More Collections SULAIR SU Home
The Mary Webb Digital Archive
« back to item list
Mary Webb home

The Golden Arrow. 1916 First Edition. Dr. Godson’s copy

  1. 00020886_0001
  2. 00020886_0002

Mary Webb. The Golden Arrow. London: Constable & Company Ltd., 1916. First edition. Inscribed on front free endpaper: “Dr. Godson / With best wishes from / a grateful patient. / Mary Webb. / Xmas 1916.” Gladys Mary Coles identified Dr. Godson as the local physician who would arrive on his bicycle to treat young Mary Meredith for Graves’ disease. While The Golden Arrow was widely read in Shropshire, local people were shocked by Webb’s unorthodox treatment of love, marriage and sex in the novel, including: Webb’s frank commentary about country women’s attitudes towards pregnancy and childbirth; the pre-marital sexual relationship between Deborah Arden and Stephen Southernwood; and Lily Huntbatch’s visit to the abortionist. So outraged were some Salopians that a ritual book-burning was held by readers in the Shropshire towns of Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge.