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Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

Daddy-Long-Legs (1912)

by Jean Webster (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Daddy-Long-Legs (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,892613,624 (4.14)194
  1. 60
    Dear Enemy by Jean Webster (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: The sequel to Daddy Long Legs, featuring Sally's adventures at an orphan asylum
  2. 30
    Carney's House Party: A Deep Valley Story by Maud Hart Lovelace (Bjace)
    Bjace: Partially set at Vassar. Also a story about college friendships.
  3. 30
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (mybookshelf)
    mybookshelf: Both are classic stories about unusual young women who enjoy writing.
  4. 20
    A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (Hollerama)
  5. 10
    Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher (charl08)
    charl08: Similar epistolary format, although with very different results!
  6. 10
    When Patty Went to College by Jean Webster (Bjace, Hollerama)
    Bjace: Patty is a fun but less responsible version of Judy Abbott. Both of these are college stories probably set at Vassar.

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» See also 194 mentions

English (56)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a shoujo manga novelization. We all know going into this that Judy will marry her patriarchal patron and it is all a bit creepy, but her character is so engaging, sympathetic, and amusing that you enjoy reading it anyway. ( )
  endlesserror | Nov 25, 2014 |
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster is a hundred year old epistolary novel about a young woman getting a chance to follow her dreams because of the sponsorship of an unnamed benefactor. The story follows Jershua "Judy" Abbott through her college education and the early days of her career as a writer.

I come to the book, though, through the 1955 film adaptation staring Fred Astaire as the titular character and Leslie Caron as Judy (renamed Julie for the movie). While the gist of the film is the same as the book: older man provides money for a younger woman's college education — the set up is completely different and more troubling. At the time the film was made, Fred Astaire was more than twice Leslie Caron's age. Although he plays a young-at-heart character (one enamored with rock and roll drumming), he is still clearly old enough to be her father.

So it was with an uneasy curiosity that I read Jean Webster's book.

The differences between the film and original source material are immediately apparent. First and foremost — the setting is domestic. Judy, though still an orphan, has been raised in the United States. She is not an exotic — post WWII French teacher of French orphans. She is, instead, an American contemporary with LM Montgomery's Anne Shirley. Judy's experience at the orphanage and her sponsorship into an American university, is therefore, recognizable and credible — something the film version can't pull off.

In the film, there is a heavy dose of voyeurism of the dirty old man variety as Julie's benefactor befriends her under false pretenses and otherwise keeps an eye on her. Of course voyeurism is part and parcel of film story telling but it's clearly at odds here with the source material. In the book, Judy and Jervys (changed to Jervis in the film), do meet and become friends, as he keeps up the secret identity as her benefactor. But their meeting is circumstantial and as he's significantly closer in age to her (late twenties/early thirties to her late teens/early twenties), it is far more plausible that she and he would become more than just friends.

Judy's letters are written in a believable, charming voice that rings true a century later — and I suspect well into the next century. Along with her quirky turns of phrase are drawings, little sketches that Judy sometimes sends along in her missives. They too add to the overall appeal of the novel.

Keeping all those thoughts in mind, I adore the novel. It is delightful. Anyone who loves LM Montgomery's books or anyone who is a fan of Louise Rennison's books, will enjoy Daddy-Long-Legs. ( )
  pussreboots | Nov 18, 2014 |
Lovely easy read ( )
  JazMinderr | Jul 31, 2014 |
This is my first kindle novel, it was free and the only book that interested me, mainly because I'd seen the Fred Astair film, I didn't know it was a book. I loved it, and wish I'd come across it years ago. An easy enjoyable read, I'd recommend it to anyone.
Judy was a likeable heroine, a bit like Anne in Anne of Green Gables. ( )
  MsStephie | Jul 12, 2014 |
Dated and somewhat predictable yet utterly charming story for young girls. Jerusha Abbot is raised in an orphanage but one of it's trustees sends her to college as long as she writes to him once a month but he will not reply. Nearly all of the novel is her letters, which means the plot moves in an odd way but it is still interesting. The general premise is fundamentally appalling but I still liked it. I mean, she must write to this benefactor but never get a reply? It becomes quite obvious whom the mysterious benefactor is but she trips through her four years of college and into the world before she picks it up. It is a bit creepy but I really enjoyed it. A strange one for a children's classic but enjoyable. A note in the Project Gutenberg text says that the author was the grand-neice of Mark Twain, for what that is worth.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Webster, JeanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ardizzone, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boveri, MargretTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haapanen-Tallgren, TyttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ibbotson, EvaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korthals Altes, AlisonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mac Neill, JoanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munsching, Annie vanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schreuder, H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tholema, A.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veen, H.R.S. van derEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The first Wednesday in every month was a Perfectly Awful Day--a day to be awaited with dread, endured with courage and forgotten with haste.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This entry is for the book Daddy-Long-Legs, first published in 1912. Please do not combine with the 1919 Mary Pickford film, the 1931 Janet Gaynor/Warner Baxter film, or the 1955 Fred Astaire/Leslie Caron film.
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All sorts of things begin to happen when an orphaned boarding school student finally meets the wealthy guardian with whom she has corresponded for years sight unseen.

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Average: (4.14)
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2 9
2.5 7
3 56
3.5 28
4 154
4.5 25
5 153


4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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