Archive for the ‘cwells’ Category

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Patty’s Success

September 27, 2007

I had almost finished writing up Patty’s Success when I accidentally let my computer run out of batteries. Maybe now I’ll stop leaving textedit windows open with days worth of unsaved notes. I’m really upset with myself, because I’d been stopping to write down my thoughts as I read the book, and there’s lots of stuff I won’t remember. Also, it’s much less fun to write about something the second time round.

Patty’s Success was pretty good, considering it introduces Christine Farley and Philip Van Reypen, two characters whose advents I’d been dreading. Patty, Nan, and Mr. Fairfield reach New York about a week before Christmas, and are immediately plunged into a whirl of festivities. Patty has so many friends that not even the enormous amount of souvenirs she collected over the course of a year or so abroad will provide presents for them all.
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Patty’s Pleasure Trip

September 17, 2007

So, Patty’s Pleasure Trip was enjoyable, but having at last found a Patty book that I have problems with, I’m going to concentrate on those.

Problem #1: The Fairfields have spent enough time abroad. It’s time to go home. The last book was supposed to end just before it was time for Patty to go back to America, but then Carolyn Wells changed her mind and sent to Fairfields to Italy. Now they’re finally heading back, but, this book having ended with the Fairfields deciding to sail for home on December 1st, I’m worried that the first half of the next book will be taken up with their trip, or, worse yet, that they’ll change their minds at the last moment and spend Christmas in, I don’t know, Germany or something. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Patty’s Friends

September 13, 2007

I have two theories about the excitingly and descriptively named Patty’s Friends.

1. In her excitement at discovering the existence of mystery novels, Carolyn Wells couldn’t help sticking mysteries in everything. I haven’t been able to put a date to the story about the first time she encountered a mystery novel (it was one of Anna Katherine Green’s, she was hooked from the first page, and she immediately began turning out mysteries of her own), but the first Fleming Stone book seems to have been published in 1909, while Patty’s Friends was published in 1908, so that seems seems to support the theory.

2. She was kidding. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Raspberry Jam and The Curved Blades.

September 12, 2007

So, I guess it’s pretty obvious that I’ve been on a Carolyn Wells kick lately. Having run out of Patty books for the moment, I’ve been reading a few of her mystery novels, like Raspberry Jam and The Curved Blades.
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Patty in Paris, illustrations.

September 8, 2007

Patty on the ship.
Frontispiece. A long blue veil tied her trim little hat in place. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Patty in Paris

September 8, 2007

As I reread the first few chapters of Patty in Paris, I contemplated just posting large chunks of it here, instead of describing it. And I’m not going to do that — at least, not exactly — but it’s even lighter on plot than the other books in the series, so I’m going to use it to illustrate a couple of things about the series in general. like Patty’s personality, and parties. It’s funny that I haven’t said that much about the parties before, because about a third of  each book is usually taken up by loving descriptions of them.
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Patty’s Summer Days, 2/2

September 4, 2007

I have begun a sort of reference page for the Patty Fairfield series. Right now it includes a list of the books and links to available etexts, as well as to the descriptions I’ve written up here. Eventually, I will review all of them (okay, I don’t actually review books, but I don’t know what else to call it). There will also be illustrations. Okay. On with the story.

Rescue of Patty by Mr. Hepworth #2: During Patty’s play, Mr. Hepworth notices that she looks like she’s literally about to topple over from exhaustion. He notices her doctor, Dr. Martin, sitting near him, and tells him that he’s worried. Mr. Hepworth suggests that Dr. Martin goes backstage so that he can start taking care of Patty immediately after the play. Dr. Martin agrees, and asks Mr. Hepworth, who has been helping out with the scenery, to lead the way. They watch the rest of the play from backstage. Just as the audience is applauding the final scene, Mr. Hepworth sees that Patty is about to faint, rings the bell for the curtain to descend, and catches her as she falls(!!!).
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Patty’s Summer Days, 1/2

September 3, 2007

I don’t know when or how I came by Patty’s Summer Days. I’m pretty sure I haven’t always had it, but I certainly had it — and had read it quite a few times — before I came to think of old children’s books as a separate part of my library. That puts it in sort of the same mental category for me as An Old-Fashioned Girl, Bunny Brown and his Sister Sue on an Auto Tour, and Five Little Peppers Midway, which is to say that my love for it is due as much to how long I’ve had it and when I first read it — whenever that may have been — as to any merit it may have.

I hadn’t reread Patty’s Summer Days since before I read any of the rest of the series, but as much as I’ve enjoyed to other Patty books I’ve read, I was kind of blown away when I picked it up yesterday. Maybe it wasn’t just me. Maybe this is really the best one. Okay, maybe it’s not a smart, funny book compared to — okay, the first thing that comes to mind is The Mouse and His Child, but that’s an entirely inappropriate comparison. How about Anne of Green Gables? It’s of comparable age. Patty’s Summer Days is less funny, I guess, but not by all that much, and it’s barely less smart. You have to bear in mind that there’s also a lot more fluff — but fun fluff! — but on the other hand, there’s a hell of a lot less sentimentality.

Before I go any further, I’d better say that if I am exaggerating this book’s virtues, I really don’t know that I’m doing it. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Marjorie in Command

August 2, 2007

A few weeks ago I found Marjorie in Command at a tiny used book store where all hardcovers were a dollar each and paperbacks were fifty cents. (I also got a paperback of Paul Murray Kendall’s Richard III, and that’s part of why I haven’t been updating lately — it figures that I would use the time not taken up by my history classes to read a history book.) It’s by Carolyn Wells, and although I would have been happier to find a Patty Fairfield book, this is pretty good, too.
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Patty in the City

June 8, 2007

As I expected, Patty in the City was kind of awesome. Proportion is still mentioned, but only when called for, and Patty finally meets the Farringtons and it turns out that they have a bowling alley inside their house.
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Patty at Home

May 29, 2007

So, it’s the second book, and Patty and her dad are still talking about proportion constantly. I’m curious to see if this lasts into book three, because I don’t remember there being a single mention of it in Patty’s Summer Days, and I’ve read that, like, five times.

Anyway, when we left Patty and Mr. Fairfield, they’d just decided to settle down in the town of Vernondale so that they could keep hanging out with their proportionally perfect relatives, the Elliots. But at the beginning of Patty at Home, Carolyn Wells pretends that they haven’t really made a decision yet so that the Fairfields and the Elliots can have a really dumb mock debate that’s oddly reminiscent of some little kids pretending to be royalty in Marjorie at Seacote, another Wells book. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Patty Fairfield

May 19, 2007

I intend to reread as many of Carolyn Wells’ Patty Fairfield books as I can get my hands on this summer. Seven out of the seventeen books are up on Project Gutenberg, and I own one of the others. I’ve never found a Patty book in a bookstore, but they’re not terribly hard to find online, and…well, the Patty books somehow seem more worth owning than other girls’ series. I hope to own the whole series someday.
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