The descriptive subtitle is The romantic journals of Jean Lucey Pratt. She was a British woman who started keeping a journal in 1925 at the age of fifteen, and continued until her death in 1986. Usually books like this bore me after fifty pages (or less), but this one I am finding consistently entertaining. Here is one bit from her cruise ship voyage at age 23:
My physical needs as a normal woman are badly wanting fulfillment. I’ve got to somehow make them understand that I have no anchor; that an ordinary and full-sexed woman must centre her interests on one man, otherwise she must inevitably go to pieces.
I’ve learnt a lot from this voyage, and one thing from Nev which is forceful and important — that platonic friendships are impossible. To show my trust in my little boyfriends I left my door unbolted; although they had drunk too much, I knew I could trust them. But I’ve bolted it again.
She lost her virginity eight years later, at age 31:
When he had played with me in the French manner (too long I think) to work me up to the Crisis, the Big Moment Passionate and so on, I left him to make my preparations and then lay back on the bed and said in a sepulchral voice, “Now I’m ready for the worst!” Well, it was damned painful, though I didn’t know it was going to be.
I have quite recovered from my pain in the stomach and am in a rare good humour, have been all day. It is such a relief to feel one is no longer completely ignorant.