feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Daisy: Susan Warner, Miles & Miles

This is a case where a book didn’t turn out to be quite what I expected. My copy has gold blocks on its front cover and spine and the very type shouts out that from the late nineteenth century. I’d never heard of it or the author, Susan Warnerm before, but presumed it was in the Rosa N. Carey, E. Everett-Green vein. It isn’t quite.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Illustration of the Chalet against a white background with blue border (Chalet School)
Here are some links I have meant to post for a good long while:

The Chalet School at War review by Did You Ever Stop to Think

From the same blog, a thought-provoking analysis of the first page of ‘The School at the Chalet’.

Also, a review of Head Girl of the Chalet School

And her Chalet School tag

[dreamwidth.org profile] el_staplador sings the praises of 'Ballet Shoes’ (from a feminist standpoint) here.

I couldn't see who whad written about coming to Anne Shirley for the first time as an adult at Vulpes Libris.

A review of Miss Buncle’s Book by Carrie S, which I found charming. My first D.E. Stevenson book was 'Amberwell', which I probably was too young for. I liked the idea of children growing up in a stately family home, but was quite upset that their lives turned out to be sad and full of strife. I find Stevenson variable in quality, but 'Miss Buncle’s Book' is one of my favourite books of hers,

The author of the recently reviewed Tam Lin can be found on Livejournal/Dreamwidth [livejournal.com profile] pameladean/[dreamwidth.org profile] pameladean.

Finally, and this is relatively breaking news, the BBC is adapting 'Little Women'.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A book-related post!

It’s perhaps unfair to compare these two children’s books about two civil wars, but I read them quite close to each other, so the comparison came readily. Irene Hunt wrote ‘Across Five Aprils’ about the American civil war, as experienced by one Jethro Creighton, while Dorothea Moore (whom I've never posted about here before although I have copies of her books) wrote ‘Perdita, Prisoner of War’ - yes, I admit the title made me grab for it – about Perdita Eynescliffe’s experiences in the English civil war.

I say it’s unfair to compare them chiefly because Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Barbed Wire—Keep Out!: Agnes M. Miall Brock Press 1950

Isn’t this one of the most brilliant titles for a children’s book ever? It demands that the reader dives in, just like the barbed wire and the injunction to keep out has no influence on the main characters of this adventure.

They are Perry (really Perilla, poor thing) and her sister Prue and their chums Hump and Noel. They have appeared in other books, one of which, Snowed Up With a Secret, I own and had read years and years ago, but don’t remember a thing about. Perry and Hump are aged about sixteen, Prue’s about fourteen and Noel about eleven. So, if you like books about gangs of children bringing down gangs of criminals, you’ll like this.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Angela Has Wings: Peter Ling and Sheilah Ward, A Girl novel, Longacre Press, 1960.

I had to look up to see whether Angela Wells was Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Torridons’ Triumph: Marie Muir Collins 1967

This is the first book by Muir that I’ve read – I think there were others by her in the shop where I saw this, but I decided to just buy one as a taster – and it was a really enjoyable and satisfying story. It falls into that sub-genre where a family of youngsters must band together to make enough money to keep the family going. Here, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
Jill Makes Good: Elizabeth Tugwell, Nelson

Of course, such a title begs you to decide whether the author has made good with this book.

Fourteen year old Jill Ross is headed for Cornwall at the start of the story, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Collected over months (or longer):

A tribute to Elinor M. Brent-Dyer by nobodyjones

The thrill of the used bookstore hunt

Amanda Diehl talks about book hunting practices involving second-hand bookshops that I can partially sympathise with. I do have strange habits about books, but let’s focus on the euphoria of finding something you’ve long looked for at a reasonable price.

Daniel Dalton recommends 33 Books You Should Read Now, Based On Your Favourite Films. Having read and seen some pairs, I can see where he’s coming from and have found a cuple of recommondations.

There are a few Nancy Drew icons here by misbegotten.

Angela Brazil: dorm feasts and red hot pashes

Kathryn Hughes has been rereading Angela Brazil (spoilers for A Patriotic Schoolgirl).

Here’s a new blog about children’s books that I think will be worth keeping an eye on: homeintimefortea
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: 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: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I was saddened to hear of Diana Wynne Jones's death. Reading her obituary, it was interesting to learn of the links to other children’s fiction writers.

I don't know if I would describe myself as a fan. That is to say, I have enjoyed reading her books if they've come my way - they're witty and have a strong streak of common sense, while very much being fantasy books - but felt no compulsion to keep all of them and get more. I did read some of her books as a child, A Tale of Time City left the most impression and I have vague memories of the Archer's Goon adaptation, but I didn't own any copies of her books as a child, and read more of her work as an adult. I saw the adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle before reading the book; I have a feeling I read (some of) the Chrestomanci books before then.

