Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Elsie Dinsmore ?

Expand Messages
  • ERATRIANO@xxx.xxx
    Hi, I m a new member, my name is Elizabeth Apgar Triano, yes I love JRRT and CSL and Charles Williams, William Morris, GKC, uh that Scotsman whose name escapes
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 4, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi, I"m a new member, my name is Elizabeth Apgar Triano, yes I love JRRT and
      CSL and Charles Williams, William Morris, GKC, uh that Scotsman whose name
      escapes me, also Gerard Manley Hopkins, and so on and so forth. Yes I write
      poetry and fantasy, I've been to Wheaton and seen the Wardrobe and I've been
      to the UK and all that good stuff... I'm 36 and have 2 small children, so my
      mind isn't what it used to be LOL

      My question today is, has anyone heard of the Elsie Dinsmore books by Martha
      Finley? (They are non-fantasy Christian story novels for little girls.)
      There are about 26 or 28 of them, and I just started reading the first one.
      I thought it was "a bit much," and was immediately curious if there was any
      kind of "reputation" in the Xn writer circles... as I am a fantasist and not
      a straight fiction person, it was a good excuse to look up a list such as
      this.

      Lizzie "Princess Airhead"
    • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
      Hi Lizzie, and welcome. That Scotsman is George MacDonald. Read him sometime -- you should. His work is deep and mythopoeic; Elsie Dinsmore is extremely
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 4, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Lizzie, and welcome. "That Scotsman" is George MacDonald. Read him
        sometime -- you should.

        His work is deep and mythopoeic; "Elsie Dinsmore" is extremely sentimental
        pious preaching, more typical 19th century didactic stuff. My mother used
        to mention the books, she'd seen at least one of them as a child, and you can
        find stuff about them on the Web, but as far as I know, Elsie Dinsmore has
        not had a comeback in contemporary Christian kiddielit- though I could be
        mistaken. Where'd you find #1?

        Since you seem interested in Xty/Literature, you might also want to sub to
        the MereLewis list. I can get you the directions.

        Mary S
      • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
        Suspect the MacDonald title Lizzie was thinking of was =Sir Gibbie=.
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 5, 1999
        • 0 Attachment
          Suspect the MacDonald title Lizzie was thinking of was =Sir Gibbie=.
        • Berni Phillips
          ... (My e-mail connection would send for a day, so I m posting a bit late on this.) I hesitate to admit this, but I loved _Elsie Dinsmore_ as a girl. I felt
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 5, 1999
          • 0 Attachment
            ERATRIANO@... wrote:

            > My question today is, has anyone heard of the Elsie Dinsmore books by Martha
            > Finley?
            >
            > Lizzie "Princess Airhead"

            (My e-mail connection would send for a day, so I'm posting a bit late on
            this.)

            I hesitate to admit this, but I loved _Elsie Dinsmore_ as a girl. I
            felt akin to her in her spiritual struggles. What she was trying to be
            was how good Catholic girls were supposed to be. (Elsie definitely
            wasn't Catholic, but it was the same root-out-all-traces-of-sin
            mentality I grew up with.)

            I didn't find out until I was an adult that there was a series. I found
            out that a childhood friend of mine -- her family had moved away in
            junior high and she moved back into the area as an adult and we ran into
            each other at a party --collected them. Ironically, she's an athiest,
            raised by athiests -- the last person you'd think to be reading Elsie
            Dinsmore. I had gotten her hooked on the first book. (For those of you
            who haven't read Elsie, she tries to be the perfect little Christian
            girl, the perfect goody-2-shoes who turns the other cheek all the time.)

            I no longer have the original (it was a cheap paperback that fell apart
            years ago due to all the re-readings). Hmmm, maybe I should look for it
            and the sequels?

            Berni Phillips

            P.S. to Khazad-dum: I promise *not* to read from it at the Reading &
            Eating Meeting!
          • Berni Phillips
            ... Aaarrgghh! That should have been would NOT send for a day. I couldn t mail anything out. Never mind.
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 5, 1999
            • 0 Attachment
              Berni Phillips wrote:
              >
              > (My e-mail connection would send for a day, so I'm posting a bit late on
              > this.)

