Posts Tagged ‘lauraerichards’

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Queen Hildegarde

October 14, 2008

There are a few kinds of children’s stories you see over and over. One that I happen to particularly like is the one where a kid from a city goes to live in the country, or in a small town, and communes with nature and gets their priorities straight. Queen Hildegarde is one of those.

Hildegarde Graham is the spoiled fifteen-year-old daughter of rich parents. She lives in New York City, is very pretty, has beautiful clothes, and is the envy of all her friends. Her parents, though, are sensible people, so they get worried about her, and when they have to go off to California for a few months, they send Hilda to stay with her mother’s old nurse.

Hildegarde is completely horrified by the prospect. She’s basically like, “farmers, ew!” and she uses the word “intolerable” a lot. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Merryweathers

October 5, 2008
I'm guessing the girl on the cover is Gertrude, but really, I have no idea.

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I finally got a chance last week to read The Merryweathers, the last book in the Three Margarets series (thanks to Elizabeth’s prompting — I’m not sure when I would’ve gotten around to looking for it again on my own).

This one requires a bit of explanation. The Margaret series is sometimes considered to be the second half of the Hildegarde-Margaret series, because while the Hildegarde and Margaret series are each capable of standing on their own, they each feature the Merryweather family pretty prominently in their later books. In the Hildegarde books, the oldest Merryweather daughter, Bell, becomes Hilda’s best friend, and Hilda ends up marrying Mr. Merryweather’s younger half-brother Roger. Meanwhile, the rest of the family, especially the oldest boys, twins Gerald and Philip, inject some much-needed lightness into Hilda’s too-serious world-view.

Margaret Montfort is even more serious-minded than Hilda, and therefore even more in need of Gerald Merryweather, so it’s fitting that he falls in love with her. Peggy, on the other hand, is thoughtless and scattered, so when she goes off to boarding school, sheet meets Gertrude Merryweather, AKA the Snowy Owl, whose ideals are higher than Peggy’s and whose personality is more down-to-earth. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Fernley House

May 16, 2008

Book five in the Margaret series is Fernley House. Margaret and Uncle John have just sent Basil and Susan D. home to their father for the summer, and they’re feeling kind of lonely, so they invite a bunch of people to stay: Peggy, her brother Hugh and sister Jean, and Gerald Merryweather and his twin Philip. Also staying in the neighborhood fr the summer is Peggy’s friend Grace Wolfe, who is the paid companion of an invalid who lives nearby. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Rita

May 14, 2008

Next comes Rita. Rita in this book makes sense as an expansion on Rita in Three Margarets. But she’s also really annoying. Rita lives in Cuba, and in Three Margarets she was constantly talking about Spain’s oppression of Cuba and doing interpretive dances and stuff. But now the Spanish-American War is on, and Rita’s still being melodramatic and silly and actually causing trouble for the people who are really fighting. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Peggy

May 14, 2008

Peggy’s book, which is just called Peggy, is the best in the series so far, and not just because I’m a sucker for a good school story. Peggy was the kind and strong but sort of stupid one in Three Margarets, but she really comes into her own here, in her first year at boarding school. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Margaret Montfort

May 14, 2008

The three books following Three Margarets deal separately with the Montfort girls. First comes Margaret, whose story is told in Margaret Montfort. While Rita had a father and a stepmother and both Peggy’s parents were living, Margaret was orphaned shortly before the start of Three Margarets by the death of her father. Since she’s also the kind, capable, well-educated and well-behaved one, Uncle John Montfort invited her to stay with him at Fernley House. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Three Margarets

May 13, 2008

I’m hampered in writing about Laura E. Richards’ Three Margarets by the fact that I never posted here about her Hildegarde series, to which the Margaret series is sometimes considered a sequel. It would also have been useful to refer to Aunt Jane’s Nieces (written by L. Frank Baum under the name Edith Van Dyne), but I never wrote about that either.

Three Margarets, actually, can be described almost entirely in terms of Aunt Jane’s Nieces: Read the rest of this entry ?