The time-travelling bookworm: ‘South Riding’ by Winifred Holtby

Having studied this book, I know it quite well. I first read it in 2004 but read it a few times later on as part of a university course on 1930s literature. Set in the fictional ‘South Riding’ of Yorkshire (which is like the real East Riding), the novel follows a large number of characters. It’s a complex and realistic tale of grudges, poverty, tragedy and romance. Local politics are central to the book, with various councillors wrangling over issues affecting the area. I wouldn’t say that the book is one of my favourites but I appreciate that it’s important in the canon of literature written by women and that it’s an interesting exploration of the Depression era. There was a BBC TV adaptation in 2011, which I remember as being very good.

Catch up on recent ‘time-travelling bookworm’ posts: Point Horror Collection 1, Northern Lights, The Story of an African Farm.

4 thoughts on “The time-travelling bookworm: ‘South Riding’ by Winifred Holtby”

    1. Yes that was my degree subject 🙂 I think I liked it the first time I read it but keeping track of the large number of characters is a little off-putting. I like this cover, it’s not the one that I had a copy of however.

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