              Aaarrgghh! That should have been "would NOT send for a day." I
              couldn't mail anything out.

              Never mind.
            • ERATRIANO@xxx.xxx
              In a message dated 12/05/1999 7:11:36 PM Eastern Standard Time, bernip@ix.netcom.com writes: This sounds like something about
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 5, 1999
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 12/05/1999 7:11:36 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                bernip@... writes:

                << Reading &
                Eating Meeting! >>
                This sounds like something about my speed! LOLOL.

                Berni: Did you see the website for Elsie? www.elsiedinsmore.com. Pretty
                easy. Good luck if you want to get books... I think availability comes and
                goes. They are also available on tape, I think, at least some are. If I do
                get the doll ever, I will then have an extra of the 1st one. And she's kind
                of next on my list of expensive toys LOL.

                It had occurred to me, despite my difficulties with the book, that since the
                characterization seems good, it might appeal to someone if it hooked them
                right. I just can't deal with the constantly-beaten-on-poor-little-girl
                thing, which come to think of it is probably just as much "period" as
                "religious," perhaps even more so... I am struggling on determinedly during
                my little snips of reading time. So does it get better?

                Lizzie
              • David Lenander
                I ve been sick and busy and haven t kept up with this list very well, but a few years ago we had some discussion of Elsie Dinsmore in _Once Upon a Time_, the
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
                • 0 Attachment
                  I've been sick and busy and haven't kept up with this list very well, but a few
                  years ago we had some discussion of Elsie Dinsmore in _Once Upon a Time_, the
                  children's fantasy apa (no, we didn't think Elsie was a fantasy, at least not in
                  our usual sense). Like Bernie, I liked the book when I read it in about 5th
                  grade. I did read a couple of the sequels, too. My grandmother had recommended
                  them, along with a book called _Merrylips_, which was a historical set in
                  Commonwealth England, about a sweet little girl. I also liked Burnett's _A
                  Little Princess_ and _Little Lord Fauntleroy_. But those books had a lot more
                  character than Elsie, I'm afraid. I read most of the Beany Malone books about
                  that time, too. I never could really believe in Elsie, though, because she was
                  impossibly just too put upon and too good through it all. And all of her
                  relatives, except for one cousin, were too uniformly horrible. Also, _Five Little
                  Peppers_ (was there only one of those?).

                  Berni Phillips wrote:

                  > From: Berni Phillips <bernip@...>
                  >
                  > ERATRIANO@... wrote:
                  >
                  > > My question today is, has anyone heard of the Elsie Dinsmore books by Martha
                  > > Finley?
                  > >
                  > > Lizzie "Princess Airhead"
                  >
                  > (My e-mail connection would send for a day, so I'm posting a bit late on
                  > this.)
                  >
                  > I hesitate to admit this, but I loved _Elsie Dinsmore_ as a girl. I
                  > felt akin to her in her spiritual struggles. What she was trying to be . . . .
                • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
                  David 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
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
                  • 0 Attachment
                    David 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.

                    Mary S
                  • Berni Phillips
                    ERATRIANO@aol.com wrote: [re Elsie] ... I haven t read it in 30 years. I honestly can t remember how it ends. I just remember her earnest attempts at
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
                    • 0 Attachment
                      ERATRIANO@... wrote: [re Elsie]

                      > It had occurred to me, despite my difficulties with the book, that since the
                      > characterization seems good, it might appeal to someone if it hooked them
                      > right. I just can't deal with the constantly-beaten-on-poor-little-girl
                      > thing, which come to think of it is probably just as much "period" as
                      > "religious," perhaps even more so... I am struggling on determinedly during
                      > my little snips of reading time. So does it get better?

                      I haven't read it in 30 years. I honestly can't remember how it ends.
                      I just remember her earnest attempts at perfection, her uncle being
                      younger than her, and things like trying to write with the old-style
                      pens without making any blots to spoil her pages. It's more the
                      atmosphere I remember. I can't recall the plot at all.

