Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Great Book for Girls

Loving all things 30s, I could not resist this book in the local Oxfam shop. Yes it's old. Yes it leaves my fingers dusty each time I open the heavy pages. Yes it smells musty. But to me all these things are good!



Published in 1931, The Great Book for Girls is mainly short stories, with a few poems here and there. The black and white drawings have been lovingly coloured in with pencils by a previous owner. Neat job, girls!


As for the stories - well, what ripping yarns, as one of the characters might say! They have titles like 'Dimsie Wins Through' and 'The Fourth Form Entertainment'. The girls in the stories are all so busy and active, they almost wear me out. They go sailing, camping, trekking and have lots of adventures in the jolly-hockeysticks type of fashion. Several of the stories are set in boarding schools. I used to adore boarding school stories when I was young, though I don't know why as I would probably have hated it if I had ever had to go.


And yes, the writing style is a little dated, or 'politically incorrect' to our modern ears. I mean, we wouldn't refer to someone as a 'village idiot', for instance, would we. We most likely wouldn't call somebody 'a brick' either, even in a nice way. But for traditional stories, with a beginning, middle and end, this eighty year old book has given me a lot of entertainment this past week. I shall be looking out for more!

22 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

Glad you found this gem, it's possible to pick them up in Oxfam shops sometimes. It was a more innocent world, wasn't it!

joanne fox said...

More innocent in some ways, Jenny, yes.

bazza said...

I like the watercolour illustrations in these kind of books. I really wish I could still have my old Eagle annuals which, even in the sixties, still had a fifties feel and ethos.
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Joanna said...

How absolutely gorgeous. I love these old books and they take me right back to younger days. I loved those boarding school stories too. To curl up with this book would be the ultimate pleasure for me.

joanne fox said...

Bazza, you may find some in the charity shops if you're lucky! I suppose they are quite collectable now.

Joanna, it's nice to wallow in nostalgia sometimes isn't it.

Old Kitty said...

Awwww!! Now why doesn't my local Oxfam stock such things?!?! Their book section seems to be full of thrillers and chick lits! LOL! I shall peruse closer and more thoroughly next time!

Yay! Take care
x

Laraine Eddington said...

The lives of the girls in these stories always sound chaotic but manageable...able to be summed up neatly at the end

joanne fox said...

Old Kitty, you need to rummage among the shelves that look less bright and colourful - there may be hidden treasure!

Laraine, yes, happy endings guaranteed.

Frances Garrood said...

What a lovely find! Kids really did make their own entertainment then. I've just been speaking to my poor daughter who is worn out with the "no, you can't have a mobile/violent computer game" argument with her three ten-year-olds.

Teresa Ashby said...

What a wonderful find. I love old books like that.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Oh, lucky you. Joanne! I absolutely love the 30s, and all those old annuals and girls' books from any previous age. Thanks for posting the picture!

Kate said...

It looks like one my mother used to have. Now I'm wondering if she still has it. We used to love looking through it (very carefully) when we were kids.

joanne fox said...

Frances, how sad that children seem so in love with all these gadgets. Made-up games were always the most fun.

Teresa, I could get seriously into collecting lovely old books, if only I had more space!

Rosemary, those old annuals are like a slice of social history aren't they.

Kate, I would love to know if it's the same one!

Scrappy Pink Corner said...

Great post. Maybe we should have all these books back so that our youth can become humans and not animals. What happen to the gold old days? I am in aww with the kids today. Where is their youth at? They want to grow up and have babies at such young ages. Twelve is not an age for our kids to be having sex. My favorite time of the year is Christmas and yet it is not fun for kids. Video games are all death related, board games are too boring, they only ask for clothes and technology.
I still play board games with my husband. LOL.
TFS.

joanne fox said...

I have happy memories of noisy board games with the family at Christmas. I agree it's a shame that kids are so advanced nowadays, propelled into adulthood too soon.

Patsy said...

That book sounds like a load of spiffin' fun, old bean.

joanne fox said...

Positively whizzo, Patsy!

Rosalie Warren said...

I have some lovely old books like this that belonged to my mum. Also carefully coloured in!

joanne fox said...

I know it probably detracts from any value, Rosalie, but I love to think of the little girls who sat patiently colouring in the pictures!

Suzanne Jones said...

How wonderful - a real snapshot into a bygone age.

XX

Elizabeth said...

GREAT blog....NEW FOLLOWER.

Just stopping by to look around from Rosemary Gemmell's Blog.

Elizabeth

Silver's Reviews

http://silversolara.blogspot.com

joanne fox said...

Welcome, Elizabeth.