The latest volume of the diaries of a Barrow housewife who shot to fame thanks to a BAFTA-award winning drama starring Victoria Wood will be launched in her home town next week.
The event at Barrow library on October 14 at 7pm will mark the launch of Nella Last in the 1950s - the third volume of Barrow housewife Nella Lastís Mass Observation diaries.
Nella Last has already been established as one of Englandís great diarists, described by the publisher as "following on in the Pepysian tradition", thanks to the success of her first two books ĖNella Lastís War (1939-45) and Nella Lastís Peace (1945-48).
The bestselling Cumbrian writer was not published in her lifetime, but has now become a household name thanks to the drama 'Housewife, 49'. Victoria Wood did all the research for the drama at Barrow Library in the records office and local studies section.
The original diaries are held in the Mass Observation Archive at Sussex University. Over the 30 years she contributed to the Mass Observation project, she wrote between 1.5 and 2 million words, making her diary one of the longest in the English language.
The evening celebration at Barrow library will feature readings from the new volume by local writer Maggie Norton. The audience will also be able to enjoy refreshments and browse various displays linking to the book and the 1950s period it covers. There will also be a selection of material about Clifford Last (Nella's son), who became a well-known sculptor. Two ladies who were in the WRVS when Nella Last was a member are also due to attend - one of whom, Sheila Diss, she refers to in the book.
Tickets cost £1 including refreshments and are available from Barrow Library on 01229 407370.
Cllr Gary Strong, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for libraries and archives, said:
"Nella Last has established herself as a local icon and a people's champion. She would have seen herself as a Lancastrian, but Cumbrians have taken her to heart. It's fitting that the launch of her latest volume of diaries should take place in her home town."
Media enquiries to Gareth Cosslett, News Manager on 01228 226332