Sunday, 3 March
2-30pm (date and time to be confirmed)
Talk and Readings from
The Memoir of Jisbella Georgina Lyth As Told to Romie Lambkim
by Professor Leonard Conolly, former President of the International Shaw Society
From 1930 until Shaw’s death in 1950 Jisbella Lyth was postmistress of the tiny post office next door to the Brocket Arms in Ayot St Lawrence. Not only was she in charge of Shaw’s copious correspondence to and from every corner of the world, but she was also the unofficial ‘gatekeeper’ to Shaw’s Corner, choosing who send in the right direction and which to deter.
She is also reputed to be the inspiration for the postmistress character (named only as Z) in Shaw’s play Village Wooing.
Romie Lambkim, a young Irish journalist who moved to Ayot after Shaw’s death, became friends with Jisbella and, fascinated with her accounts of her life and her memories of Bernard Shaw, recorded a full account of her life both before and after her move to Ayot.
With permission from Romie Lambkin’s estate, Leonard Conolly has added his own painstaking research to the story and published a memoir under the title: Bernard Shaw’s Postmistress. Professor Conolly will talk about her life both before and after she moved to Ayot including readings illustrating her relationship with Shaw and her connection with Village Wooing: “I was supposed to have inspired him for this play, but I don't know when he ever saw me wooing anybody!” Jisbella is quoted as saying. But she revelled in the limelight.