Been discussing the question of what makes a good blog on a Facebook group for children's writers and illustrators.

Led me to thinking what is it that makes me bother to read anything - and read it again? There's usually humour involved.

The Wordsmiths at Gorsemere

I recently discovered Sue Limb's "The Wordsmiths at Gorsemere" and I just love, love, love it. It's supposed to be Dorothy Wordsworth's diary, and that didn't sound a bit promising at first. So I left the book unread on the shelf for ages.

A Houseful of Poets and Madmen
Then one day I took it down and was instantly hooked. It's in the form of a handwritten diary, illustrated by Dorothy herself. The poor woman deals uncomplainingly with a houseload of scrounging, self indulgent poets and madmen, dodging embraces from the lecherous but enchanting Lord Byro and slaving around after her lazy brother William.

The book starts when they have just arrived at Vole Cottage in the Lakes "I am worn out with carrying wardrobes and beds upstairs..." writes Dorothy "No sign of the Teapot. Am obliged to make tea in another Vessel..."

Please Write Another One, Sue Limb

Sue Limb has a huge talent as a writer and I have enjoyed many of her other books, including several for teenagers (like "Girl, 15, Flirting for England"). Wish she'd write another diary of a historical character. It has quite made me want to go and read the real Dorothy's diary, although it is bound not to be as riveting as the goings-on in the Wordsmiths' little cottage under Flabbergoat Fell.