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Re: Elsie Dinsmore ?

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
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      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 2 of 13 , Dec 6, 1999
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        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 3 of 13 , Dec 7, 1999
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          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 4 of 13 , Dec 7, 1999
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            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 5 of 13 , Dec 8, 1999
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              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.
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