Saturday, 5 November 2016

'What Katy Did'

A Facebook post by Rachel, who runs Not Just Words bookshop in Kettering, sent me scurrying to my own shelves to check something. She has a copy of What Katy Did in stock at the moment - a first edition with an inscription:

 'To May from Mr Rice, Xmas 1909'

This is a very special volume because it contains all five stories in this series: What Katy Did, What Katy Did at School, What Katy Did Next, Clover and In the High Valley

My copy is simply the first story, but it, too, has an inscription in it: 

'Nora Gertrude Pattinson with love from Auntie Jessie, Xmas 1938'

This, then, was a gift to my mum from her aunt. I'm struck by the formal way it is inscribed with her full name. She would have been nine, and since I know she hated* her middle name, I imagine she wouldn't have been best pleased to see it written out like this. I love coming across these little messages in old books, even - in fact, especially - when I don't know the story behind them. How about you?

* I say 'hated' because although my mum is very much still with us, she no longer has that awful middle name.


  1. The What Katy Did series was my mum's favourite when she was a girl. She tried to get me to read it but it was way too old-fashioned for a girl in the 1970's!

    1. I must have read it as a child but I can't remember it. Still, the fact that I've kept it all these years means it must have meant something at the time.

  2. Phew ! ... I thought you knew something I didn't. I'll go visit her this afternoon to make sure.