At last!!!!!! Song of Songs by Beverley Hughesdon


GREAT NEWS!!!!  Newly released as a Kindle read by Canelo books,  AND at last Eve will be published, too, can’t wait!

Song of Songs  is my most favorite book of all time and I read it every now  and then.  I was given it in a proof edition with a bland cover, the one here I think spoils it. The story is far more noble than this trashy piccie!

Born into rich Edwardian family,  Helena is always the ungainly, awkward one, who loves her twin brothers, Robbie and Eddie.  In several traumas, she is recued by the footman Jem, which explains a lot of her later actions, although the text doesn’t make any hooks into it, so maybe its my interpretation.  Oh, how I wish I was born then, with no housework, allowed to sit about and read and write, waited on hand and foot, but most of all, horses to ride, at will, for pleasure,and no mucking out! The life in a way prefaces that of Downton Abbey. I’m telling a lot of the plot here,  but only because I need to explain how it relates to my enjoyment!

Helena grows to a teenager and after a misalliance with her cousin gets shifted off to Germany to learn music, as a punishment, which turns out into a blessing as she has a real ability to sing.  First world war arrives, and Helena trains as a Nurse – and the descriptions of this culture shock are wonderful, as are the accounts of her duty in the Hospitals on the warfields in France.  One twin dies, another survives but is damaged in his lungs.

Helena has this romantic fantasy about Gerald, her Officer love, who she does eventually get engaged to, but he is killed.  During the war, Helena meets  Ben, who is working class engine driver in peace time.  They meet after the war, and it is to him Helena flees when she helps in he suicide of her dying brother.  Ben takes advantage of Helena, coercing her into marrying him.  They begin life in his home town, another culture shock for Helena, but it is only when Helena finds out her Gerald was gay, she has a nervous breakdown, also born of her war work.  Recovering, she returns home, and through her healing, finally realises that she loves Ben and the book ends with the birth of  their son

This is a real beauty and beast tale, something which is in Beverley’s other books.   Helena is so human, but courageous.  Her breakdown is a way to healing.  Maybe I like this because I identify with her, in having earlier in life stupid love affairs, and then finding my own beast !!!!!!!!!!!!



26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. C.J Duggan
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 07:08:31

    One of my favorite books of all time! Nice to see someone reviewing it. It is easily something I could re read over and over, such a great character story, full of emotion, I just love it. Thanks for this.


  2. Gary Hughesdon
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:55:53

    Hi, Beverley sadly passed away in April, and I am in the process of trying to get Eve published, watch this space, Gary hughesdon (nephew). Thanks for your great comments.


    • annarashbrook
      Jul 07, 2012 @ 12:45:13

      I’m so sorry she has passed away, she was an undervalued talent. And, wow, how exciting! Are you going for paper printing and/or eBook? I’ll look forward to reading and reviewing it!


    • annarashbrook
      Jan 24, 2013 @ 16:38:18

      Hi Gary, how are things progressing with publishing Eve? Have you thought of doing this yourself as an eBook? I think there would be a market as I’ve had several comments on the blog which makes me think there is an interest there. This way you also keep the profits and its a relatively simple thing to do. Do drop me a line! Best wishes, Anna


  3. Melanie
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 16:14:04

    Please accept my deepest sympathy to you and your family Gary. I read Song of Songs in 1992 and fell in love with the book so much that I have at least four copies that I will not part with ditto Siliver Fountains and Roses have Thorns. I even managed to track down a copy of Mayfair Rebel and have looked over the years to see if Beverley wrote any more books. I have always been a bookworm so have read many a book and I can say her books are in my top five of all time. I do so hope that you get Eve published I will look out for it. I have recently bought a Kindle and wanted to download her books but alas they are not on Kindle form as yet thats is why I gooled today and found this very sad news. R.I.P. Beverley and thank you for the joy your writing as brought to me over the years.


  4. Bev Wetzler
    Jan 20, 2013 @ 07:45:31

    Sad news. I love Song of Songs. Beverley was my high school history teacher and unbelievably passionate about her subject. Thank you for keeping her spirit alive Gary. Regards Bev (Sydney, Australia)


  5. Ruth Bygrave
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 01:33:26

    Add me to the chorus. After the nth of many rereads of Roses/Silver I looked on the back flap and was disappointed that I could not find _Eve_ by Googling. It’s very sad to discover about her death, as well, especially since I’d been hoping to find somewhere I could send her a fan letter.

    I’ve never stopped looking for more of her books, although I’ve never seen one later than _Silver Fountains_.

    I hope very much that she didn’t get discouraged from her novel-writing, because I’m probably not the only one for whom these three books are probably my ultimate keepers in the genre.

    Gary, please get _Eve_ published for us passionate readers!


  6. Caroline fisher
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 08:34:40

    I also have read and re-read Song of Songs and am always brought to tears. It is as though you are there with the wonderful characters. It is impossible to get any of the other books now and yes I would be in full support of having her books re-published. Sorry to here that she has passed away and good luck to Gary on having Eve published.


  7. Joy McNabb
    Jan 18, 2015 @ 00:53:01

    I add my support to the comments above. Have just reread all 3 books over our summer break (NZ), and have googled Eve and Beverley for the nth time. I had that awful thought that Beverley might have died and I would like to send my sincere condolences to her family. At present I am covering my paperback copies with contact to make them stronger! Fortunately I bought Silver Fountains in hardback! I own 2 copies of Song of Songs. As the others above, they are books I reread and reread. I hope Eve does make it to the bookshelves.


