Griffins ({Strange| Awkward|The Trouble With}Magic) & Goudge

Camilla Saly camillasaly at
Wed Mar 8 23:47:40 EST 2000

Hi.  Sort of de-lurking here, although I posted long ago about Neil Gaiman. 
About Elizabeth Goudge:  Like Frances Hodgeson Burnett, she wrote alot of
crap and a few jems.  "The Valley of Song" IS a jem.  I found it IMPOSSIBLE
to get a copy anywhere.  I eventually took out the only copy I knew of from
the Deer Isle, Maine library and xeroxed the whole book (don't tell
anybody...). "The Little White Horse" is also very good, and then there's
"Linnets and Valerians."  Oh yeah, one more: a historical novel about Oxford
during Queen Eliz. 1. I forget the title.  The rest I've tried are pretty
much dreck.  Best, Camilla from NYC

------Original Message------
From: JOdel at
To: dwj at
Sent: March 7, 2000 9:03:56 PM GMT
Subject: Re: Griffins ({Strange| Awkward|The Trouble With}Magic) & Goudge

In a message dated 3/7/00 2:16:16 AM, hallieod at writes:

>The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth
>Goudge.  What do people think about her?

One of my best friends was an enthusiastic fan of Elizabeth Gouge's
when I first met her (probably still is, but we haven't thought of anything
to say on the subject in some 15 years). I went ahead and read as many of
them as could still be found in the library at the time (some 6 or 7 I
think). Well, they WERE fantasy. But just as I couldn't work up any
appreciation for the "all you need is love" philosophy my contemporaries
attempting to push into the mainstream of western civ. I couldn't swallow
sweetness and light of the west country as presented by Gouge.  I found the
books icky, sticky sweet, in fact and while a couple of them had enough
to be worth re-reading I never could suspend my disbelief quite far enough,
and the villians were allapingly predictable. I gather that the books are
extrordinarily strong representations of what was considered appropriate
thinking and goals for well-socalized little girls in the 1930s, however.
(Dorie's favorite was The Valey of Song.)
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