A fabulous set of books that I have
personally enjoyed reading and have no hesitation in recommending them to
By clicking on each book you can read the first chapter here.
Lillian Beckwith was born in Ellesmere Port,
Cheshire, in 1916. Her father's grocery shop provided the background for
her autobiographical book About My Father's Business, which
describes a 1920s family from a child's viewpoint.
She went to live in the Hebrides before the
Second World War and stayed for nearly twenty years. Her hilarious
initiation into crofting life is captured in the heart-warming book The
Hills Is Lonely. She acquired her own cottage, and living and working
on her own croft gave rise to her series of magical Hebridean books such
as The Sea for Breakfast. She now lives on the Isle of Man.
(25 April 1916 – 3 January 2004)
Mrs Comber – who wrote under the name Lillian Beckwith –
lived in Kirk Michael with her husband Ted and was famous for writing
novels based on her life in the Hebrides.
Her daughter Betty Hopson, who lives in Ballaugh, said
her mother was born Lillian Lloyd, in Cheshire, in 1916. She married Ted
in 1937 and the couple moved to the Isle of Skye in 1942.
'They fell in love with Skye,' said Mrs Hopson, who has a
brother, Geoff, who lives in Peel. 'They bought a croft and her books
were based on hers and Ted's experiences while living there. The Hills
Is Lonely was published in October, 1959.'
The family moved to the Isle of Man in 1962.
'When she came here in the 1960s, she and her friend
Muffett Tarrant founded the Peel Pantomaniacs,' said Mrs Hopson.
'She wrote the scripts to the pantomimes, they were very
original interpretations of traditional stories, with a very local
emphasis, lots of in-jokes. She directed as well.'
Mr and Mrs Comber were involved with fund-raising for the
World Wildlife Fund and Mrs Comber loved beach combing, poetry,
entertaining and cooking.
'She's been in very poor health for the last few years
and deteriorated quite rapidly over the last year,' said Mrs Hopson.
'She was gifted and complex and ordinary. She was quite
famous but she didn't want to flaunt it over here, she just wanted to be
She added: 'She liked having her family around her.'
Mrs Comber had six grandchildren and three
Her other novels included The Sea For Breakfast and The
'She had an awful lot of fans and got lots of letters
from them,' said Mrs Hopson. 'She did bring an awful lot of laughter and
happiness into lots of people's lives.'
And she enjoyed living in the Isle of Man.
'She made it her home. She was very content here,' said