Anyway, it is sad that there won't be any more books from her.
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
Since last posting more of my books from my parents' house have come to mine, including a Jeffrey Archer that wasn't mine and went straight into the charity shop bag. I hope to finish filling a second bag before the end of the week, as limited space is making me more ruthless. Not ruthless enough for my mother, and when I think of all the books that are still at theirs, I know that she's right with my head. I'm on the hunt for a bookshelf for a nook upstairs as one I was lent has been returned to its owner. I'm planning to get a taller one, which should help a little with the book piles.

Furthermore, I read Never Let Me Go in advance of the release of the film adaptation. It has haunted me and put me off reading school stories for a little. I then read Magic Flutes by Eva Ibbotson, who has passed away (I was alerted by [livejournal.com profile] callmemadam). I only started reading her books very recently, but I've loved all of them. In fact, Magic Flutes's Tessa brought me to tears twice and I don't easily cry (or like opera). Something about her selflessness touched me. So, I am saddened at the news of her creator.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Greetings! I've been away, yes on a beach, and here are a couple of the books that I read that I think you'd enjoy too.

Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective: Nancy Atherton. Penguin 2009.

This is an omnibus edition of the first two novels in the 'Aunt Dimity' series, which I think I came across in an Amazon 'if you like this book, why not this' way?. Well, I now have another series to collect. The blurb describes them as 'cosy' mysteries, and they very much are, with a slight paranormal element, romance and growing. self confidence for their heroines. They also fit in with a very American type of Anglophilia.

Aunt Dimity's Death Read more... )

The website for the series Aunt Dimity's world should give you some idea of the flavour of the books.

I also read Bluestockings: Jane Robinson Penguin 2010.

It was an impulse buy - I had underpacked and so visited the airport's WHSmiths in a flustered mood, but was high-minded enough to buy this. I'm glad I did, it was quite a few of the things that the similarly themed Willingly to School wasn't. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Tennis ball caught up at mid net's length with text reading 15 - love (Anyone for tennis?)
Pam Plays Doubles: Jean MacGibbon Constable 1962

I bought this years ago for 10p in a charity shop. I only remembered the story vaguely and picked it up for a reread because of the tennis theme. It's not a great book, although I liked the detail on the tennis and it was a quick read!

Read more... )

I found
this marvellous list of tennis-centric novels
at Tennis Collectables (and the price they’re charging for PPD makes me hug myself with glee). They mainly seem to be for children/teenagers and murder mystery/thrillers. I think the only other one I own is the Nancy Drew Case Files book.

I believe that this is the obituary of the same Jean MacGibbon (which is certainly food for thought as some of it contradicts my impressions based on PPD, while some of it supports them.)

Edited for typos at 18/2/11.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Just watched the Queen's semi-finals. Read more... )

Netherdale For Ever: Theodora Wilson Wilson. The Swarthmore Press Ltd.

Five minutes Googling tells me that Wilson Wilson (yes, really) was a radical, pacifist Quakeress. All her books were published in the twentieth century, She lived from c1865 to 1941, and Netherdale For Ever was published in 1919. There's a reason I looked that last fact up. (I'm not sure whether my copy is that old, and that's not the reason).Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I'm currently dipping in and out of The Big Book of School Stories for Girls, edited by Mrs Herbert Strand and published by Humphrey Milford - the Oxford University Press. I've never been one to buy annuals and what-do-you-call-thems...anthologies? I prefer girls own stories in longer form, on the whole, and here's always the possibility of stories told in cartoon, which I'm not fussed about. However, it's not too bad, some of the stories have been amusing. The was a Dimsie story 'All Fools Day' (I don't know if it was written specially for this collection or not). It wasn't the pranks that Puck and co came up with so much as their reasoning.

I also love the illustrations, which seem to have been done by a variety of contributors. I forgot to mention when reviewing Torley Grange that while I appreciate Girls Gone By's habit of using the original art work, I didn't much like the cover. This will show my very limited appreciation of art, but I'm not sure that drawing schoolgirls as influenced by Edvard Munch's Scream with a jaundiced tinge, when you're not going for an Addams Family vibe is particularly attractive.

Anyhow, here are a couple of links that I've collected, mainly from trying to find information out about the writers I've recently been reading. I discovered (it must have been stated in the intro, but didn't sink in) that Torley Grange was Corutney's first book, which explains a few things and is rather impressive.

The University of Reading has her papers, there's a short bio here.

And this is an in-depth biographical article on Evelyn Smith by Hilary Clare for Folly magazine.
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)
Dimsie Carries On: Dorita Fairlie Bruce Oxford University Press

This is my post about buying the Dimises I've been reading and reviewing of late. (Tes, it can easily take over six months between the purchase of a book and the reading of it in my world.) Closer scrutiny has shown that I've got reprints, so there must have been other dust jackets originally. Even closer scrutiny (ie the dust jacket breaking up somewhat) has revealed that it's two sided, the other side was a dust jacket for another book entirely (Adventure for Two by Elsie J. Oxenham). I don't think I've come across that before!

To the book )

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