Patricia and Dorothy were well-educated and
fashionably well-read. Dorothy had been brought up quietly but
comfortably in Leicester where her father owned two wool-knitting
factories which had prospered from government contracts during the
Great War. Patricia's background was metropolitan London. She
banked at Harrods and subscribed to
their lending library. In Cookham she borrowed books from Boots Library
in Maidenhead. From regular sojourns in France they enjoyed
smuggling home books restricted at
the time in England, such as the
sex research books by Krafft-Ebing and Hirschfeld, and
fiction such as Joyce's Ulysses.
One of their girl-friends wrote from England to say that her
brother had told her that Ulysses
was 'the filthiest book he had ever read', so naturally she longed to
read it, and would they please bring her back a copy?
Patricia loved covering their books in brown paper, not
for secrecy but because it was a common preservation fashion in days
book covers had become the norm.