I love stories and this family chronicle is close to my heart. Initially started as an MA project, this fascinating account of a strong independent woman who faces impossibly unfair situations in England and Kenya is still in development. Hopefully, one day it will grace bookshelves all over the world…
Hospital Hill is the partially fictionalised biography of a remarkable Englishwoman, based on a collection of her unpublished notes written over six-years in an extraordinary period of Kenya’s history.
In 1958 Molly Maud Holmes was invited to take up the position of headmistress at the first multi-racial primary school in Kenya.
At this time Kenya was still a British colony but the country was hurtling towards independence following the Mau Mau uprising.
As a part of a landmark educational experiment, unofficially sponsored by the colonial government Molly Maud was set the seemingly impossible task of tutoring a group of mixed-race children to the same standard of education as the European schools. This radical notion was the first step on the ladder to fully integrated schooling in Kenya.
The events which prompted her life-changing journey firstly to South Africa and lately Kenya, are equally compelling and left heartbreaking echoes within the family that are still felt today.
You can follow the evolution of this biography and the story of Molly Maud as it unfolds through my journal…
There has always been a certain mystery within my husband’s family surrounding his grandmother who was absent for most of both his own and his father’s life. Little is known of her life and only hearsay exists of her birth, upbringing, and migration to Africa. Much of the true details died with her. All except […]
I had an idea of what I would like to write from Molly Maud’s notes, but was there a place for it in the market? Could it compete with some of the titles already out there? Autobiography, biography and memoir although often bundled in the same category have obvious differences. Further definition of the elements […]
With insight into the colonial hierarchy in Kenya from both the academic volumes and the biographies of Blixen and Erroll I was had many more questions which Molly Maud’s notes did not answer. Further investigation on the internet lead me to the discovery in the British Library of The founder’s book – A school in […]
I now had a pile of research work to filter but needed a structure to organise it. I turned to Telling true stories: a nonfiction writers’ guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University (edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call) to gain some insight to telling the truth in a nonfiction format. I had […]