- Hardcover: 105 pages
- Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers (August 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0897333659
- ISBN-13: 978-0897333658
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Young Visiters Hardcover – August 30, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Fiction by nine-year-olds is rare, but the precocious Ashford redeems her unremarkable story in ways she could never have imagined. Written in 1890 but not published until 1919 (and kept in print in Britain since that time), this novel proves to be a completely innocent yet inadvertently amusing spoof of Victorian society. The guileless author (whose photo nonetheless shows a deep self-satisfaction) writes of 42-year-old Alfred Salteena, who, born on the wrong side of the blanket, wishes to become a gentleman. The suave and well-connected earl of Clincham imparts to his apt pupil (without irony and with telling accuracy) the essence of becoming one of the upper class: have plenty of money, keep your unsavory past hidden, wear the right clothing and, above all, know how to hunt, shoot and ride. Armed with this knowledge, Salteena is instantly transformed into Lory Hyssops and gets a job with the royal family. His story is a perfect vehicle for the author's parade of pious, hard-drinking, tight-fisted, socially stratified and hypocritical Victorians. Ashford's fractured syntax, phonetic spelling and imaginative grammar eventually become wearing, but fortunately the book is brief. According to Kendrick's prefatory note, Ashford gave up literary ambitions after she wrote a second novel at age 14; she died in England in 1972.
Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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It is a charming romance written by a girl who had read widely for age, and observed adults closely, but who didn't always understand the mores of her time. This naivety added to the charm of her work for her post-WWI readers, and is still touching today.
Frank Swinnerton, and James Barrie are suspects for being the true authors but there good evidence (although I don't know if it's been recently reevaluated) for Daisy Ashford.
The compartments in the Crystal palace in which the nobility live seem to me to be authentic products of nine year old imagination. Small children often come up with gems like that. The ability to create a coherent plot and follow narrative theme for the length of a novel, even if only a sixty page one is unusual for even a talented child. Children are lazy and, even if they write at length, their stories become fragmented, lose their thread, and are often derivative. It takes adult skills and capacity for sustained hard work to write a coherent full-length work of fiction.. Ashford's failure to write after Barrie's death is suspicious..
Whatever the answers, the fact remains that I did enjoy it - treemendusly.