Voted Britain’s favourite poem in 1996, Jenny Joseph’s ‘Warning: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple’ (written in 1961) is loved all over the world. Its declaration of defiance appeals to the rebel in all of us, as we secretly yearn to throw off the shackles of propriety and enjoy the freedom at cocking a snook at the rest of the world.
Jenny Joseph has created a character, with her outrageous clothes and dotty behaviour, whose thoughts are quoted at conferences and funerals, set to music, quoted on television adverts, printed on postcards and even iced onto cakes. Now, for the first time, ‘Warning’ appears as an illustrated book with drawings by Pythia Ashton-Jewell, specially designed to suit the unique character and piquancy of one of the most popular poems of our time. Since its first publication in 1997, it has been reprinted 41 times.
Jenny Joseph published her first collection of poetry in 1960 and received a Gregory Award for it. Since then she has become one of Britain’s leading poets. In 1996, the viewers of BBC TV voted ‘Warning: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple’ to be the Nation’s Favourite Poem, and it has gone on to be an international bestseller. Jenny Joseph lives in Gloucestershire.
“A poem that was to inspire two generations of women to contemplate behaving badly.”
‘Mail On Sunday’
“Anthem to a disgraceful old age”
“Continues to inspire with its humour… speaks to the devil in us all… Utterly charming and uplifting.”
‘Good Book Guide’
“The most popular poem in Britain.”
“Would make a wonderful gift”
‘The Newton Kansan’