One of my favourite features of
D.E.Stevenson books is just who pops up where. Most of her
books have links to other books; she invented the hyperlink
long before the Internet.
We know DES liked to use names from one part of her life, etc. in her books. After finishing the Drumburly Trilogy I read Five Windows (it was delicious) and am now onto The Tall Stranger . This book tells us a lot about Sheperdsford, as well as more about the Kirkes (spelt Kirks in TS, but KirkEs in FW). In this book it again mentions that Shepsford is in Gloucestershire. An additional piece of information is that Edward and Barbie go into Cheltenham to do some shopping. I returned to my trusty map and looked further North, closer to Cheltenham and lo and behold two villages leapt out at me. Little BARRINGTON and Gt. BARRINGTON. You will remember that Barrington's was the name of the store that Sarah Morris worked for in Sarah Morris Remembers . I strongly suspect that DES used this name as she was familiar with it. We know that Fletcher's End was based on her son's house in the Cotswolds, and Fletchers End is near Sheperdsford.
These two villages are just inside Gloucestershire and close enough to Oxford to be said to be "near" (Mark Armstrong in Bel Lamington ). Cheltenham would certainly be the nearest shopping town and there is a railway close by for Ellis to commute to London. Quite why Louise went to Newbury from here is a mystery but not impossible. Coincidentally they are also close to Witney which is "Lulling" in Miss Read's Thrush Green books. I have visited Witney and the Green on which she based Thrush Green.
These village are only about one and a half hour's drive from here so I intend to visit in the not too distant future. I shall be looking for a pub which fits the description of the Owl, and of course and a shepherd's ford.
I wish that some of you could come along with me.
Character Links from
Iain MacAslan (MacAslan)
Donald / Dugal
Morag appears to be straightforward and down to Earth, whereas Catriona lives behind a "blanket" and can possibly see into the future. No explanation is given about Donald in Katherine's Marriage and I'm not certain whether DES meant for this to be the same person or not.
Gregor MacAslan (Mac)
Smouldering Fire was written in 1935 and appears to be set in about this time.
In Katherine's Marriage Phil is about 16. We know from House of Deer that Greg is one year older than Phil. Therefore Katherine's Marriage must be set at least 18 years after Smouldering Fire making it set in at least 1958 ( it has a more sixties feel to me).
In House of Deer Greg is 23 and so this book is set 6 years after Katherine's Marriage and at least 24 years after Smouldering Fire . This book must be set in 1964 at the earliest. It was published in 1970.
On the whole the timescale works reasonably well.
Mrs. Tim of the Regiment
(Most people have these first two as Mrs. Tim Christie )
Mrs. Tim Gets A Job
Mrs. Tim Flies Home
Mrs. Tim of the Regiment
I include here because it
is set in Old Quinnings at an earlier time than
Mrs. Tim Flies
and has similar characters. It's not a sequel, but we catch
up with several minor
characters in MTFH whom we first met in KH.
Barbara Buncle's Book
Miss Buncle Married
The Two Mrs. Abbots
Four Graces - we meet several characters from the later Miss Buncle Books.
Spring Magic (thanks to Jerri Chase) connects to the Barbara Buncle books because Janetta Walters books are read by the characters and one of her plot devices, being cut off by the tide, is used amusingly in the plot of SM.
and all the books in
that series (which follow immediately) have a connection to these
books through location and the person of Arthur Abbot's old friend
Dr."Monkey" Wrench who lives in or near
Wandlebury and also delivers the baby in VC.
Music in the Hills
Shoulder the Sky - Winter and Rough Weather in the UK
Fletcher's End (these last two are a series of their own, but interact with the characters from the first three books.
The Tall Stranger - Underwoods, where Barbie grows up is in Shepherdsford where Louise Armstrong and her father live.(Just to confuse us a bit, the Mainwarings, minor Shepherdsford players, live at Melville Manor, whereas Tonia Melville from Listening Valley inherits Melville House in Ryddleton.)
