Coming Up for the Third Time

by Sandra Billington

The Author.
An Excerpt.
To Order .





The book is in seven parts, beginning with her mother’s life, just north of Manchester, and the early years of the author (here called Steph) and her brother. In total ignorance of worldly realities, Steph is, at the age of fifteen, happily catapulted into drama school in post-war London, where she does well, but cannot negotiate her way into the work she is capable of doing. This is a telling of the more seamy side of the ’60s for unprotected young women and, after decisive traumas while at RADA, it becomes clear that an academic life might best produce an income and some achievement.

Here, her bogey is a lurking, undiagnosed health problem, which leads to many dramas of its own!  But somehow the odds fall in favour of books being written and teaching going well. And the memoir ends with a deathbed or even a post-mortem reconciliation with her mother, with whom she had had a difficult relationship.




Part I 1900–1959

Part II 1959–1964

Part III 1964–1968

Part IV 1968–1975

Part V 1972–1980

Part VI 1981–1985

Part VII 1985–2000


Appendix—The Heart


10 sepia illustrations

10 colour illustrations

45 black & white illustrations