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A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt

Virginia Woolf meets Caitlin Moran: the extraordinary journals chronicling one ordinary woman's life.

Notable Woman‘Perhaps in some future generation, when I am dead, they may read these words I am now writing. Reader, please be kind to me! I am only 16 at present, and just realizing life and beginning to think for myself. It's all very thrilling in its strange newness.’

“What makes Jean’s journals special is the intimacy and frankness of her account of a life seen from the inside, and the way she draws the reader into a relationship with her: you want to protect her, and simultaneously to slap her and cheer her on. It’s very funny, occasionally sobering, and shot through with acute insights. Timeless, funny and utterly absorbing.” – HILARY MANTEL

The diaries of a Mass Observer, Jean Lucey Pratt have been edited by Simon Garfield and published by Canongate as A Notable Woman:The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt. Those familiar with MO publications may remember Pratt from the edited collections of wartime MO diaries: Our Hidden Lives; We Are At War, and Private Battles (also edited by Garfield), which Pratt appears in under the pseudonym of Maggie Joy Blunt. This new publication brings together her MO diaries with her private journals.

Jean wrote about anything that amused, inspired or troubled her, laying bare every aspect of her life with aching honesty and infectious humour. She recorded her yearnings and her disappointments in love, from schoolgirl crushes to disastrous adult affairs.

“What a find! Jean’s voice sings across the decades, fresh, vivid and desperate for love - a woman with so much to offer, who kicks against the stuffy society in which she finds herself. I grew to love her sharp observation, her vulnerability and her passion” – DEBORAH MOGGACH