“Journey into Solitude” is a narrative story, part fact, part fiction, looking back almost 80 years in the life of Ann Petre. Childhood, the war, family history, triumphs and tragedies; this is a personal perspective, interspersed with dreams, photos and illustrations, on what it was like to live through each decade of the 20th century in Norfolk and Cambridge.
Ann Petre was born in 1926 at Langley Hall Farm, Norfolk and lived through some of the most tumultuous decades of the 20th Century, finally settling in Cambridge. You can experience what it was like, to grow up in the care of nannies, be educated by nuns, live through the war, and be a female student at Oxford in the forties. What happens when you make decisions based on passion later in life and have to start all over again – on your own?
The story is a window into another traveller’s soul, in this often capricious and inexplicable journey through life on which each of us is embarked. Ann relates how she wove her path through those times, losing and finding herself in her unique journey into solitude.
In addition to Ann’s story, there are two other threads. The first is historical with insights into a family history that includes links to nobility and a family of Britain’s early aviation pioneers. The second is the visual story told by photographs from the beginning of the 1900s and concludes with the author’s paintings.
“This is emphatically not a family history,” the author says, “nor, strictly speaking, a memoir. It is more a story, or a myth. It is a narrative woven round my life. It attempts to explain why people, including myself, behaved as they did.”
Designed by Milton Contact Ltd, Published by Moyhill Publishing 2006.
Out of print.