The Musgraves is also set in Shepherdsford.
The Marriage of Katherine
Gerald and Elizabeth
The House of the Deer
The Enchanted Isle (Known as Charlotte Fairlie in the UK and also as Blow the Wind Southerly in the US) - because of the Donny Eastwood link to MacAslan. The MacAslans from the first three books reappear in The House of the Deer (and Simon Wentworth is mentioned) which is a sequel to G&E. Donny Eastwood from The Enchanted Isle reappears as an older young woman in The House of the Deer .
The Sarah Morris books (thanks to Susan Daly) Mr. Heath, the vicar from the Katherine Wentworth books, goes over from Limbourne to officiate at he funeral of Sarah's mother. Also - Sarah's brothers go to the boy school, Bell's Hill in Larchester. They are day pupils. This is the school close to St. Elizabeth's in Charlotte Fairlie .
Five Windows connects to The Tall Stranger , through some characters. And Barbie France is the only character to connect to both the Drumburly world through her friendship with David Kirk (or Kirke) who grew up in Haines, five miles from Drumburly, and also because she goes to Ryddleton to get to Oddam castle.(There is a Barbie France blooper because her first mention in FW says she lives in a beautiful home near Loch Lommond, and in TS she has clearly lived with her Aunt Amalie in Underwoods, by Shepherdsford Village. And Edward Steyne from TS appears in The Musgraves which is also set in Shepherdsford which ties these books to Bel Lamington and Fletcher's End which house was supposed to be based on DES son's home in the Cotswolds.
Anna and Her Daughters is a stand alone story, but connects to The Musgraves because of the dramatic society's performing The Mulberry Coach.
Sarah Morris Remembers
Sarah's Cottage - Sarah grows up near Larchester, lives in London during the war, and spends much of her life at her grandparent's home, Craignethan, near Ryddleton which may be based on Moffat. The two Sarah books are a linked story, but many of the characters and place in them link to the Celia's House books which follow. Still Glides the Stream has a very tenuous connection to the Sarah books through the Delorme family in France. When Sarah's grandmother needs her appendix removed in Sarah's Cottage , they get Mr. MacTavish, the important doctor who saved Julia Harburn's Uncle Randall in The Blue Sapphire . I think both operations took place in or near to Edinburgh.
Summerhills , a sequel to Amberwell, Still Glides the Stream where we see Stephen Ayrton, his parents and cousin Emmy.
Looking for connections and 'pop ups' is as dreadfully addictive as looking up words in a dictionary or encyclopedia. I begin, and immediately see hundreds of others byways I have to explore. I just must . -- Kristi
Anna and Her Daughters contains mention of Tocher House in Ryddleton (a tie in to the Mrs. Tim books) and Celia Dunne and also Tonia Melville (Mrs. Bay Coates) and her two children and husband who lost a leg in the war and is active in Boy Scouts and Town Council.....And because Jane's book the Mulberry Coach is produced by an amateur dramatic society in Shepherdsford, we have another tie between the Drumburly world and the Ryddleton world...
Did you know that Freda Lorimer appears in three books? Five Windows and Gerald and Elizabeth , and according to Alison Bunting, she is also in Music in the Hills . (I have to search out that one.)
(I have also identified Winteringham Square as the original London home of Anna and Her daughters, the home of Tonia Melville during the early part of her marriage, the home of Hester Christie's brother Richard and wife Mary, and, of course, Frances Field's childhood home. I certainly wonder if it had a real prototype in DES mind. If it doesn't, it is very difficult to keep the details straight through so many books.)
Books which seem more alone (alas) and don't even have minor links to other books as far as I can remember, are:
The Young Clementine (aka Divorced from Reality and Miss Dean's Dilemma)
The English Air
The Baker's Daughter
The Story of Rosabella Shaw
Young Mrs. Savage
A World in Spell