Friday, 23 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Loving all things 30s, I could not resist this book in the local Oxfam shop. Yes it's old. Yes it leaves my fingers dusty each time I open the heavy pages. Yes it smells musty. But to me all these things are good!
Published in 1931, The Great Book for Girls is mainly short stories, with a few poems here and there. The black and white drawings have been lovingly coloured in with pencils by a previous owner. Neat job, girls!
As for the stories - well, what ripping yarns, as one of the characters might say! They have titles like 'Dimsie Wins Through' and 'The Fourth Form Entertainment'. The girls in the stories are all so busy and active, they almost wear me out. They go sailing, camping, trekking and have lots of adventures in the jolly-hockeysticks type of fashion. Several of the stories are set in boarding schools. I used to adore boarding school stories when I was young, though I don't know why as I would probably have hated it if I had ever had to go.
And yes, the writing style is a little dated, or 'politically incorrect' to our modern ears. I mean, we wouldn't refer to someone as a 'village idiot', for instance, would we. We most likely wouldn't call somebody 'a brick' either, even in a nice way. But for traditional stories, with a beginning, middle and end, this eighty year old book has given me a lot of entertainment this past week. I shall be looking out for more!