by Francis Hodgson Burnett, recommended in a 1914 edition of St. Nicholas Magazine as a good gift for Mother
Reader Review from Amazon: This is one of Burnett’s lesser known novels but highly worth the read. Young Tembarom suddenly comes into a large inheritence and a large estate in Great Britian. His American way of life comes into a sharp contrast and he keeps his chin up the entire time. His love of his life who he met before coming into money refuses to have him unless he stays one year among the posh and still wants her. The deal is he can’t see her and must surround himself with beautiful higher class women (with funny results). Old friends are found and new friends made and a ten year old mystery is solved by Tembarom. This is a typical Horatio Alger style book with a woman’s touch and far older characters that you usually associate with what we see as a children’s author. Very turn of the last century style of writing but highly enjoyable.
The Scientific American Boy Or, The Camp at Willow Clump Island
Things to make and do while camping- surveying tools, a make-shift table, a crossbow from an umbrella…
Gutenberg has the version with pictures;
“It ain’t such a bad notion,” said he, “only a crossbow would be better. I’ve seen them made out of umbrella ribs so they’d shoot like greased lightning.” Of course we had to have one of these wonderful weapons. Down in the ash heap we found two broken umbrellas with 27-inch ribs. Bill selected ten good ribs, from which he wrenched off the spreaders with a pair of pliers. The ribs were then bound together by winding
Fig. 51. The Trigger. stout twine around them. The winding was very evenly and closely done, so that the cord completely covered the ribs, making a solid rod of spring steel. But before winding we had laid in between the ribs a piece of heavy twine, to which the bowstrings could be tied after the bow was all wound. The stock of our crossbow was cut out of a board
Fig. 52. The Trigger Set for Firing. of soft wood 1 inch thick to as near the shape of a gun as we could get it. A hole was drilled through the muzzle end to receive the bow, and then the bowstring was tied fast. Along the upper edge of the barrel a V-shaped channel was cut. The channel was not very deep, only enough to receive 57 a tenpenny nail with the head projecting half-way above the sides. A notch was cut across the barrel, through this channel, at the trigger end, and a trigger made of heavy iron wire, bent to the shape shown in Fig. 51, was hinged to the gun by a bolt which passed clear through the stock and through both eyes of the trigger.
The Flower Princess The Flower Princess; The Little Friend; The Mermaid’s Child; The Ten Blowers
Late Victorian, early Edwardian era fairy tales written mainly for little girls.
Other books by the same author:
The Christmas Angel
A blatant take on Dickens’ Christmas Carol, but I enjoyed it anyway, and it’s less frightening for younger children.
Excerpt: “What have you there?” she asked, frowning, as she took the object into her own hands. “The Christmas Angel!” she exclaimed under her breath. “I had quite forgotten it.” Then as if it burned her fingers she thrust the little image back into the box and turned to Norah brusquely. “There, that’s all. You can go now, Norah,” she said.
“Yes’m,” answered the maid. She hesitated. “If you please’m, it’s Christmas Eve.”
“Well, I believe so,” snapped Miss Terry, who seemed to be in a particularly bad humor this evening. “What do you want?”
Norah flushed; but she was hardened to her mistress’s manner. “Only to ask if I may go out for a little while to see the decorations and hear the singing.”
“Decorations? Singing? Fiddlestick!” retorted Miss Terry, poker in hand. “What decorations? What singing?”
“Why, all the windows along the street are full of candles,” answered Norah; “rows of candles in every house, to light the Christ Child on his way when he comes through the city to-night.”
“Fiddlestick!” again snarled her mistress.
“And choir-boys are going about the streets, they say, singing carols in front of the lighted houses,” continued Norah enthusiastically. “It must sound so pretty!”
“They had much better be at home in bed. I believe people are losing their minds!”
“Please’m, may I go?” asked Norah again.
Norah had no puritanic traditions to her account. Moreover she was young and warm and enthusiastic. Sometimes the spell of Miss Terry’s sombre house threatened her to the point of desperation. It was so this Christmas Eve; but she made her request with apparent calmness.
“Yes, go along,” assented her mistress ungraciously.
“Thank you, ‘m,” said the servant demurely, but with a brightening of her blue eyes. And presently the area door banged behind her quick-retreating footsteps.
