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Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley
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Elsie Dinsmore (1867)

by Martha Finley

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Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Co. n.y., [1918]. Hardcover. 395pp - See more at: http://www.mainstreetfinebooks.com/pages/books/22882/martha-finley/elsie-dinsmor...
  weezersmum | Nov 19, 2016 |
Referenced in 'Jo of the Chalet School', this is the first of the much maligned 'Elsie' books. It features the rather too-good-to-be-true Elsie, who is brought up with her aunts and uncles of similar age until her father Horace returns to the family home. She is regularly bullied by her young uncle, picked upon by their governess, and then finds that her father is very strict and apparently cold to her. She longs for love, finding it in her maid 'Mammy', who has brought her up as a devout Christian. There is rather too much preaching for my tastes; I can't imagine how this would appeal to today's children, and can understand why the book have been parodied. Nobody could be quite so humble and pious at the age of eight; Elsie's worst fault appears to be her tendency to dissolve into tears at little provocation. And yet, somehow, it made compulsive reading. So much so that I've downloaded some of the sequels which are also available free for the Kindle. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Too downtrodden. Made me angry. Orphan supported by her religion, downtrodden waif who always does the right thing. Too many cheeks. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Looking back on this book I'm rather surprised that it had such an emotional effect on me. I remember that this was the first time that I had ever cried while reading a book. Now it seems a bit overdone and dramatic but as an eight year old reading it for the first time it struck a definitive chord in me. Overdone sentiments notwithstanding I think the strength of the book lies in the strength of its main character. I had to laugh at one reviewers take on Elsie Dinsmore. Yes, she's entirely too perfect and possessing characteristics more akin to Mother Teresa than a normal little girl but most children who took the time to read this book probably didn't even notice, much like I didn't. Adults on the other hand are a totally different story. I think this book is definitely typical of its time. Maybe not as effective today as it was in years past.
  MonicaMusik | Oct 18, 2012 |
I can imagine being a little put off reading this book at my current age, but you can't be too harsh on it. I read it over and over and over again growing up and loved it each time! My grandmother, who i loved, gave it to me and we would read it together then talk on the phone about how much weloved the stories in it.
The sincerity and honesty of Elsie was something I grew to admire and covet; I wished for her conscience and sweetness. I always loved reading about how sweet she almost always was and I think in this way the book is perfectly written. The characters were never too far from reality; I always believed Elsie was a real,honest and kind person and I always held out hope for her father to come around. I guess i appreciate that about the book. There are no villains like in Jayne Eyre (or so many other stories with so similar plot).
The intent of children's books, I believe, is to provide a moral and give a reason to pursue strong character.
I understand being harsh in judgment of the book and its too sweet tempo, but if you have children (especially shy little girls with fantastical imagination) please do pick her up a copy! ( )
  emmakate1205 | Jan 11, 2012 |
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The school-room at Roselands was a very pleasant apartment; the ceiling, it is true, was somewhat lower than in the more modern portion of the building, for the wing in which it was situated dated back to the old-fashioned days prior to the Revolution, while the larger part of the mansion had not stood more than twenty or thirty years; but the effect was relieved by windows reaching from floor to ceiling, and opening on a veranda which overlooked a lovely flower-garden, beyond which were fields and woods and hills. The view from the veranda was very beautiful, and the room itself looked most inviting, with its neat matting, its windows, draped with snow-white muslin, its comfortable chairs, and pretty rosewood desks.
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Careless disobedient child!
You have failed in everything. Go to your seat. Make that example right, and do the next. Learn your geography lesson over, write another page in your copybook—and mind, if there is a blot on it, you will get no dinner.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 158182064X, Paperback)

Living with her uncle's family on a southern plantation in the mid-nineteenth century, motherless eight-year-old Elsie finds it difficult to establish a relationship with her worldly father who seems indifferent to her religious principles.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A pious young girl has difficulty establishing a relationship with her worldly father who seems indifferent to her religious principles.

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