Long Vacation. The History of a Vanished Summer
Michael Harrison

      A Novel (1951)

e-Book, 294 pp. (Tina Rhea #24)
ISBN 978-1-55497-266-1 $10.00

Few novels are other than autobiographical—more or less; but of my later novels, this, with the possible exception of So Linked Together is the most true to fact, with every character in the tale recognizable in the ‘real life’ original. The name of the place, Bournemouth, I have changed to ‘Watermouth,’ and street names have been slightly altered; but in the main, this book remains as the memory of, and sentimental testimony to, that enchanted Summer of 1920. ‘Bliss was it, in that dawn, to be alive—to be young was very Heaven!,’ sang Wordsworth, and in Long Vacation (my first novel under the Warner Laurie contract), I echo the poet. Some books the writer enjoys writing more than he does the writing of others; and I really loved writing Long Vacation, which remains my favourite book; ever more so as nostalgia glorifies the memory of sixty eight years ago. But Bournemouth has changed even as have I: Tempora mutantur—nos et mutamur in illis! And not only how distant in time that Summer of 1920 is, but also as remote in incomprehensibility, I realized when I saw that Ann Byerly had simply not understood the book; that its foreignness; its painting of a lost and alien social scene; had been too much for her comprehension. 16th May, 1988 — Michael Harrison