‘The Red-Headed Miss Daintreys’ by Rosamond Lehmann

Not sure how long this story-of-my-life-through-short-stories is going to last, but the author of the next story is one I discovered while writing my doctoral dissertation on how abortion is represented in British fiction and film (soon coming to an academic library near you). Rosamond Lehmann’s 1936 The Weather in the Streets was one of the most fantastic things I read during my dissertation and it’s always top of my recommendation list. Lehmann wrote mainly novels, but during WWII she wrote some short stories, including this one, and it shares a lot of the concerns of her novels: the deft, economical character sketches, the retrospective structure, the nostalgia for Edwardian Britain. 

Collected in The Gypsy’s Baby, Collins, 1946, which has been a Virago Modern Classic and is currently available from Hesperus Press, 2007