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The forgotten books of H.L. Gee


I discovered a new author yesterday, or rather I discovered an old one – H.L. Gee. That’s Herbert Leslie Gee to be precise. Gee was a prolific writer and one of his favourite subjects was Yorkshire, particularly its seaside. He wrote Folk Tales of Yorkshire and Cloud and Sunshine: Some Account of a Plain Man’s Journey By Car from Yorkshire to the Cotswolds and Back, published in 1953, which would have been an interesting journey at the time.

A colleague in the office had just bought a copy of Bright Interlude by Gee, published by Epworth Press, an account of a family holiday in Sandborne, and its dust jacket design really caught my eye.

One of Gee’s bestselling books was an anthology of writing by wild life broadcaster George Bramwell Evens, better known as Romany of the BBC. The book is called The Spirit of the Romany.

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17 Responses to “The forgotten books of H.L. Gee”

  1. avatar

    I have a copy of H L Gee’s “The Shining Highway ” published by Wyvern Books in 1956.

    The book is entitled ” A plain man’s pilgrimage ” and is the tale of his walking adventures in the north of England.

  2. avatar

    I have quite a few of H.L.Gee’s books which I acquired when clearing out my mother-in-law’s flat.

  3. avatar

    I really enjoy this author and have a small collection of his books including The Shining Highway, War-time Pilgrimage, Pleasant People,The Friendly Year, Up Hill and Down, Winter Journey, Always it is Spring, Bright Interlude, Nodding Wold, The Sunny Room, Hymns that came to life and The Adventures of Billy Bounser and Tommy Terror. They are all bought from the Lifeline Bookfest. I love his outlook on life and his easy relationship with God.

  4. avatar
    Josephine Miller October 12, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I have 500 Tales To Tell Again, the Epworth press,london,1955 reprint…1961

  5. avatar

    Fantastic – treasure it.

  6. avatar

    I have Fact and Figures about Scotland published 1950 by George Ronald in 1950.

  7. avatar

    I’m not familiar with that book.

  8. avatar

    Hello!

    This is the first time I knew of Francis Gay’s natal name.

    Or should I say – it’s the first time it really registered/mattered with me.

    And I do know he loved to write about Yorkshire.

  9. avatar
    Janet Dickinson June 16, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I have slowly been collecting H L Gee’s books. I got my first one (Nodding Wold) in a 2nd hand bookshop here in NZ about 40yrs ago. Most have been bought through the internet and British 2nd hand bookshops in the last 5 yrs. His books are real feel good books. I treasure them.

  10. avatar
    Sandra Kearney June 21, 2018 at 4:55 am

    I recently discovered H.L.Gee in my local Oxfam bookshop in Adelaide, South Australia. I now own Wartime Pilgrimage (1943). Wonderfully descriptive and a pleasure to read.

  11. avatar

    I discovered HL in the doctor’s surgery totally by accident. I t started with always it is spring….. I still look for missing ones despite the collection numbering a dozen 😊. Always a book to change the day for the better.

  12. avatar

    I was given a copy of H.L.Gee’s novel ‘The Sunny room’ as a Sunday school prize and loved it, re-reading it numerous times. My father owned ‘winter journey’, but it wasn’t until many years later, I started collecting his books, and after scouring second hand bookshops, have quite a large collection of his books. Having now visited England and spending time in Yorkshire, I appreciate his travel books more, but it’s his cheerful uplifting attitude and simple but genuine faith in God that really impresses me. When visiting Scarborough in 2013, I visited the library there to try and discover where he lived (by then I knew he had died in 1977) It was only later, I discovered he spent most of his life in Bridlington. Are there any biographies providing some more detail about this special writer?

  13. avatar
    Trevor Hawksworth June 25, 2019 at 7:47 am

    After my mother’s death in 2001 I discovered a book “The Wonders of your House” by H.L.Gee. Inside the book were three typed letters, two from H.L.(May’39 and Aug’39) and one pp H.L. typed and signed Mary Gee (Feb’40). The letters described the appreciation for the correspondence H.L. had received from my mother who had obviously enjoyed his books. He must have sent a book to my mother as a wedding present in ’39 or ’40. It gave me an extraordinary insight into my mother as a 21 year old, about to be married, in such uncertain times.

  14. avatar

    I found my first Francis Gay book on July 7, 2020. It was in a local Restore, in North Carolina, in which items are donated to help fund building projects in the area. The 1987 “Friendship Book of Francis Gay” edition. It is listed on the GoodReads site, but I haven’t found any more information about this group of books he wrote. The illustrations, quotes, photographs make this an amazing book to have. Now that I know Mr. Gay’s real name, I will be on the lookout for more of his books.

  15. avatar

    I am H.LGee’s grandson. Sadly I never met him as he died 4 years before I was born. My dad is still alive and would be very happy to answer any questions. Feel free to privately email me.
    It’s lovely to see the comments here about my Grandfather.

  16. avatar
    Eileen Withington August 3, 2020 at 8:59 am

    I first came across these books when we were clearing my mother-in-law’s house. The Shining Highway was awarded to my sister-in-law as a prize for collecting for missionary work at home & abroad. The family were all long term Methodists. I am presently re-reading them; wehave four of them, as always the nuggets of truth and faith are encouraging. My husband died 6 years ago I miss him and am not sure of my purpose for God but since he has not called me home yet I live in hope of being a light in a corner. The world H.L. wrote of has long since gone, with covid now limiting our contacts. I am longing for the day we can meet together again as a people of faith.

  17. avatar

    I would love to correspond with Richard Gee,since he indicated that he would welcome emails about his grandfather.I was,for 17 years,the Hon.Secretary of the Romany Society,dedicated to the life and work of Bramwell Evens-‘Romany of the BBC’.and was well aware of the close friendship between the two.I have a certain amount of information on this author,but would love to learn more,and would be grateful if you could pass this on to Richard ,and by inference his father.Many thanks.