The Fantastic World of Writing – Elizabeth Goudge

Many probably wouldn’t know who was Elizabeth Goudge unless you lived in England during the 1930’s of the twentieth century, and perhaps many did if they grew up with her stories, such as the “Island Magic,” “The Single Window”, or “The Little White Horse.” She wrote a collection of books from short stories to non-fiction. She was considered a great writer of her time winning the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Annual Award in 1944, the Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1945 and the Carnegie Medal in 1946.

However, there was a time nobody knew who she was. Mrs. Goudge wrote her first book in 1919 called “The Fairie’s Baby and Other Stories.” It wasn’t her most successful book and for many years she didn’t write again. It wasn’t until 1934 when she wrote “Island Magic,” that she became renowned for.  She believed in happy endings and valued her imagination. She wrote what made her happy and with it created stories that reflected her spirituality.

Mrs. Goudge didn’t let failure get in her way. During the years after the failure of her first book. She took a break. Inspiration must have been slow in reaching her and when she finally wrote it was a great success. She didn’t let failure guide her, she wrote to her hearts content. What happened to her next would have made any writer’s heart stop.

It wouldn’t be surprising to know that in 1993 her book, “The Rosemary Tree,” was plagiarized by Indrani Aikath-Gyaltsen, a journalist from India. Aikath-Gryaltsen rewrote the tittle calling it, “Crane’s Morning.” Mrs. Goudge didn’t know about it until a friend told her about it. When she wrote the book in 1957 it didn’t get the acclaim it probably deserved and it was put aside to be forgotten. But it didn’t deter Mrs. Goudge from writing. She was greatly surprised by the plagiarism, but had no hard feelings over the journalist.

“Crane’s Morning”, was celebrated and considered a work of art. It wasn’t until later that some realized it was Mrs. Goudge book, with the names changed, the setting set in India and the religion converted to Hindi. It garnered attention to the journalist, but when the truth came out her reputation was tarnished. I am certain, Mrs. Goudge didn’t expect what happened next.

To this day, the journalist death was a mystery. Whether is was a suicide, nobody can say. At the time of her death, she was going through personal problems that dealt with her families land. Whatever the truth was, Mrs. Goudge would have been sadden about it. As for , Mrs. Goudge, she continued writing in her later years.