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Lillian Beckwith

A fabulous set of books that I have personally enjoyed reading and have no hesitation in recommending them to you. 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 Mrs Comber.'

She added: 'She liked having her family around her.'

Mrs Comber had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Her other novels included The Sea For Breakfast and The Loud Halo.

'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 her daughter.

Stories about Miss Peckwitt's Island of Bruach and the characters she meets

The Hills is Lonely

The Loud Halo

The Sea for Breakfast

A Rope - In Case

The Hills is Lonely The Loud Halo The Sea for Breakfast A Rope - In Case
Beautiful Just! Bruach Blend Lightly Poached  
Beautiful Just! Bruach Blend Lightly Poached  
Another set of books on Island Life
The Bay of Strangers A Shine of Rainbows An Island Apart A Breath of Autumn
The Bay of Strangers A Shine of Rainbows An Island Apart A Breath of Autumn

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