896Re: Elsie Dinsmore ?
- Dec 6, 1999David has about given the wrapup on =Elsie Dinsmore.= I went back to the
site I gave, btw, and it only gets through Chapters 3 and 4. Too bad. I was
looking for the famous chapter where Elsie sits on the piano stool, obeying
her father as far as possible but refusing to play on a Sunday, until she
faints and falls off (!) This made a great impression on my mother, who
recounted it to me, and also on Cornelia Otis Skinner, who in her
autobiographical reminiscences remembers trying a similar scene on her actor
parents, who were amiably mystified but tolerant.
I hope David's not putting FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS in the same bag. It has
spunky children with some interesting obstacles to overcome. Unfortunately,
in the first book, they really overcome them all (by being adopted into the
family of a rich gentleman) and the sequels never measure up, in my opinion.
To answer his question, there were several of these published, but most are
o.p., and I only found two of them at the library when I got in the mood to
look up the Peppers this summer. However, one of those I found answers the
interesting question, "Who did Polly Pepper marry?" -- and I can also give
those who haven't read the sequels the interesting information that Mrs
Pepper, too, married again.
I owned the first book as a child and read it with great interest, being an
only child myself and not having any intimate acquaintance with the kind of
hardscrabble poverty described in FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS. Also I was too young
to get a lot of the period references, and indeed, I am still mystified as to
why an "old boot top" should be one of Davy Pepper's prize possessions, how
cut-up leather could be used to mend a stove, or why, in a New England state
(Massachusetts, if I recall) where public education was perhaps more
prevalent than anywhere else in the country (and all praise to New England
for that), Mrs. Pepper keeps moaning on about not having any money for her
children to go to school.
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