Maisie Dobbs

Book

Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs enters domestic service in 1910 at thirteen, working for Lady Rowan Compton. When her remarkable intelligence is discovered by her employer, Maisie becomes the pupil of detective Maurice Blanche. In 1929 Maisie hangs out her shingle: M. Dobbs, Trade and Personal Investigations — and that is where our story begins.

Jacqueline Winspear

Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England.  She emigrated to the United States in 1990 embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer—she subsequently became a regular contributor to journals covering international education and travel, and has published articles in the Washington PostHuffington PostThe Daily Beast and other publications.

Click on the screenshot below access a video where Jacqueline Winspear explains to Nancy Pearl she was inspired to write Maisie Dobbs – her first work of fiction.

Quote from the book

Memories are links in a golden chain that bind us until we meet again.

Discuss

Topics this book will bring up for discussion include:

  • How Maisie seems to have changed and grown as a person.
  • Maisie decides her sign should read:  “M. Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator.”  Is this an accurate description of what she does?
  • Several times in the book people are told to “Get on with it”, in reference to leaving the trauma of the war behind them and moving on with life.  Is this sound advice?  How does their attitude compare to how we treat veterans of war today?

More discussion questions are available from Reading Group Guides at https://www.readinggroupguides.com/reviews/maisie-dobbs-a-novel/guide

Enhance

Maisie Dobbs features many details about life in Britain during the aftermath of the Great War.

Some items from our collection that might help your group understand the time period better are:

The Great Silence: Britain From the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age by Juliet Nicolson

Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men After the First World War by Virginia Nicholson

One popular British food that could be served at your meeting is Rice Pudding.  Here is a recipe for Classic Rice Pudding from Fine Cooking.