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Elsie Dinsmore Vols. 1-4 (Bks. 1-4) by…

Elsie Dinsmore Vols. 1-4 (Bks. 1-4)

by Martha Finley

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Finley, Martha, The Elsie Books, 4 book set (Elkton, MD: Holly Halls Publications, 1998).
"Originally written in the late 1800's for girls and young women, the Elsie Dinsmore books were bestsellers for over thirty years. When we are introduced to Elsie in the first book she is a sweet and humble eight-year-old whose great desire in life is to be reunited with her father, whom she has never met. Her faith and her obedience to God's commandments uphold her in the great troubles she often faces, and the drama to which we are spectators is as timely for today's girls as it was for the young ladies of the 19th century. A new edition of one of GCB's best sellers, the series offers Christian values and character building examples through stories that are compelling, heartwarming, and enduring. Ages 10 and up." -- GCB
"The Elsie Books -- 28 in all -- are some of the most widely read children's stories ever written. When they first came out more than a hundred years ago, the publisher could scarcely keep them in stock. . ." -- Publisher's Annotation
"Altogether Miss Finley's novels sold more than 25,000,000 copies in the last century. This made them among the best-selling novels of all time. . ." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.
Elsie Dinsmore: Book 1 Martha Finley

This is a set of the first four Elsie books. The complete set is 28 books, The Elsie Dinsmore series, written by Martha Finley. Once the nation's best-seller, they are now Christian classics. Combined sales of individual copies exceeding 25 million copies in the US and abroad between 1868 and 1898, making them the most successful series of novels ever written in the United States, Christian or non-Christian, and "among the best-selling novels of all time."
Book One begins with Elsie as an eight-year-old who already has faith in Christ. The setting is the Gulf Coast in the South of the 1840s. Each of the 28 novels is a sequel to the previous works. Together they tell the story of Elsie's entire life.
"They will speak to the hearts of girls and young women as much today as they did when first published in the late 1800's."
"There has been almost no character in American juvenile fiction which has attained more widespread interest and affection than 'Elsie'." -- Ladies Home Journal, April 1893.
Online text is now available at the following sites:
Project Gutenberg
"After reading this family story you will understand why it still has lasting value for today's reader of Christ-like role models." Good things and bad things happen to Elsie, but she always responds in the correct way, thus providing a wealth of Christ-centered and character-building experience for the girl, young woman, and adult reader. Filial love, the love of a child for their parents, is one of the themes of the series. Probably the best fictional model of the Christain family ever written.
Recommended for ages 10 and up. Martha Finley wrote them originally for girls, but they are enjoyed by boys and adults alike.
This set of 16 would be a very special gift for homeschoolers. Mothers read them aloud to their oldest daughter. The oldest daughter then reads them to her younger sisters. Finally the books become heirlooms to the next generation. We saw the first copies in the Rare Book Room of James Madison University. JMU started as a woman's college.
Christian singles are delighted by these stories. At some point readers begin to feel Elsie is a younger sibling, or neice. They may see themselves as a friends of the family or even as part of the family. That has been the case with us. We are on Book 26 and after finishing Book 28 plan to start again with Book One.
There are about 320 pages per book, the life of a mid-19th Century Southern family unfolding before your eyes, full of all kinds of practical experiences, wisdom, history (Civil War times), and local culture. Book Five includes the Dinsmore Family Tree.
Book Description: Publisher: Bulverde, TX: Mantle Ministries. Facsimilie reprints of Authorized Edition, complete and unabridged, 1993-1997. Original copyrights: 1868-1890. "With no updating for today's reader, these classic originals give an honest view of the writing style and subjects of the 19th Century American mind." All but #15, 13, 14 have a full page illustration opposite the title page (etchings, pen and ink, woodcuts, photos of painting.) Hardcovers, 8.5" X 5.75".
Information about The Elsie Dinsmore Collection, annotation on some of the books, biograpy of Martha Finley, other works by Martha Finley, and related links:
Sets of these Mantle Ministries hardbacks are now becoming more difficult to find nine years after publication. When first published they listed for $34.99 each, the Street Price was $20.99
A variety of editions, hardback and paperback, original text and abridged text, are available in the used book trade for $3.90/5.25/7.99/9.50 up to $30.00 each, and more for 19th century editions.
At least one seller still offers a set, "Elsie Dinsmore Library (Vols. 1-12)" (Mantle Hardbacks) discounted at $150.00 ($12.50 each) (regular price $180.00 ($15.00 each).
The Cumberland House Publishing, Nashville, TN paperback series of the Original Elsie Classics are still in print.
About the author:
Miss Martha Finley [aka Martha Farquharson] (1828-1909) was an invalid [a school teacher incapacitated by an accident] and "living in genteel poverty when she wrote her first 'Elsie" book in 1867. She had two famous ancestors: Martha's grandfather who had been a general in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and a personal friend of George Washington; and also a great-uncle, Samuel Finley, who had been president of Princeton Theological Seminary. . . ." She wrote over 100 moralistic volumes for young girls and other Sunday School material. She used her nieces as models to create her fictionalized account of a beautiful, motherless Southern heiress named Elsie Dinsmore.... ( )
  lettermen | Dec 2, 2007 |
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This boxed set of the popular fiction books for girls includes the first 4 titles in the series: Elsie's Endless Wait (Book 1), Elsie's Impossible Choice (Book 2), Elsie's New Life (Book 3), Elsie's Stolen Heart (Book 4).
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