“H’m! Didn’t take her long to get ready!” muttered Miss Terry, giving the fire a vicious poke. She was alone in the house, on Christmas Eve, and not a man, woman, or child in the world cared. Well, it was what she wanted. It was of her own doing. If she had wished—
She sat back in her chair, with thin, long hands lying along the arms of it, gazing into the fire. A bit of paper there was crumbling into ashes. Alone on Christmas Eve! Even Norah had some relation with the world outside. Was there not a stalwart officer waiting for her on the nearest corner? Even Norah could feel a simple childish pleasure in candles and carols and merriment, and the old, old superstition.
“Stuff and nonsense!” mused Miss Terry scornfully. “What is our Christmas, anyway? A time for shopkeepers to sell and for foolish folks to kill themselves in buying. Christmas spirit? No! It is all humbug,—all selfishness, and worry; an unwholesome season of unnatural activities. I am glad I am out of it. I am glad no one expects anything of me,—nor I of any one. I am quite independent; blessedly independent of the whole foolish business. It is a good time to begin clearing up for the new year. I’m glad I thought of it. I’ve long threatened to get rid of the stuff that has been accumulating in that corner of the attic. Now I will begin.”
The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts
Saint Bridget and the King’s Wolf 1
Saint Gerasimus and the Lion 11
Saint Keneth of the Gulls 30
Saint Launomar’s Cow 42
Saint Werburgh and her Goose 53
The Ballad of Saint Athracta’s Stags 69
Saint Kentigern and the Robin 77
Saint Blaise and his Beasts 88
Saint Cuthbert’s Peace 95
The Ballad of Saint Felix 108
Saint Fronto’s Camels 114
The Blind Singer, Saint Hervé 126
Saint Comgall and the Mice 148
The Wonders of Saint Berach 156
Saint Prisca, the Child Martyr 166
The Fish who helped Saint Gudwall 176
The Ballad of Saint Giles and the Deer 183
The Wolf-Mother of Saint Ailbe 190
Saint Rigobert’s Dinner 199
Saint Francis of Assisi 211
A Calendar of Saints’ Days 226
John of the Woods
Excerpt; It was late of a beautiful afternoon in May. In the hedges outside the village roses were blossoming, yellow and white. Overhead the larks were singing their happiest songs, because the sky was so blue. But nearer the village the birds were silent, marveling at the strange noises which echoed up and down the narrow, crooked streets.
“Tom-tom; tom-tom; tom-tom”; the hollow thud of a little drum sounded from the market-place. Boys and girls began to run thither, crying to one another:—
“The Tumblers! The Tumblers have come. Hurry, oh, hurry!”
Three little brothers, Beppo, Giovanni, and Paolo, who had been poking about the market at their mother’s heels, pricked up their ears and scurried eagerly after the other children.
Jostling one another good-naturedly, the crowd surged up to the market-place, which stood upon a little hill. In the middle was a stone fountain, whence the whole village was wont to draw all the water it needed. In those long-ago days folk were more sparing in the use of water than they are to-day, especially for washing. Perhaps we should not be so clean, if we had to bring every bucket of water that we used from the City Square!
A Little Housekeeping Book for a Little Girl Margaret’s Saturday Mornings
Reader Review from Amazon: I’m fond of this type of book, and heartily enjoyed this one. It’s a thorough manual of housekeeping in the olden days, meant, I’m guessing, for the instruction of those with no mothers or careless mothers. Yes, men can clean too, but they did not back then. It also extols the virtues of care, attention to the smallest of details, and of taking pride in one’s work. It’s also a useful book, even these days, as it offers a method of deterring ants, and of keeping kitchen drains from smelling. There is a rather amusing obsession with efficiency and spotless-white table and bed linens. The class distinctions are rather jarring to modern sensibilities, so take this into account. Enjoy!
Excerpt: It was Margaret’s grandmother who gave her the lesson on dish-washing. She said it was the part of housekeeping she really liked the best of all and did most easily, so everybody said, “Oh, well, if you really like it, perhaps you had better be the one to show Margaret how to do it properly!” and then they all laughed.
The gingham apron with sleeves was the one Margaret put on after breakfast. It buttoned around her wrists snugly, but on unfastening the buttons the sleeves could be rolled up and pinned out of the way, so they would keep clean. After she was ready the grandmother showed her how to stand all the dining-room chairs back against the wall and take up the crumbs[Pg 58] under the table, pushing this to one side and then the other, so that the rug would really be clean when they were done.
“Now,” she said, “run into the kitchen and see that the table there is quite empty, so there will be plenty of room for the dishes we are going to bring out; bring back with you the large tray, and get out the scraping-knife.”
