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'I can still remember reading All in the Blue Unclouded Weather when I was 12, and then the excitement I felt when the librarian at our tiny Catholic school, Mrs Kerr, told me that there was a sequel. She put it on reserve for me, and I read Dresses of Red and Gold when I was 13. Finally, when I read The Sky in Silver Lace at 16, I remember the curious melancholy I felt long afterwards.' (Introduction)