an old copy again.
David Irving photographed his mother in 1953 at their home in Essex; on the wall hangs her painting of a drowned seaman tended by a mermaid.
YOU are probably fed up of this request, but I am desperate to find a copy of your mother's fabulous book The Dawnchild. My Grandmother bought a copy in the late Twenties and it has been in our family ever since.
Each generation of mother and daughter has shared the trials and joys of Mig and all the other enchanting characters. I can remember every last one and see every exquisite illustration in my minds' eye.
Whilst moving, our most treasured copy was lost some while ago and I have been searching for another copy ever since. My daughter (now twenty-six) is so sad that she may not be able to continue passing on this wonderful tale to her children (when she has them!) and whilst she and I can remember the details and tell the story, we cannot replicate your mother's wonderful prose. Just reading Chapter One on the fpp website brought tears to my eyes as it took me rushing back to hearing my mother's voice (she was an amazing story reader) telling tales of Belinda and the Umpis!
If you or any of your team can give me any advice I would be so grateful.
Fiona Lander (ABOVE: An illustration from The Dawnchild (copyright)
A GREAT TREAT FOR OUR YOUNGER READERS:
David Irving replied to an earlier inquirer:
I ONLY just managed to obtain a copy of The Dawnchild three months ago -- it cost me £80 (around $150).
I have a dream to republish the book under our own Focal Point imprint. Our family has many of the original illustrations.
Yes, my mother wrote that book long before I was born, and it became a bestseller in England. Her typewriter was a Remington upright, the kind that you had to lift the carriage to see what you had typed. She passed it on to me when I was about six or seven, and I oiled it and got it working again and used it for the next fifteen years or so.
The Dawnchild created a new genre of mystical children's books. She was a great professional illustrator too, working for The Nursery World and the Radio Times -- perceptive readers of those old publications will find sketches of myself and my siblings when our age was measured in months rather than years.
The book had a heavily embossed, plum-red cover. The illustrations had a Ronald Searle quality. In recent years I have received several inquries about the book from older generation people who have fond memories of it, and it is now very hard to find a copy in the used book stores.