Margaret found that Bridget had left some pans and dishes on the table after she had cooked the breakfast, and these she piled neatly at one end, out of the way. The scraping-knife was a long one with a thin blade which bent easily; a palette knife, such as artists use in cleaning their paints up, her grandmother explained.
“It seems funny to use an artist’s knife to scrape dishes with,” said Margaret, when she came back. “I should think we would just scrape the plates with the silver knives on them. That’s the way Bridget does.”
“But it is bad for the knives,” her grandmother said. “Besides, a stiff knife[Pg 59] cannot get the grease off, and this thin one can. You will see presently how beautifully it works. Now we must carry out the food.”
The dishes of meat, potatoes, bread, and other things were taken to the kitchen table and emptied; the bread was put back into its box; the bits of meat and vegetable were put on small dishes and put in the refrigerator; the butter on the small plates was scraped together into a little bowl and set aside to cook with. Then they were ready to get the dishes together on the dining-room table. They carefully emptied the tumblers and coffee-cups into the tray-bowl, so they would not be spilled in carrying them out. They piled the silver carefully on a dish, and carried out the plates and other things on the table. When it was quite cleared, Margaret took up the crumbs and laid the cloth and pad in the sideboard drawer. A centrepiece was put on the bare table with the fern-dish on it, and the two armchairs were pushed back in their places, one at each end. “There,”[Pg 60] said the grandmother, “when you have dusted the room will be right to leave until luncheon. Once or twice a week, of course, it has to be thoroughly swept and put to rights, but this is the way we do every day.”
by the same author; The Fun of Cooking A Story for Girls and Boys
For 1.99 Living on a Little by Caroline French Benton
The Half-Back A Story of School, Football, and Golf
The Lucky Seventh
The Turner Twins
Turn of the century sports stories for boys
John Halifax, Gentleman
by Charlotte Bronte
About these two books, Hildegarde Hawthorne, writing for St. Nicholas children’s magazine in 1914, writes:
“The days of the regent (George IV of England) were crowded with the extravagances of the rich and the privations of the poor. England had already seen difficult days in the changes brought into many of the industries by the advent of machinery. Two excellent books by two famous women give a moving picture of the suffering and the struggles and the riots that filled the last years of George Ill’s reign: Mrs Dinah Maria Muloch Craik’s John Halifax Gentleman and Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley. In the latter book Robert Moore is a fine portrait of the manufacturer of 1807 and thereabouts seeking to bring in new things, seeing where the new trend was taking the business of the country, and yet understanding the other side, too.”
She also recommends Through the Fray A Tale of the Luddite Riots
by G. A. Henty, which is set in the same period.
The Laughing Cavalier The Story of the Ancestor of the Scarlet Pimpernel by the author of The Scarlett Pimpernell
Uncle Bernac A Memory of the Empire
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Reader Review; Uncle Bernac, a historical novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was originally published in 1897. The story takes place in 1805, at which time the narrator, a Frenchman named Louis de Laval, is living in England. During the French Revolution de Laval’s father had fought on the side of the Royalists while his mother’s brother, Uncle Bernac, had sided with the Republican cause. When the King was ousted and the Revolutionaries triumphed, the de Laval family fled to England, taking up residence in a village in Kent, while Uncle Bernac took possession of the family estate of Grosbois, near Boulogne. Thirteen years later, Napoleon has assumed control of the French government and named himself Emperor. After the death of his father, de Laval receives a letter from Bernac. The uncle, who now works for Napoleon, invites his nephew to come back to his native soil, promises to let bygones be bygones, and assures him a position in the Emperor’s service. Though the young man is suspicious of his uncle’s intentions, he can’t resist an opportunity to return to his homeland.
Though the novel is called Uncle Bernac, the title character is little seen and doesn’t figure very largely into the book’s plot. He functions merely as a device to get de Laval into the presence of Napoleon.
The Hallam Succession
Contents: AMERICANS IN YORKSHIRE. MARTHA CRAVEN’S TROUBLE. RICHARD AND ELIZABETH. WESLEY AND METHODISM. ANTONY’S PLANS. GOD CLEARS BEN CRAVEN. CHRISTMAS. RENEWAL OF THE COVENANT. SEPARATION. AT HOME AGAIN. JOHN MILLARD. THE PASSIONATE SHOT. TEXAS AND LIBERTY. RICHARD AT HALLAM. MAY. A. D. 1836. ANTONY AND HIS BRIDE. THE SQUIRE’S DEATH. ANTONY’S SIN. ELIZABETH’S RESOLVE. EVELYN. ELIZABETH’S TRIAL. LOVE COMFORTED. ANTONY’S FATE. SANTA FE EXPEDITION. ELIZABETH IN TEXAS. THE SUNSET OF LIFE.
