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May 08 , 2011

The Golden Sovereign


The Golden Sovereign, first published in 1957, concludes Mr. Church's autobiographical record, begun with Over the Bridge, that magical re-creation of an Edwardian childhood. The new volume exactly covers the second decade of the century: opening with the death of the author's mother when he was still a boy and ending with the arrival, ten years later, of his first-born daughter, it tells the 'story of an awakening from the fantasy of childhood to the still vaster actualities of life in the world of men and women'. With vivid fidelity Mr. Church has conjured up the intense world of his younger self in an earlier era: the passionate and continued dedication to poetry, first love and its betrayal, the routine of work in the Civil Service Laboratory, enlivened by unusual companions, and, above all, the impact of mood and place on a hungry and sensitive imagination.
Like its predecessor, the sequel to Over the Bridge is both a self portrait and a picture of a social period, of great delicacy of feeling and grace of expression.

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