[DWJ] Splatchers and Ransome was Re: branding books (was What are you reading?)
rosieburroughs at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 8 13:55:49 EST 2009
--- On Thu, 5/11/09, Judith Ridge <judith.ridge at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/11/6 Elizabeth Bentley <ebentleysln at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > I remember being impressed that the children in
> Homecoming (Voigt) all took
> > time out to pee. I wonder which were the earliest
> children's books to start
> > mentioning such bodily functions.
> Not sure about peeing, but Louise Fitzhugh's companion to
> Harriet the Spy,
> The Long Secret, was (I believe) the first in which
> menstruation was
> discussed frankly (and hilariously). 1965
Antonia Forest's The Cricket Term (1974) mentions it in passing (girls calculate that they will be able to swim because they won't be "cursed").
Margaret J. Baker's Castaway Christmas (1963, I think) has children discussing what is to happen about sanitary arrangements when they are trapped by floods - but for their pets rather than themselves! Still, I can't imagine the Famous Five stopping to look for somewhere for Timmy to do his business.
The heroine in Geoffrey Trease's The Arpino Assignment is captured and tied up by the enemy because she won't talk, and he refuses to let her go to the toilet in the hope that the shame of wetting or soiling herself will make her give in. The book doesn't go into too much detail, but it's made clear that she doesn't have a cast-iron bladder or bowels! It also refers to "the castor-oil treatment" and its humiliating results; Trease clearly expected his readers to know what these would be, but as a child I didn't.
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