If a general published his memoirs,” says Wendy Cope, “it solved the problem of what to get my father for Christmas.”
Life, Love and The Archers, the first book-length prose offering from this well-loved poet will, no doubt, serve the same purpose for many a stocking this festive season. Over the years Cope has written numerous prose pieces on a variety of topics; education, romance, religion, television, psychoanalysis; and has long had the idea of collating them into a book. This came to fruition when a proactive editor, Lisa Highton, waded through the Wendy Cope archive at the British Library looking for suitable material. She turned up fascinating stuff, some of which came as a surprise to the author herself, who had no recollection of writing it. This is perhaps a symptom of the ageing process, another of Cope’s favoured subjects. The resulting collection is entertaining and moving, with appeal far beyond stalwart Cope fans.