Monday, September 7, 2015

The Young Visiters

Title: The Young Visiters: Or, Mr. Salteena's Plan

Series: None

Year: 1919

Author: Daisy Ashford

Summary: A short “society novel” written by Miss Daisy Ashford at the age of nine. The notebook containing the novel was rediscovered by her in adult life and sent by a friend to Frank Swinnerton, the English novelist, critic, editor and essayist. Published in 1919 by Chatto and Windus, with its original misspellings and an arch introduction by “Peter Pan” author J. M. Barrie, it was an immediate bestseller. Its child's view of high society (dukes and earls having ‘levies’ and residing in the ‘Crystall Pallace’) and its heavily romantic plot make it an engaging and enduring popular work. (from Goodreads)

Main Characters:
~ Mr. Alfred Salteena
~ Ethel Monticue
~ Bernard Clark  

Review: My family watched the 2003 BBC adaptation of this book a few years ago, and finding it rather fun, I decided one day to read the book. Lo, and behold, Amazon offered it free on Kindle, and so... well, I needn't say, for you can guess the rest.

Daisy Ashford wrote this entire book when she was nine. NINE! Am I the only one in such astonishment? The publishers kept all her original work in the novel, altering nothing. All of her dear little grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and lack of punctuation are exactly as little Daisy herself put them down. When I first heard of that, I was concerned that the book would be difficult to read, but no ma'am! Daisy has a clear and rather comical hand when it comes to giving us the adventures of our hero, Mr. Alfred Salteena.

I love way too many quotes in this book. Right off the bat, we read, "Mr. Salteena was an elderly man of 42 and was fond of asking people to stay with him." His current visitor happens to be the lovely Ethel Monticue, a young girl of 17 who "had a blue velvit frock which had grown rarther short in the sleeves." Things of importance begin to happen when Mr. Salteena's friend, Bernard Clark, invites Mr. Salteena and "one of his young ladies whichever is prettiest in the face" for a grand visit. 

And so our friends go off on the adventure. Another favorite quote, "When the great morning came Mr Salteena did no have an egg for his breakfast in case he should be sick on the journey." *grins* They all have a lovely time with Bernard Clark, until one day Mr. Salteena decides he must marry Ethel because he loves her. And so he pops off to the "Crystall Pallace" to become a gentleman for her. The trouble is our other friend, Bernard Clark, is rather in love with Ethel, too.

As a young girl's view on society and its workings, this book is nothing but a good read. It isn't very long, but I enjoyed myself muchly between the pages.  

Advisory: A child's view of romance leading to a kiss -- but that's about it. Just clean, good fun in all.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Click here to buy a copy of The Young Visiters on Amazon!
And yes, it's free for the Kindle!

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