The Green Lady: A Spirit, a Story, a Place
From the critically acclaimed author Sally Bayley, The Green Lady is a poignant, brilliant exploration of the relationships between children and their teachers.
In the style of her memoir Girl with Dove, this book explores a child’s search for artistic education and a sense of self. Lyrical and playful, Sally Bayley’s writing transports the reader into an eccentric world of teachers, guardians and guiding spirits of place.
Moved by her female teachers, and guided by the artist J.M.W. Turner, Bayley’s protagonist goes in search of her maternal ancestors, in particular her grandmother, Edna May Turner. Following the narratives of other women in history who have taken different routes to independence and artistic freedom – including the educational suffragist Mary Neal, actress Margaret Rutherford, and poet Stevie Smith – Bayley considers the paths to happiness and the limitations social convention imposes.
Part novel, part memoir, The Green Lady continues the traditions of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando as an imagined biography which urgently understands the need for a space of one’s own in which to thrive. As one of the book’s several foster children, Bayley reminds us that families and homes can be found and built within literature and the arts as well as nature's green spaces.
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