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A Victorian Family by M. V. Hughes

A Victorian Family

by M. V. Hughes

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The author of this lovely memoir states at the outset that nothing really noteworthy happens to her, and in a lot of ways that is true. However, her thoughts and impressions of life from 1870 to 1900 are a riveting window into Victorian England. She journeys to America and Canada as a young adult, and her impressions of the colonies gave me a perspective that I hadn't ever seen. She trains as a teacher, and her insights into both teaching and kids are timeless. She's learned enough to send me to Google to translate some Ovid which she assumed any reader would know and sent me to the dictionary more than once with words like ataraxy but at the same time she's handy enough in the kitchen to aver that all bread needs is time and warmth.

Here's a bit on bread:
"People dislike the idea of trying this for themselves because of the 'time it takes'. The bread certainly wants time, I assure them, but not their time; it doesn't ask to be watched, and can be trusted alone in the house; the actual labour in making a batch takes about six minutes from start to finish. But they shake their heads in a melancholy way as they ask for another slice.

Recommended to anyone with a shred of curiosity. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Quotes: "None of the characters in this book are fictitious. The incidents, if not dramatic, are at least genuine memories. Expressions of jollity and enjoyment of life are understatements rather than overstatements.

"In making a sermon", said he, "think up a good beginning; then think up a good ending; then bring these two as close together as you can." ( )
1 vote | liz83 | Aug 12, 2007 |
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A girl with four brothers older than herself is born under a lucky star.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192828967, Paperback)

This is Molly Hughes' autobiographical account of her life in Victorian London. "A London Child of the 1870s", "A London Girl of the 1880s", and "A London Home of the 1890s" are available here in a single paperback volume. The perceptive trilogy traces her early life through schooldays, studies, and travels abroad, to the closing years of the last century, when she was married and bringing up a family of her own, showing that Victorian children did not have such a dull time as is usually supposed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:52 -0400)

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