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About the book
  • Published: 15 December 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784742232
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

Diary of an Ordinary Schoolgirl




The diary of an ordinary schoolgirl living in Carlisle in 1954 -- a perfectly preserved period piece from one of the UK's favourite novelists

23 February
Results rolling in! Algebra, 6th = 74%. Not bad. Latin = 55% Thrilled! History top = 85% smashing! Geography, disgusting, 2nd = 67%.
In 1954 in Carlisle lived an ordinary 15-year-old schoolgirl called Margaret. She would go on to become an acclaimed writer, the author of the novels Georgy Girl and Diary of an Ordinary Woman as well as biographies and memoirs. But this is her diary from that year; her life. Hers might be a lost world, but her daily observations bring it back in vivid, irresistible detail.

7 May
Wonderful feat accomplished yesterday by Roger Bannister! At last, the 4 minute mile. Glad an Englishman got it before anyone else.

24 July
Bought a pair of shorts – white, very short with two pockets. Super but rather daring!

2 September
Mum’s coming back on Saturday. Miss her every minute! I'll never marry and have a family -- housekeeping for two for a week is bad enough -- but for life!

  • Pub date: 15 December 2017
  • ISBN: 9781784742232
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Margaret Forster

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster was the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want? , Keeping the World Away, Over and The Unknown Bridesmaid. She also wrote bestselling memoirs – Hidden Lives, Precious Lives and, most recently, My Life in Houses – and biographies. She was married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lived in London and the Lake District. She died in February 2016, just before her last novel, How to Measure a Cow, was published.

Also by Margaret Forster

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Praise for Diary of an Ordinary Schoolgirl

“The diary is slight, but very sweet. You would be pleased to find it in your Christmas stocking… Margaret is a good egg. You like her more and more… If you were happy at school, Forster’s diary will bring it all back. If you were unhappy, she will make you wistful for what you missed.”

Laura Freeman, The Times

“A heady mix of bookish teenage passions and 1950s nostalgia”

Good Housekeeping

“Unmissable: a neat little green clothbound time machine”

Libby Purves, Times Literary Supplement

“Funny, acute and revealing by turns... a tantalising, nostalgia-inducing glimpse into a young life and a lost world”

Lettie Kennedy, Guardian


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