feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Encircled Heart: Josephine Elder, Girls Gone By, 2012 reprint. (First published 1951)

Two words from the same root came to mind as I started reading this book: absorbed and absorbing. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Olive Roscoe or The New Sister: E. Everett-Green, Nelson

The first two chapters of this book left me going ‘Blimey.’ In those chapters, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I don't know if I'll get around to typing up a full review of 'Molly Hazeldene's Schooldays' by Maud Forsey, which I read over the holidays, but I felt it should be noted that one of the other school girls is named, rather magnificently, Leah Venus Sheepwash.

Looking back, my favourite Girls Own books read in 2014 were The Scholarship Girl at Cambridge by Josephine Elder, Dimity Drew's First Term by Nancy Breary and Mullion by Mabel Esther Allan. I also loved Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (and look forward to more Wells and Wong cases) and enjoyed rereading The Chalet School and the Lintons.
feather_ghyll: drawing of a girl from the 1920s reading a book in a bed/on a couch (Twenties girl reader)
The Scholarship Girl at Cambridge: Josephine Elder Girls Gone By Publishers 2012

In this sequel to The Scholarship Girl, (I wrote about it in passing here) we Read more... )

I read the introduction etc after the main story. A short story by Joesphine Elder is included where a bunch of schoolgirls get their comeuppance - suggesting again the paucity of university stories for girls, even by this author, because you'd have thought GGBP would have put in a story of university life were a suitable one available.
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Happy New Year!

I am home after the Christmas holidays. Determined to travel yesterday, I had to change my travelling plans, but all ended up well.

You know how you notice something and then other examples of it keep cropping up, like buying clothes in a striking colour and then seeing people wear it all the time, well, these holidays, with me, it was books that don’t just have chapter titles, but each page has a relevant heading. I’ve probably got other books that do that, but I hadn’t really noticed them.

In Margery Merton’s Girlhood by Alice Cockran, they include ‘SECRETS AND TENDER THOUGHTS.’ (p25), ‘CRYING AND LAUGHING.’ (p112), and ‘A COLD FAREWELL.’ (p.213). In Miriam’s Ambition by Evelyn Everett-Green, they include ‘A TERRIBLE STORM.' (p26), ‘AT DINNER.’ (p113), and ‘A REWARD FOR BRAVERY.’ (p214)

Read more... )

I also read the third in Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple mysteries. Only six months had elapsed since I read the previous book. Requiem for a Mezzo. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
One morning this week, I breezed through

My Cousin from Australia: Evelyn Everett Green Hutchinson, Second Edition

I found this copy while doing a sort out. Apparently I bought it just before going to university for 10p (those were the days). I wasn’t sure whether I’d read it before, and having finished it and based on the pile of books where I found it, I’m not sure whether I actually did.

It’s pretty terrible. Read more... )

Edited on 31st of May to correct a character's name.
feather_ghyll: drawing of a girl from the 1920s reading a book in a bed/on a couch (Twenties girl reader)
I note this because it’s happened in the last two girls own stories that I’ve read, and doesn’t happen that often. Among the stories in Blackie’s Girls Annual (see this entry) is Read more... )

How rare do you feel fighting is in Girls Own? Are there authors that are more likely to write about it than others? What stance do they take (eg is is a 'wild' girl who hasn't had a mother/has been brought up with several brothers?)? Is there a change in attitudes over the years (did I miss the Fight Club Term at Trebizon?)
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A collection of links, some of them related to recent posts and things of interest, some that I came across quite some time ago.

Swallows and Amazons memorobilia here!

A critical review of Diana Wynne Jones's The Game (in lieu of my thoughts which I never did write up) by a DWJ fan.

Author Hilary Mantel talks about looking for female role models in 19th century novels
with specific reference to Jo March, Katy Carr and Jane Eyre, discussiong her childish reaction to them, and some other aspects, such as the picture of contemporary London and interaction with real personages in What Katy Did Next.

A nice description of 'Remembering my best find'. I don't hink I can remember a best find so clearly, but I do know from experience that it's always worth trying even the least promising shop.

A review of the production of Daisy Pulls it Off that I saw.

