Book summary: Enbury Heath

1935 BY STELLA GIBBONS

In her autobiographical novel Enbury Heath she describes her family life with two younger brothers, Gerald and Lewis, in the third person: "She grew up in the wreck of hope and the slow, strange living-death of love, but because she was conceived in love, she was the happiest of the three, and she never forgot it."
Her father was a "bad man, but a good doctor". Stella's mother Maudie was a retiring woman not able to stand up to the domineering spirit of her husband. Stella's father worked in a poor area of London and was a sympathetic doctor who would not charge patients that could not pay. Nevertheless, he was prone to violent outbursts against his wife and was a womaniser who was unfaithful with a number of governesses. In a fit of rage he once threw a knife at Maudie, and often resorted to whiskey and later laudanum to deal with his inner demons.

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