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Mistress Masham’s Repose (A Puffin Book)…
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Mistress Masham’s Repose (A Puffin Book) (original 1946; edition 2016)

by T. H. White (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,023198,298 (3.98)59
Member:dustydigger
Title:Mistress Masham’s Repose (A Puffin Book)
Authors:T. H. White (Author)
Info:Puffin (2016), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:childrens book, t h white, 2018 : my reads

Work details

Mistress Masham's Repose by T. H. White (Author) (1946)

  1. 40
    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (infiniteletters)
  2. 10
    Knight's Castle by Edward Eager (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Another tale for children about miniature people.
  3. 10
    The Return of the Antelope by Willis Hall (infiniteletters)
  4. 00
    Matilda by Roald Dahl (themulhern)
    themulhern: Wicked adults are defeated and there is much humor. Erudition is prized. T. H. White is funnier than Roald Dahl, more erudite and less grotesque.
  5. 01
    Jonathan Swift: The Reluctant Rebel by John Stubbs (themulhern)
    themulhern: Or rather, reading "Jonathan Swift" may help you detect some of the very subtle humour in "Mistress Masham's Repose". I've known for a long time that Malplaquet is one of the Duke of Marlborough's lesser known victories, but I'm sure there are other allusions that I have quite missed.… (more)
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» See also 59 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
A orphaned English girl living with an odious governess in a vast decaying 18th century mansion (called Malplaquet, and rather like Blenheim without funds for upkeep) discovers that an island in the middle of a neglected ornamental lake is inhabited by a colony of Lilliputians, brought to Britain by the sea captain who rescued Gulliver and then returned to capture Lilliputians to display at English country fairs. The girl,advised by a fiercely libertarian unemployed old professor of Classics, makes friends with the Lilliputians and eventually triumphs over the governess and her unpleasant ally the vicar. Most of this book is delightful, though I have one reservation about it as a book for children --at the climax, the vilains are actually planning to murder the girl and frame the professor for it. They do not come close to succeeding, but still it might be scary for young children.
A minor point --there is a Lilliputian hunter who is repeatedly compared to Allen Quartermain, who for some reason is consistently misspelled Quartermine. Possibly by association with King Solomon's MInes? ( )
  antiquary | Jan 17, 2018 |
How this delightful children's story escaped me for so long, I just don't know. This is White at his best, spinning a tale of good and evil, where innocence defeats cynicism. And he does this using Jonathan Swift's Lilliputians, from Gulliver's Travels as main characters.

Is this a parable of real world's events. Given White's history of using children's tales to frame the world's issues, (he is the author of The Sword in the Stone, after all) and the times when he wrote it (just following World War 2), its hard not to come to that conclusion.. I can easily the evil governess as Hitler, the bumbling, evil-want-to-be rector as Mussolini, Maria as Churchill, and the Lilliputians as the British people, who overcame their fears to defeat Hitler (or the governess)

And the best part of all is that whether you read this as a child's tale or a cautionary tale, its both well-written and well-told.

If you've missed this story somewhere along the line, you're never too old to find it, read it, and come away the better for it ( )
  sdunford | Nov 1, 2016 |
I realized that I had never finished this book in past attempts to read it. I didn't like when Maria used the Lilliputions as dolls, but when I went on I found that I really enjoyed the book. I got some real belly laughs from the Lord Lieutenant. I was amazed at the bravery and creative thinking on the part of Maria and her little friends. I loved Maria's nighttime jaunts to foil the Vicar and Miss Brown. I'm not sure how much children would enjoy this unless read together with parents. It made for a lovely discussion with my book group. ( )
  njcur | Aug 29, 2015 |
Endearing. ( )
  leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
Z's not digging this right now . . . and he has a bunch of new books from Christmas that are dying to be read.
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
White, T. H.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eichenberg, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I took with me six Cows and two Bulls alive, with as many Yews and Rams, intending to carry them into my own Country and propagate the Breed...I would gladly have taken a Dozen of the Natives..."---------Gulliver's Travels
Dedication
For Amaryllis Virginia Garnett
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Maria was ten years old.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425042057, Mass Market Paperback)

“She saw: first, a square opening, about eight inches wide, in the lowest step…finally she saw that there was a walnut shell, or half one, outside the nearest door…she went to look at the shell—but looked with the greatest astonishment. There was a baby in it.”

So ten-year-old Maria, orphaned mistress of Malplaquet, discovers the secret of her deteriorating estate: on a deserted island at its far corner, in the temple long ago nicknamed Mistress Masham’s Repose, live an entire community of people—”The People,” as they call themselves—all only inches tall. With the help of her only friend—the absurdly erudite Professor—Maria soon learns that this settlement is no less than the kingdom of Lilliput (first seen in Gulliver’s Travels) in exile. Safely hidden for centuries, the Lilliputians are at first endangered by Maria’s well-meaning but clumsy attempts to make their lives easier, but their situation grows truly ominous when they are discovered by Maria’s greedy guardians, who look at The People and see only a bundle of money.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ten-year-old Maria, an orphaned heiress living with her unpleasant guardians on a crumbling English estate called Malplaquet, finds her life changing in unimagined ways when she explores an overgrown island on the estate's lake and discovers the descendants of Gulliver's Lilliputians.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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