Greyladies a new publishing venture that's just registered on me radar - Girls Gone By's older sister? - that I'm definitely interested in.

Wikipedia's potted history of Josephine Elder.

ETA: I nearly forgot, Happy Easter!
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Evelyn Finds Herself: Josephine Elder. Girls Gone By, 2006.

As I said, I really enjoyed this book. It actively made me think about girlhood and growing up/developing because it treats the process far less superficially than most Girls Own books. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I'm reading Girls Gone By's republishing of Evelyn Finds Herself - what an absorbing book, and I definitely join the readers who rate it highly. I'm partly writing this to defer reaching the ending, partly to get these thoughts down now. I read some of the introductory stuff - some I left to read after finishing the book and some for after I've read a non-fiction book that I have about girls' education (don't hold your breath about when that'll be). Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
This is what happens when you don't do your googling before posting an overview of a subgenre. You have to do a follow-up post.

Here's an informative overview of the Sally Baxter series.

Article: Not Just for Children Anymore: Girls' Series Books
What many girls' juvenile series seem to have in common is that they posit the existence of a safe, orderly world, a world where right and wrong are clearly defined, and where right eventually triumphs. The protagonists face dilemmas, but few moral ambiguities. They are secure, fulfilled, and happy--and they never forget to be "feminine," to act like ladies, even when they are being their most adventurous and liberated.

More info on this subgenre at a comprehensive site - it has info on the Susan Sand mysteries (I have three of them). This is the related blog.

The Cherry Ames page.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I'm not quite sure what to call the subgenre that Sally Baxter and her ilk belong to (grandmother: Cherry Ames), which is part career girl story, part mystery tale. They're nearly always published by World Distributors, so they have a similar 'look', especially if the dust jacket is intact. Other examples are Vicky Barr, Shirley Flight and Sara Gay. These series feature unmarried girls, but usually from traditional families, with jobs that take them all over the world (Cherry does almost every kind of nursing she can, Sally is a reporter, Vicky and Shirley flight attendants and Sara a model). They're part-time sleuths, as they come across mysteries wherever they go and because they feature in serial stories, they need to do well at their careers for a long time, even if their attention is sometimes divided.

The heroines of straight-up career girl stories, may feature a mystery subplot, but they are much more about depicting the demands of a job for their readers. 'Kate in Advertising' by Ann Barton, Joanna in Advertising by Stella Dawson, and Marjorie Riddell's 'A Model Beginning' and 'Press Story' are some examples from my bookshelves. Somewhat unrealistically, they usually end with the heroine getting engaged and the likely outcome is that she will give up her job for marriage and motherhood. So why do I call them career girl stories? Well, they still work as an intro to the career rather than being about the romance. And I may be over-generalising there. Not all end like that.

However, the serial stories subvert this, most interestingly in the Cherry Ames series, and they're somewhat anti-romantic. The heroines are shown as attractive and likeable, and with plenty of dates on call, but they never say yes to proposals. The audience for these stories is slightly older than 'A Crime for Caroline', obviously, although, again, who am I to talk, still reading them, many years after I came across my first Cherry Ames? And that doesn't even consider the influence of Nancy Drew, although sleuthing is her hobby-career (she doesn't need the money, but she does need the challenge). But in the days when the series started, why, going to college was what boys do! (It'll be interesting to see how the new movie handles this).

Sally Baxter, like Shirley and Sara (oh, they all start with S's) is a very English character. (As is nurse Jean, who has four books and two authors to tell her tale, but she isn't published by World distributors). The book which brought this on, Sally Baxter--Girl Reporter and the Holiday Family by Sylvia Edwards, starts off when Sally gets sent on a summer stunt to improve the circulation of her paper, the Evening Cry. The paper pays for a family already visiting a seaside resort (how very British) and voted for democratically to have their dream holiday. This upgraded holiday is then covered by Sally. Of course what she ends up reporting is a series of catastrophes for the first holiday family, who turn against her and go back home until she can uncover who is behind the ir misfortunes and why. (Let us just say that the story is really of its time and leave it there.)

ETA: Related links can be found here.


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