Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 28, 2018

Sensational Snippets: The Newspaper of Claremont Street, by Elizabeth Jolley

Elizabeth Jolley Week starts here at ANZ LitLovers next week on the anniversary of her death on June 4th, so I am reading my lovely new Fremantle Press edition of The Newspaper of Claremont Street (in their Treasures Collection) and enjoying its sly charm very much.

‘Weekly’ is an elderly cleaner, her nickname derived from her habit of sharing the news from all her clients in Claremont Street. She knows everything about them:

There were other things too, intangible and touching in that they belonged to the mess made by the living, but unlike bread crumbs and ashes and dirty fingermarks and dust they could not be cleaned up or smoothed out like crumpled cushions and bedspreads.  Weekly knew which wives didn’t want their husbands to come home for lunch; she heard sons snarling at their mothers and ungrateful daughters banging bedroom doors. She heard the insincere voices and laughter in telephone conversations and she wondered how friends could be so treacherous to one another, so watchful over the successes and failures of each other’s children.  Though they had lots of people around them, and saw each other all the time, it was as if they were all really alone, and worse than this , though they rode horses, played golf, read books, looked at poetry and paintings, perhaps even made pots and pictures as well as dresses, they had not found out what they really wanted to do or be.  They all desperately wanted to do something.  But what that something was remained to be discovered.

The Newspaper of Claremont by Elizabeth Jolley, Fremantle Press Treasures Edition, ISBN 9781925163629, p.59

Not sure what to read for Elizabeth Jolley Week? See what there is to tempt you at my Elizabeth Jolley page.

Available from Fishpond The Newspaper of Claremont Street: Fremantle Press Treasures or direct from Fremantle Press.


  1. All the best with your Elizabeth Jolley Week. Have fun!


  2. This was a wonderful book. I should read it again. It has been a by-word for a gossip all these years in our household. I was only telling some
    one about it recently.


    • There used to be a ‘weekly’ in our street. Her name was Madge and she was wonderful!


  3. She knew that social stratum inside out and had a surgical eye for expressing it. Such a wonderful writer.


    • Yes: “unlike bread crumbs and ashes and dirty fingermarks and dust they could not be cleaned up or smoothed out like crumpled cushions and bedspreads”. Sheer genius:)


  4. Good luck with this enterprise. I’m not familiar with this author and have too much else on at the moment to join in – but I hope to read something of hers in the future.


    • Ah well, I’m glad to know that I’ve tempted you for the future:)


  5. […] I said in the Sensational Snippet that I posted last week, it is an elderly cleaner who is the ‘newspaper’ of Claremont […]


  6. […] see a Sensational Snippet at ANZ LitLovers […]


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