That’s a quote for A Cat May Look At A King, written in the early 1930s , or possibly 1920s by Jan Struther—born 1901, died 1953.
Jan Struther was the pen name of Joyce Anstruther, later Joyce Maxtone Graham and finally Joyce Placzek, a writer remembered for her character Mrs. Miniver and although agnostic, she is known for a number of hymns, including Lord of All Hopefulness and When a Knight Won His Spurs.
She was an English writer who spent her childhood in Whitchurch in Buckinghamshire, England. Jan Struther is the great-aunt of Ian Maxtone Graham, former co-executive producer of The Simpsons. She is the subject of a biography, The Real Mrs. Miniver, written by her granddaughter, Ysenda Maxtone Graham.
I found this story in an anthology of cat stories titled, Puss in Books—A Collection of Stories About Cats, edited by Elizabeth Drew and Michael Joseph, copyright 1932 by Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. Most of my books come from Abe Books.
I could find nothing on Jan Struther’s history of writing this particular cat story, but she did publish stories and poems in the 1920s and 30s for Punch Magazine, The Spectator, The New Statesman, and other journals.
The stories for Punch brought her attention to The Times, a British daily newspaper in London. Peter Fleming asked her to write a series of columns for the paper about an ordinary woman who leads an ordinary life. From this, the character of Mrs. Miniver was born in 1937.
Two years later, in 1939, the columns came to life in book form. WWII, drove this book to become a sentimental, patriotic American film. Mrs Miniver, released in 1942, won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Greer Garson played Mrs. Miniver winning the Oscar for Best Actress.
Struther’s papers are housed at the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, in Washington, D.C.
Now, I can hear my tea kettle, and the Cat Harold-of-God has crawled into my lap. It’s time for the catcast… .
STORY READING…tune into the podcast to listen.
The Literary Catcast is delighted to bring you cat stories that may be lost in time, if not for this podcast. Visit our website, The Literary Catcast. While there, check out our cat themed merchandise, and visit the section, Cats of the Podcast to read the bios of all the cats that voice our story transitions, and link to their Instagram accounts. Yes, there are two Instagram accounts for the podcast cats, and you may directly link from the website.
The Literary Catcast is written, recorded and edited in my Dallas studio. The meows for this episode are from Tilly Sue. You may read her bio, and listen to a recording of a conversation a pet communicator had with her, Here, on The Literary Catcast website. Scroll past the bio of Harold-of-God, and you will find TillySue.
I’m Phebe Phillips
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