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The Young Visiters

The Young Visiters

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About the Book

Who wrote "The Young Visiters?" Sir James Barrie, who contributed the preface, or Daisy Ashford, to whom the publishers assign the credit? The writer of these lines is inclined to give the credit to Miss Ashford. Not so a correspondent of the Saturday Review. He writes: '"The Young Visiters" is a case in point. It has been accepted as exactly the kind of book a child of nine would write. We have known many children as intimately as it is ever possible to know them at all, and some of them have been horrid. But we have never known a child horrid enough to write "The Young Visiters." As the playful fantasy of an elder, it is charming. As the work of a child, it would be repulsive and contrary to all we have learned to like and admire in our young friends. Children are never facetious; they do not understand snobbery; and rarely, whether by accident or design, do they afford us any opportunity for the laugh in which mankind forfeited the happy simplicity of Eden. "The Young Visiters" is often facetious, as when Mr. Salteena eats the egg which Ethel laid for him; it is one long satire upon social snobbery by an expert who understands it better than Thackeray, and almost as well as Jane Austen; and there intrudes continually the smile of the serpent, as he watched our progenitors under the fatal tree. We are introduced to a "sinister son of Queen Victoria"; Mr. Salteena is described by his sponsor Clincham (earl of) as "an old friend of mine not quite the right side of the blanket, as they say"; and both at Rickamere Hall and at the "Gaierty" Hotel, smiles are invited in respect of bedroom matters. These are blemishes, because they impair the illusion our author desires to create and spoil his principal joke for the sake of a side issue. The principal joke is often so adroitly sustained that at times we are almost prepared to believe that a spoiled child of nine, in the habit of playing up to its elders and with that uncanny instinct which some children have for precociously divining things which they are not yet able fully to grasp, might have made even some of the weaker jokes which please the more adult side of Sir James's facile sense of the absurd. It is the more pity that the author has not been able to avoid his grosser slips; in particular, his implicit satire upon the popular novelette, which inspires the chapter upon Bernard Clark's proposal of marriage to the heroine.'Now for the other side of the story. The following letter is addressed to the editor of the Observer: 'Sir: It is very freely alleged that Sir James Barrie is "obviously" part-author of Miss Daisy Ashford's' delightful masterpiece; in fact, some few suspect that he is sole author. I would draw the attention of the doubting Thomases to some considerations which, to my mind, show that Miss Ashford wrote the story without aid from anyone.'Miss Ashford's family is Catholic, and there are many indications of that in the book: a "decad" (sic) of the rosary is recited at the household prayers at Bernard Clark's; "Ignatius Bernard" and "Domonic" (sic) are names particularly familiar to Catholics; "clean altar boys" (not "choir boys") await the bridal pair; "Minnie Pilato," one of the "ancesters," is obviously a recollection of an often-heard passage in the Creed -"passus sub Pontio Pilato"; and certainly only a Catholic would have thought of that touch of Catholic asceticism -" he... decided to offer it up as a mortification."'So far I can claim only to have shown that Sir James Barrie did not write the whole book, but I venture to say also that the allegation that Sir James and Miss Ashford have conspired to foist a "fake" on the public is really a reflection on the good taste and good faith of Sir James and also of a lady.... -"The Living Age," Vol. 3

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Product Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781079426137
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Publisher Imprint: Independently Published
  • Height: 229 mm
  • No of Pages: 106
  • Spine Width: 6 mm
  • Width: 152 mm
  • ISBN-10: 1079426132
  • Publisher Date: 09 Jul 2019
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Language: English
  • Returnable: N
  • Weight: 154 gr

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