Smuggled delights of The L-Shaped Room | Letters

Letters: My own copy, bought from a junk shop to the gleeful instruction ‘Keep that one under your coat’, I covered in brown paper

Lynne Reid Banks (Letters, 30 November) seems to have forgotten that an adult view of what 12-year-olds should or should not read makes absolutely no difference at all: her own compassionate study of love and unmarried pregnancy in a London bedsit, The L-Shaped Room, was the must-read novel at my convent school in the early 1970s. My own copy, bought from a junk shop to the gleeful instruction “Keep that one under your coat”, I covered in brown paper and wrote David Copperfield on the front.
Rachel Darnley-Smith

• Further to her letter (My Crossroads entrance, 28 November), I don’t think Cleo Sylvestre has ever been given the credit she deserves for being the first black British female actor to appear at the National Theatre. This was when she played Nurse Norton in Peter Nichols’ The National Health or Nurse Norton’s Affair at the Old Vic in October 1969.
Stephen Boswell
Grand Theatre, Leeds

• A tourist leaflet we picked up in Sweden warned that if walkers in the forest wanted to see elk, it was important to be as quiet as possible; but if they wanted not to be attacked by bears, it would be good to be a bit noisy (‘Bear, aaaaaaargh!’, 2 December).
Rev Canon Chris Oxley
Lutterworth, Leicestershire

• Moira Armstrong does well to remind us that the BBC’s 1970 serialisation of Sunset Song was a landmark moment in Scottish culture (Letters, 2 December). Having viewed the trailer for the new film version I detected a Glasgow accent, an Edinburgh accent and an English accent – but no “speak of the Mearns”. Maybe the BBC would let us see the gold standard version again.
Dr Allan Dodds

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