feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
Schooldays at the Abbey: Elsie J. Oxenham Collins 1949 (although there’s an inscription from 1956 on it)

A lot happens in this book. Because of Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
The Abbey Girls on Trial: Elsie J. Oxenham Collins (between 1949 and 1951)

I found myself reading the first few chapters of this book with more interest than I’d expected, given the last few Abbey Girls books that I’ve read, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I’ll post an overview of a few books I’ve read over the holidays eventually, but this post is a look back at 2015, following a tradition started by my first post of 2015 when I said I looked forward to the next adventures of Wells and Wong. Well, Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (in which the 1930s schoolgirls investigate another mystery, this time in Daisy Wells’s country house home) lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed Kate Saunders’s Beswitched, originally published a few years ago, but taking the reader back to a 1930s boarding school, a fraction more, even. I loved reading Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

Turning to hadrbacks, I enjoyed The Little Betty Wilkinson by Evelyn Smith, even though I think she’s written better books. I did read a book each by the ‘big four’: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Chudleigh Hold, Sally’s Summer Term by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Tomboys at the Abbey by Elsie J. Oxenham, which I didn’t review, and For the School Colours by Angela Brazil.

(In the first paragraph, I build up to my favourite and do the opposite in the second.)

Perhaps the best book I read this year was ‘Rose Under Fire’ by Elizabeth Wein, which is wonderful and harrowing, and I feel incapable of writing about it. I also really loved Helena McEwen’s Invisible River.

I reread Katherine L. Oldmeadow’s The Fortunes of Jacky, which stands the test of time, and now I have no more Oldmeadows to reread. I am, obviously, looking out for more by her in all the shops that sell second-hand books! I hope to read the next case Hazel Wong writes up and the second in the Finishing School series, but I expect to read EBD's 'Fardingales' as I have a copy in the depths of my 'to read' pile.
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
The Fortunes of Jacky: Katharine L. Oldmeadow The Children’s Press (This impression 1968)

So, we come to the last of my Oldmeadows, a collection that’s increased by one since I took to rereading them (see the tags). I’ve owned this book for many a year, although it was fun to reread it as an adult, while Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
The House in the Oak Tree: Katharine Oldmeadow (New Edition 1951) the Lutterworth Press

I broke off from my rereading of all my Oldmeadow books (only The Fortunes of Jacky remains, I think) to review a book by her that I hadn’t come across before, although I wish that i had found it a couple of decades or more ago. The House in the Oak Tree skews younger than the other Oldmeadow books that I’ve read. It’s a family/girls story, probably influenced by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ouvre, set in the New Forest that reminds the author of fairyland, and much like with Evelyn Smith’s Terry’s Best Term (reviewed here, contains familiar elements (some problematic) presented with the author’s charm.Read more... )
feather_ghyll: drawing of a girl from the 1920s reading a book in a bed/on a couch (Twenties girl reader)
Madcap Judy: Katharine L. Oldmeadow, Collins

This book possibly suffered from being the fifth or so book by Oldmeadow that I’ve reread, although elements also reminded me of several other girls own books that I’ve read. Despite the title, the heroine is Jean Murray Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
If you click on the ‘katherine l. oldmeadow’ tag below, you'll see that I’ve been gradually and deliberately rereading my incomplete set of Oldmeadows. Reading Mrs A.C. Osborn Hann's 'The Redhead Patrol' reminded me to come to this next.

The Pimpernel Patrol: Katharine L. Oldmeadow, Collins

On the face of it, this is Oldmeadow’s most conventional book (that I own). Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white photograph of early C20 girl with plait reading (Girl with a plait reading)
The Redheaded Patrol: Mrs A.C. Osborn Hann The Girl’s Own Paper (published before 31 July 1938)

I don’t do this often, but I’ll quote the opening and closing lines of this book:

It really was a most extraordinary coincidence. All the girls in the Scarlet Pimpernel Patrol had red hair! And nobody could manage them! Leader after leader had tried and given it up in despair! (p.9)

Now, whether my readers wish to hear any more of Judy and Gladys, and the other members of the Redheaded Patrol, depends entirely on the reception given to this book. (p. 176)

On the first, that’s three exclamation marks and on the second, that’s shilling for a sequel. (This reminds me that the next Oldmeadow that I intend to read is The Pimpernel Patrol.)

One of the greatest strengths of this book, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Some biographical information on Katherine L. Oldmeadow and a review of Princess Prunella here, which I first read when I was young enough that going to France did seem like a remarkable event to me.

Lyzzybee has written an enthusiastic review of Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea that doesn’t give too much of the plot away but gives a good idea of what to expect and why you should read it (if you haven’t).

Mystery subgenres explained in the Washington Independent Review of Books.
feather_ghyll: drawing of a girl from the 1920s reading a book in a bed/on a couch (Twenties girl reader)
Princess Anne: Katherine L. Oldmeadow. The Chirldren's Press (this edition published some time before Oct 1961, and wonderously, the previous owner's name was...Anne.

I finished reading this book this morning as I couldn't sleep, so that may influence what I type next.

I'm gradually rereading all my Oldmeadows and hoping I'll come across new-to-me copies of her books soon because of it. (Since reviewing Princess Charming, I reread Princess Prunella, and never got around to reviewing it.) Princess Anne never left that much of an impression on me, and I vaguely wondered if it was because I got Princess Charming and other books first. Having reread it, I think it's caused by more than that. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
The bookshelves arrived safely - if a little later than I'd expected and rather needed them so be. It fits in where it was meant to - I was paranoid about my measurement-taking skills, and had been matched to the same colour as other bedroom furniture, so it looks nice. My Ns to Rs (Girls Own) more or less fit in to it with random books on the top. This led to a sorting that meant that I emptied one big box and one small box. I still have boxes of books in plain view, but in my denial, I'm holding on to the fact that I have found some doublers and old Enid Blytons to go to the charity shop like it's a giant leap forward.

And now some tennis (Wawrinka's backhand was a thing of beauty yesterday).
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
Princess Charming: Katherine L. Oldmeadow. The Children’s Press 1960?

I’ve owned this book since before I wrote my name in ‘joined-up’ writing, so I’m hardly unbiased, but it was good to reread this (and a while since I had last read it). It left me wanting to collect more of Oldmeadow’s books – I have about five of them, and it's been a while since I bought the last.

Read more... )


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