                      Berni
                    • Berni Phillips
                      ... Indeed. (I also read a couple of the Pepper books.) What mystified me about money and school was _Girl of the Limberlost_ and trying to raise money to go
                      Message 10 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Stolzi@... wrote:

                        > I hope David's not putting FIVE LITTLE PEPPERS in the same bag. It has
                        > spunky children with some interesting obstacles to overcome.
                        >
                        > 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.
                        >
                        > Mary S

                        Indeed. (I also read a couple of the Pepper books.) What mystified me
                        about money and school was _Girl of the Limberlost_ and trying to raise
                        money to go to high school! Her mother, who was poor, considered it a
                        luxury.

                        Berni
                      • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
                        I am rather aghast at Christian homeschoolers of today exposing their children to Elsie Dinsmore s Mammy Chloe, who wears a spotless turban (of course) and is
                        Message 11 of 13 , Dec 7, 1999
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I am rather aghast at Christian homeschoolers of today exposing their
                          children to Elsie Dinsmore's Mammy Chloe, who wears a spotless turban (of
                          course) and is given to remarks like "Bress de Lawd, Ah knows Jesus loves
                          =me=, too, jes' the same as if Ah wuz white." Mammy Chloe can't even pore
                          over the Bible herself - Elsie has to read it to her.

                          I suppose the Girl of the Limberlost needed money for suitable clothes and
                          also transportation - didn't she live a long way from the high school? And I
                          think maybe in the old days you had to buy your textbooks even if the
                          education was free.

                          We were given ours, but had to turn 'em in at the end of the year, so some
                          got more battered books than others. We were also given, and required to
                          use, a set of fold-and-stick brown paper book covers printed up by the State;
                          I find that graven in my memory forever is the lead motto (for State Parks, I
                          guess) "Education and Recreation in the School of the Great Outdoors."

                          Never thought 'til now of the irony of reading this over and over as we sat
                          firmly imprisoned in the School of =Indoors=.

                          Mary S
                        • Stolzi@xxx.xxx
                          Since we are wandering somewhat afield just now, I ll mention F. Marion Crawford. Just finished an oldie I picked up in a local antique barn for 5 bucks. It s
                          Message 12 of 13 , Dec 7, 1999
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Since we are wandering somewhat afield just now, I'll mention F. Marion
                            Crawford.

                            Just finished an oldie I picked up in a local antique barn for 5 bucks. It's
                            THE WHITE SISTER by F. Marion Crawford, pub. 1912. Such a sentimental and
                            romantical brew, ala =Beau Geste=! The frontispiece is a picture of some
                            well-known actress of the time in the role of The White Sister.

                            Looked up Crawford on the 'net and it turns out he is remembered today only
                            for shockers, ghost-stories and the like ("The Screaming Skull" is one of his
                            top titles). One of the pages where I learned this is a set of links with
                            the engaging title "Gaslight Fiction" - this seems to cover everything from
                            shlockmeisters like Crawford to =real= writers of the period such as
                            Turgenev, Chekhov, or de Maupassant. I wonder who he was. "Francis Marion"
                            are two good first names for a South Carolinian.

                            Mary S
                          • WendellWag@xxx.xxx
                            In a message dated 12/6/99 5:07:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com ... Is this the book I think I remember? I probably read this somewhere between
                            Message 13 of 13 , Dec 8, 1999
                            • 0 Attachment
                              In a message dated 12/6/99 5:07:13 PM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@...
                              writes:

                              > 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. . . 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.

                              Is this the book I think I remember? I probably read this somewhere between
                              1960 and 1962. By that point it was way out of fashion, so it was probably
                              something that my mother had read as a child and had sitting around. Even
                              then I found the idea that your best hope of getting out of poverty was to be
                              adopted by a rich man to be strange. I can't call my family poor, more like
                              struggling working-class. My father made enough working a job and a half
                              that we might have been middle-class if my parents hadn't been silly enough
                              to have eight kids.

                              If I'm remembering the right book, I found it funny when the kids in that
                              book talked about how "someday our ship will come in". I had never heard
                              that phrase before (in the meaning of "someday we'll make our fortune"). I
                              thought that was hilarious. I remember telling my mother, "Mom, our ship
                              just came in. Unfortunately, it hit the side of the pier and sank." Boy, I
                              was one snide, cynical little kid. But then I'm also one snide, cynical
                              adult.
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.