1955 The Summer When...
Author: Valerie Thornhill (Newnham 1954)
Publisher: Pergola Press
The endearingly frank memoirs of an optimistic nineteen-year-old student travelling alone across postwar Europe in 1955. Both a ‘rite of passage’ book, and a unique commentary on the social issues of a pre-feminist era without mass tourism, easy communications or the contraceptive pill.
1955 The Summer When ... recalls the excitement and apprehension of a first-year Cambridge student invited to stay with her professor in Paris. Travelling across a continent recovering from World War II, Valerie Thornhill’s journey is filled with fantastic adventures and formative life experiences along the way. Reminiscent of An Education by Lynn Barber, the book is a fascinating portrayal of a young woman trying to make sense of a complicated adult world, as well as different cultures, with little preparation.