Jacqueline Winspear Jacqueline Winspear
about novels essays appearances contact news

It's hard to think of summer as almost officially over, when there are more warm days to come and the sun is still high in the sky. Yet when the seasons are close to changing, there's always that hint of transition—perhaps a chill to the morning air, or birds flying south. For me, summer's end has always been about beginning something new—I think it goes back to schooldays, and stepping up to a new class with a new teacher.

maisie dobbs

My "something new" this September is the launch of a blog—Maisie Dobbs: Inspiration from an Extraordinary Generation.

Some time ago I read an article in Britain's Guardian newspaper entitled, "Where are all the daring women's heroines?" I thought it was a timely question, and it was the start of a journey that led to the blog. You see, my heroines have invariably come from a period in history that encompassed two world wars, the Depression, the so-called "Roaring Twenties" and the austerity Thirties. I have chosen to name the blog after Maisie Dobbs—the name given to the main character in my novels—because, in a way she is my everywoman of the time, a woman who stands for a singular generation of women who have fascinated me since girlhood—the first generation of women to go to war in modern times.

I have received many, many emails and letters from readers who have been inspired to dig into their own family history to find out more about their grandmothers and great-grandmothers (and grandfathers, I might add) who served in two world wars, either overseas or on the home front, and they've shared their stories with me. Which brings me back to the blog.

keep calm

For each post I'll be delving into my own archive of books and magazines to bring more stories of this extraordinary generation of women—stories I hope you will find thought-provoking and inspirational. I'll be including interviews with historians, biographers and archivists who have studied this period in depth, and I would love to include your stories too. You see, I think there's much to consider and learn from in the way past generations approached the highs and lows of experience—why else would one of WW2's most iconic inspirational slogans be found in almost every gift shop today? Even my iPhone cover bears the words, "Keep Calm And Carry On."

I won't be posting on a regular day each week, so please sign up to receive alerts when a new article is posted on the blog. The blog is launching today at www.maisiedobbs.com. Please forward the link to all friends and family who might be interested—and here's the plan for the first three posts:

Friday September 16th:
Launching Maisie Dobbs: Inspiration from an Extraordinary Generation—a new blog!

Tuesday September 27th:
Those Surplus Women—and a competition!

Friday October 7th:
Downton Abbey & The Great War

Put those dates on your calendar, sign up for the blog—oh, and as blog launches sometimes come with the obligatory technical issues, bear with me if there are a few teething problems!

With all good wishes,


PS: And for those of you who are aching to know—the next novel featuring Maisie Dobbs will be published in March 2012. I'll be announcing the title soon!

Visit Maisie Dobbs on Facebook!