I guess that colon-less 'Dumps a plain girl' could well sum up at least the first half of the book! Doesn't Harriet, or possibly the Dean, in Gaudy Night, object to a newspaper calling the women at the college "sweet girl-graduates"? I'm fairly sure that's the case.
I had no idea that came from a literary source! Oh, well spotted! Meade Dumps: A Plain Girl I am going to tell the story of my life as far as I can; but before I begin I must say that I do wonder why girls, as a rule, have a harder time of it than boys, and why they learn quite early in life to be patient and to give up their own will.
Dumps A Plain Girl
I'm not sure this is a review; more of an extended laugh at one of the best book titles I've encountered for ages. One almost doesn't need to read the book - surely it is quite plain ho ho what happens in this one. I suppose I was a little stodgy in my build, but father said I might grow out of that, for my mother was tall. This is my second read of an L. Meade book: I started with A Sweet Girl Graduate , because I am interested in the history of women's colleges having attended one , and I was hooked on Meade's blend of sickly sentimentality and sober evangelism for educating girls.
Happily there are plenty of Meade titles out there to keep me going forever she wrote over books. So, poor little Dumps. Yes, Dumps is a plain girl. And she lives a rather plain life with her widowed father, who is a genius, but quite poor He was determined that they should be scholars and gentlemen; and of course I thought this a very praiseworthy ambition of his, and offered to do without a new summer dress.
The Girl and her Fortune
He did not even thank me; he said that he thought I could do quite well with my present clothes for some time to come, and after that I felt my sacrifice had fallen somewhat flat. Dumps' life is a lonely one:. Given Meade's support of feminist causes, I was hopeful that he would be struck by lightning at this point, but no such luck. I really was a very stranded sort of girl. Hitherto I had had no outlets of any sort; I was just Dumps, a squat, rather plain girl, who knew little or nothing of the world—a neglected sort of girl, I have no doubt; but then I had no mother.
And then But what lies behind this kindly lady's unexpected generosity? I'm not going to tell you any more, but Dumps has her world-view considerably widened and learns some important lessons about life and herself. Also, we are happy to learn, getting enough to eat really helps with her looks. And I don't think I can end without mentioning Dumps' first friend, the blue-stocking Augusta:. I love them. But that is not the right word: I reverence them; I have a passion for them. I shall be satisfied; nothing else will satisfy me but books, books, books! So, not great literature by any means, but an entertaining, often sad, rather sentimental bit of fiction.
Dumps was a bit whingy though she certainly had grounds for that! Incidentally, Jane at fleur in her world has also recently reviewed another Meade title, A World of Girls.
Dumps: A Plain Girl - L. T. Meade - Google Books
I have also been following a couple of blogs which constantly offer new lost wonders to explore, and I'd single out redeeming qualities and leaves and pages - there are so many great free e-treasures out there that I many never need to buy a book again. Lisa February 17, at AM.
Anonymous February 17, at AM. Anbolyn February 17, at PM.
follow Anonymous February 21, at PM. Anonymous February 23, at PM. Bellezza March 3, at AM. Pam Parks March 17, at AM. Louise March 25, at PM. Jenny June 6, at AM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. This is What Happened - Mick Herron London Rules - Mick Herron Nobody Walks - Mick Herron Portrait of a Murderer - Anthony Gilbert Murder is a Waiting Game - Anthony Gilbert Tenant for the Tomb - Anthony Gilbert Death Wears a Mask - Anthony Gilbert 9.
Night Encounter - Anthony Gilbert 8. The Visitor - Anthony Gilbert 7. The Voice - Anthony Gilbert 5. The Fingerprint - Anthony Gilbert 4. Ring for a Noose - Anthony Gilbert 3. No Dust in the Attic - Anthony Gilbert 2. Uncertain Death - Anthony Gilbert 1. She Shall Died - Anthony Gilbert. Third Crime Lucky - Anthony Gilbert Death Takes a Wife - Anthony Gilbert Death Against the Clock - Anthony Gilbert Give Death a Name - Anthony Gilbert Riddle of a Lady - Anthony Gilbert Snake in the Grass - Anthony Gilbert Footsteps Behind Me - Anthony Gilbert Miss Pinnegar Disappears - Anthony Gilbert Lady-Killer - Anthony Gilbert Die in the Dark - Anthony Gilbert During her most productive period, she published more than ten novels a year.
Elizabeth Thomasina Meade was born in County Cork, Ireland in , and was the eldest daughter of a Protestant clergyman. She developed an early ambition to write, a prospect which horrified her father. Upon the death of her mother, her father remarried and Meade moved to London where she prepared herself for her writing career by studying in the Reading Room of the British Museum.
She married Alfred Toulmin Smith in September I am going to tell the story of my life as far as I can; but before I begin I must say that I do wonder why girls, as a rule, have a harder time of it than boys, and why they learn quite early in life to be patient and to give up their own will. I do not for a minute want to praise myself, but I know that girls have an opportunity very early in life of learning patience.
Well now, to begin my story. I was exactly fifteen years and a half. I should not have a birthday, therefore, for six months. I was sorry for that, for birthdays are very nice; on one day at least in the year you are queen, and you are thought more of than any one else in the house. You are put first instead of last, and you get delicious presents.
Some girls get presents every day—at least every week—but my sort of girl only gets a present worth considering on her birthday. Of all my presents I loved flowers best; for we lived in London, where flowers are scarce, and we hardly ever went into the country. My name is Rachel Grant, and I expect I was a very ordinary sort of girl.
Alex said so. I suppose I was a little stodgy in my build, but father said I might grow out of that, for my mother was tall. Ah dear! But I must go on with my story. I was Rachel or Dumps, and there were two boys, Alex and Charley. Alex was a year younger than I, and ought really to have been very much under my control; and Charley was two years younger.
Then there was father, who was quite elderly, although his children were comparatively young. He was tall and had a slight stoop, and his hair was turning grey. He had a very beautiful, lofty sort of expression, and he did wonders in the great school or college where he spent most of his time. Our house belonged to the college; the rooms were large, and the windows looked out on the grounds of the college and I could see the boys playing, Alex and Charley amongst them, only I never dared to look if I thought Alex or Charley could see me; for if they had caught sight of me it would have been all over with me, for they did not particularly want the other boys to know they had a sister.
Contents A Lesson in Patience. The Poached Egg.
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A Welcome Caller. Miss Grace Donnithorne. The Professor Chooses a Dress.