Boston had what sounds to me like quite an interesting childhood. Her family was middle-class and Victorian, with six children, but her father was a zealous Methodist and decorated the whole house accordingly, with a rather strange drawing room filled with items from the Holy Land. Her mother, according to Boston, was more suited to be a nun than a mother.
After her father died, they moved around a bit and spent a year in the countryside, which was wonderful for the young Lucy. She had a lifelong love of nature and gardening. She attended school and then a finishing school in Paris, and then went to Oxford instead of joining the Wesleyan community as her mother wished. From there, she became a nurse during World War I, until 1917 when she married a distant cousin, Harold Boston. She had one son, Peter, but the marriage did not work out and she spent several years painting in Europe during the 1930s.
|The Manor House at Hemmingford Grey|
Boston wrote six books about Green Knowe, featuring children who met other children who had lived there in the past. All the books are very atmospheric and rather spooky, though as I recall all the ghosts are friendly ones. Her son Peter Boston illustrated the stories from the house, and when I was little I liked to look for his initials placed in odd spots in the pictures. These are her most famous books, and there is a nice piece about them at SFGate.
But she also wrote other books, including a few for adults and teens. Persephone, or Strongholds, is for teens and is supposed to be excellent. The Sea Egg is an adventure about boys who find an unusual egg, which hatches a triton. Nothing Said and The Guardians of the House are, like the Green Knowe books, atmospheric spooky stories. And Boston's ghost stories have been collected in a book called Curfew. Today you can hear those stories, and often M. R. James stories, performed at the house itself if you visit.
|The Patchwork of the Crosses|