Excerpt: It was soon evident that there would be little sympathy between Richard and Antony. Richard Fontaine was calm, dignified, reticent; never tempted to give his confidence to any one; and averse to receive the confidences of others; therefore, though he listened with polite attention to Antony’s aspirations and aims, they made very little impression upon him. Both he and Phyllis glided without effort into the life which must have been so new to them; and in less than a week, Hallam had settled happily down to its fresh conditions. But nothing had been just as Antony expected. Phyllis was very lovely, but not lovely specially for him, which was disappointing; and he could not help soon seeing that, though Richard was attentive, he was also unresponsive.
There is one charming thing about English hospitality, it leaves its guests perfect freedom. In a very few days Phyllis found this out; and she wandered, unnoticed and undisturbed, through the long galleries, and examined, with particular interest, the upper rooms, into which from generation to generation unwelcomed pictures and unfashionable furniture had been placed. There was one room in the eastern turret that attracted her specially. It contained an old spinet, and above it the picture of a young girl; a face of melancholy, tender beauty, with that far-off look, which the French call predestinee, in the solemn eyes.
It is folly to say that furniture has no expression; the small couch, the faded work-table, the straight chairs, with their twisted attenuated legs, had an unspeakable air of sadness. One day she cautiously touched the notes of the instrument. How weak and thin and hollow they were! And yet they blended perfectly with something in her own heart. She played till the tears were on her cheeks, it seemed as if the sorrowful echoes had found in her soul the conditions for their reproduction. When she went back to her own room the influence of the one she had left followed her like a shadow.
“How can I bring one room into another?” she asked herself, and she flung wide the large windows and let the sunshine flood the pink chintzes and the blooming roses of her own apartment. There was a tap at the door, and Elizabeth entered.
Books by Harry Franck, about whom a bookseller in St. Nicholas wrote:
Are you going to Panama some time in the next few months? If so you must read the book which, of all books yet written, pictures the Canal Zone and its life most vividly. If you are not going don’t you want to read a book which it has been said over and over again is the next best thing to a trip to and through the Canal Zone and which gives a really better idea of behind the scenes than most tourists get? Do you know why the building of the Canal is one of the greatest engineering feats of all times? Do you know what the United States Government has done to make life in that tropical belt both safe and healthy? Do you want to read a story of actual experiences and adventures down there which is as fascinating as any story book you ever read and which makes the Panama Canal and all its myriad workers very real and very vivid? Then read Harry A Franck’s Zone Policeman 88.
Harry A Franck is a fine young American whose love of travel has taken him all over the world. He went through college on money earned in his vacations and then for several years he taught modern languages in different boys schools. But always he traveled in the summer and the books he has written of his experiences; A Vagabond Journey Around the World; Four Months Afoot in Spain; and Zone Policeman 88 show that he had most wonderful times. He makes friends easily with every one he meets and he sees the humorous side of every experience. The result is a book which makes delightful and worth while reading.
Four Months Afoot in Spain
Zone Policeman 88; a close range study of the Panama canal and its workers
Tramping Through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras – Being the Random Notes of an Incurable Vagabond
Amazon reader review: ranck is the best travel writer of the 20th Century. He makes people like Orwell and Paul Theroux look like armchair dilettantes. This guy, with only pocket money, amongst other journeys, did a four year trek that took him from Laredo to Patagonia and back. He earned his money on the way. He drank from water collected in wagon wheel ruts. Most of the time he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from. On the way he worked in the Panama Canal Zone while the canal was under construction, to build a “stake” to cover expenses for the beginning of a two year long journey through South America, which he did mostly afoot. People into political correctness probably won’t like this book. Gosh, that’s too bad. Harry was a man of his times, as we are all people of our times. He’s literate– university educated– as well as being an astute observer of the human condition. Take him as he is, and you’ll never find a better travel writer.
BTW, all of Harry A. Franck’s books published prior to 1922 are in the public domain. You can go to the Gutenberg Project website and download them as ebooks, absolutely free, in Kindle, Epub, and many other formats. So don’t waste your money buying them, unless you want a print copy. The late, great Harry A. Franck was a frugal man, and would definitely approve.
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