Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kent and Scotland

It may surprise you to learn that Kent is the most popular location for Jane Shaw's novels. Seven of them were set there, beating even Wichwood Village, which only hosted four. This was due to so many school stories being set in this region, including both Northmead novels and the stories set at St. Ronan's, Susan, Midge and Charlotte's school. However, Susan's Helping Hand and one of the Thomas books, Willow Green Mystery, are also set in Kent, along with the short stories Jumble Sale and Susan's School Play (a St. Ronan's story). But her heroines are almost predominantly Scottish: Caroline and Sara, the Moochers, Susan and the trio of Ricky, Julie and Fay plus the Macfarlane sisters of The Crew of the Belinda, not to mention Amanda and Elizabeth from the 1941 short story Amanda's Spies, are all Scots. And the surname of Dizzy and Alison is Fraser, another Scottish connection no doubt. Three of the Penny stories (Threepenny Bit, Fourpenny Fair and Crooked Sixpence) are set in Bath, where Jane Shaw lived during part of World War II, another favourite location.