    • annarashbrook
      Jan 18, 2015 @ 15:26:14

      Thanks for your comment,there’s always a lot of interest in Beverley. If you got through them, you will see I had a brief contact with her nephew, and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to contact him again, but with no reply. I would have thought last year would have been a real time to cash in on re-publishing Song of Songs, but nothing! Most of her books are available still on Amazon. Maybe everyone should contact Gary Hughesdon through these pages!


      • Gary Hughesdon
        Jan 18, 2015 @ 19:22:01

        Thank you all for your comments about Beverley’s wonderful books and it would be great to get Eve published. Thank you also for condolences that are much appreciated. I have been in contact with Julian Alexander the literary agent to chase up the publisher to either publish the book or to release it to me, I’m afraid I’ve been waiting on Julian for a long time, I think we’re at the bottom of the pile! But I think this is the time to get hot on his tail and do something! Thank you so much for your continued loyalty to Bev. Let’s hope we can get somewhere in 2015.
        Best wishes to you all, Gary Hughesdon

      • Joy McNabb
        Jan 19, 2015 @ 02:01:21

        Lovely to know you are still on the case, Gary! Is there anything Beverley’s fans can do to support your endeavours?

      • annarashbrook
        Jan 20, 2015 @ 16:14:09

        Hi Gary, great to hear from you, but how frustrating! If there’s anything that can be done, do let us know -online campaigns,fb pages etc! Best wishes!

      • Gary Hughesdon
        Apr 20, 2016 @ 19:45:27

        Hello Anna
        Just to update you Canelo are releasing Bev’s books as e-books. Song of Songs is now available on amazon/kindle! We are really pleased and looking forward to the release of the other books including the new book ‘Eve’!
        Let’s hope that there will be renewed interest and her books will be ‘re-discovered’!
        Thank you for your support and encouragement!
        Best wishes, Gary Hughesdon

      • Bev Wetzler
        Apr 20, 2016 @ 23:26:34

        Glad to hear that Song of Songs is available as an ebook. Will keep my hard copy of course but great to have a more portable copy too.

      • annarashbrook
        Apr 21, 2016 @ 16:30:46

        Me too! Do put a review on Amazon and boost the sales if you can!!

      • annarashbrook
        Apr 21, 2016 @ 16:32:26

        Thanks Gary! Such wonderful news! Can’t wait to read Eve. I wasn’t too keen on the new cover because Ben never kissed Helena like that during the war, but its very evocative of the era!!!

      • Joy McNabb
        Jan 19, 2015 @ 01:58:40

        Thanks for your response and great to see Gary is still in touch. I have just purchased hard backs of my paperbacks from Abebooks.

  8. Joy McNabb
    Apr 21, 2016 @ 03:28:43

    Will Eve appear as a hard copy as well as an ebook?


  9. Whaley Margaret
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 11:38:50

    Bev was a friend from our schooldays. I remember her sitting in my garden outlining the plot of “Song of Songs”, with her characteristic enthusiasm!


    • annarashbrook
      Jul 31, 2017 @ 11:32:50

      Hi Margaret, I’m so sorry for the slow reply. I’m so busy at the moment, I’ve not been doing the book blog, let alone the Austrian blog. I was pleased and fascinated to get your comment, I’d love to hear more about Beverley if you would tell me more. Her final book Eve is also available as an ebook now, I’ve read it and MUST do a review but it might have to wait until the winter! Best wishes!


      • margaret
        Jul 31, 2017 @ 12:38:01

        Good to hear from you. I think the best I can do at this stage is copy the obituary I wrote for Bev for our old girls school newsletter in 2012 – Reigate County School.
        She was a great personal friend from those days until her death. Hope the obit gives some flavour of her life. She was full of enthusiasm – never half hearted.

        It is with sadness that the girls of 5 alpha (1954-1959) report the death of Beverley Hughesdon last year, aged 68.
        Beverley distinguished herself at school by gaining a State Scholarship and also a place at Royal Holloway College, London. However, she preferred to take up a place at Manchester University – a decision that affected the rest of her life, because she continued to live in the Greater Manchester area. She gained a B.A. in History, followed by an M.A. and a teaching qualification, and taught history in north Manchester until taking early retirement at the age of 50. She combined her teaching career with her work as a historical novelist, and her books can still be found on the internet.
        The two main loves of Beverley’s life were her husband, Adrian, who predeceased her, and her passion for books. When she and Adrian married they bought a large house which they lined with bookcases (every room except the bathroom) and then they further extended into the attic and cellar.
        I think we will all remember Beverley for her enthusiasm –as a fifth former she was almost moved to tears one break in her impassioned defence of Richard, Duke of York. In the last few years of her life her new passions included autism, the Battle of Britain, Latin classes and a campaign against noise in public places.
        She had many friends, keeping in touch with several of us at school. A year before her death she organised a very successful and memorable lunch for us in the John Rylands Library in Manchester (another of her enthusiasms!). We will miss her.

      • annarashbrook
        Aug 09, 2017 @ 15:43:45

        Sounds like she was quite a person! I take it you have read her books, do you think they reflect her personality?

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