Elizabeth Goudge

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon Mar 13 03:33:28 EST 2000


Mary Ann left me way behind:

>I think I was principally struck by what I thought of as Railway
>Children Effect. Goudge really doesn't like the Active Boy who is so
>important in a lot of children's fiction, does she? And she seems to be much
>enamoured of the responsible, somewhat repressed Older Sister. Going by L&V
>and HH, she finds the Active Boy a tiresome, greedy, somewhat stupid noodge.
>(This is rather like the E. Nesbit of Railway Children. It's also like the
>E. Nesbit of the Bastable books, though her presentation there is less
>flat-footedly straightforward since she chose to have the Active Boy
>narrate.)

It's a few years since I've read the Railway Children, but I would have
thought that I remembered Peter as having been quite a sympathetic
character.  Yes, Bobbie's the favourite, and that's pretty clear, but was
it really as bad as tiresome, greedy and somewhat stupid?  Is this one of
those things that everyone who knows anything about children's lit. knows
about E. Nesbit???

> (I
>didn't feel the need to keep *all* my volumes of Elsie Dinsmore, though.
>Just the very best ones, like the one she's resurrected from her deathbed
>in.)

Wow, I never thought I'd actually meet (as it were) someone who'd read
Elsie Dinsmore.  My grandmother used to talk about the books, and I was
quite tickled to come across a mention in one of the Betsy-Tacy books
(Betsy in Spite of Herself, I think).  Not a complimentary mention, BTW.
(How about The Little Colonel books?  Ever come across those?)

Hallie
hallieod at indigo.ie


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