Elizabeth Goudge

Mary Ann Dimand amaebi at iwon.com
Mon Mar 13 11:04:05 EST 2000


Hallie said that

> Mary Ann left me way behind:

I don't know what that means, but it sounds something to be sorry for, so I
am.

And then

> 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???

No. I meant that Elizabeth Goudge seems to feel that the Active Lad is
tiresome, greedy and somewhat stupid. I believe her to be fairly explicit
about this in Henrietta's House and Linnets and Valerians. And in Linnets
and Valerians, at least, Goudge doesn't seem to find this utterly
unattractive-- the heavenly uncle likes the Active Lad in a chastening sort
of way.

> 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.

I think there may be more than one. If I recall correctly, Betsy wonders
whether she should refuse some Sunday treat, Dinsmore-like, while visiting
Tib in Milwaukee, and elects not to. (And thinks Elsie's a pill anyway?
Something like that?)

> (How about The Little Colonel books?  Ever come across those?)

Only physically. I haven't read one yet. They're sought after by used book
collectors in much the same way Elsie Dinsmores are, by the way-- but by a
much smaller population.

Mary Ann

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