It's strange how there are some names that you forget that you know. Until recently, Hannah Hauxwell fell into that category for me. As soon as I read in a discussion forum someone talking about how amazing this woman's life had been I instantly could put a face to the name. Yet I also realised that I knew far less about Hannah Hauxwell than I felt I should.
Found in the seventies by the makers of a Yorkshire Television documentary it could so easily have been the case that people never found out about Hannah Hauxwell. In fact it was Hannah's solitary way of life that made her so remarkable. She lived on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Pennines without any of the modern comforts that we take for granted. The determination to survive and make a success of what she was doing drew television viewers to her. The fact that she was a complete natural in front of the camera – despite not having the electricity at home to even have her own television set – turned her into a superstar. You could almost call Hannah the first reality TV star yet her life was a million miles away from that of your typical Big Brother contestant.
Having realised how little I really knew about Hannah I naturally went to the internet to find out more. I found several interviews with her, especially from the Yorkshire Post, but also found the long list of books and television programmes that have been produced about Hannah and her life. I soon managed to pick up a second-hand copy of Hannah: The Complete Story which is an omnibus of Seasons of My Life and Daughter of the Dales for an absolute song. If, like me, you don't know enough about Hannah Hauxwell then a copy of this is definitely worthwhile to be inspired by her.
A slight aside on buying secondhand books online… When buying Hannah: The Complete Story I discovered that there is a slightly new way to buy secondhand books from Amazon. I know that there are marketplace sellers on there who sell secondhand books, but previously you had to pay over £2 postage and packing for each book, even the ones that were being sold for 1p. However, now there seems to be some secondhand sellers where the order is actually fulfilled by Amazon, meaning that you can get free super saver delivery (i.e. 3 – 5 working days). This means that you can now pick up some secondhand books for less than I can find things in local charity shops. At the moment Hannah: The Complete Story is available from one seller for just £1.33 including p&p. I'm yet to fully understand which companies do this, but it's definitely worth looking out for if there's a specific book that you're after.