Gibbons, Stella

Stella Dorothea ("Paddy") Gibbons (1902 – 1989) was an English novelist, journalist, poet, and short-story writer. Her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm, won the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize for 1933. A satire and parody of the pessimistic ruralism of Thomas Hardy and his followers—the "loam and lovechild" genre, as some called it—Cold Comfort Farm introduces a self-confident young woman, quite consciously modern, pragmatic, and optimistic, into the grim, fate-bound, and dark rural scene those novelists tended to portray.
Cold Comfort Farm, 1st edn 1932  (Stella Gibbons)This much-loved work was first published by Longmans in September 1932.

Stella Gibbons' original choice of name for the Starkadder family home was Curse God Farm. However, according to her nephew and biographer Reggie Oliver she took up the suggestion of a friend, Elizabeth Coxhead, who knew of a real farm called Cold Comfort in Rogues Lane in the Leicestershire village of Stoke Golding, the Birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty. Presumably folk still visit the farm in order to witness something narsty in the various woodsheds.

ReproJacket #381-A-1, size 192.3x456mm.
Cold Comfort Farm, 1st edn 1932 (2nd printing) (Stella Gibbons)Here we have the 2nd printing in October 1932. The other novels advertised on the back panel now each have a pair of review extracts rather than publisher's blurbs, and some of the front flap content has been slightly respaced.

ReproJacket #381-B-1, size 192.3x456mm.
Cold Comfort Farm, 2nd edn 1934 (4th printing) (Stella Gibbons)The book was an instant success, and was republished in a new edition, the first of Longmans' Stories of Laughter. The jacket has lost a little height but gained width on the back flap.

ReproJacket #181-D-0, size 190.1x469mm.
Cold Comfort Farm, 2nd edn 1942 (Reprint) (Stella Gibbons)Here we have a wartime reprint from Longmans' Stories of Laughter edition.

ReproJacket #181-1942-1, size 190.1x469mm.
Cold Comfort Farm, 2nd edn 1957 (Reprint) (Stella Gibbons)By 1957 the front flap text includes a new line confirming the classic status of this title. The main image has been replaced by the cow's backside, perhaps because folk are no longer familiar with the hand-plough which was previously featured.

ReproJacket #181-1957-1, size 190.5x471mm.