Ask A Wench — childhood reading

Anne here, introducing the topic for this month's AAW (Ask A Wench): In your childhood reading was there a place you fell in love with? By Richard Peat - originally posted to Flickr as Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Pat:  England, hands down. I read tons of Brit lit in elementary school. They used to sell Austen and Bronte in the Scholastic Library book fairs, the only time my parents gave me money for books. So I went for the great big fat books, and they were all about the white cliffs of Dover and the misty fog over the Thames and the thatched cottages in the Cotswolds. I had no idea where any of those places were, but I wanted to see them all. 

And then there were all the books about the kings and queens in the library that I had to research to figure out their relationships, because they were obviously all related, right? So then I wanted to see all their grand castles, the Tower of London, the towns and. . . I suspect I expected to see horses and carriages as well, but the cottage gardens would have sufficed! 

RackhamSusan: The favorite books of my childhood reading took me to so many special places–I was a kid, so each story opened up new places, new experiences, new adventures. England probably caught my imagination the most often–the windswept moors of the Bronte novels, for example, and absolutely anything with a castle. Yet there's one place I truly fell in love with at a very young age, and still love to this day: Fairyland. I adored fairy tales, stories set in a world of magic and mysticism, mystery and heroics and danger. Princesses and princes, kings and queens, knights and brave girls, fairies, witches, goblins, loyal friends and tricksters … all running about in medieval-like settings of castles, forests, caves, and misty magical places. Sometimes the settings were Georgian or Regency or Tudor-like–and I absorbed all of it, developing a taste for historical settings while I immersed myself in every fairy tale I could get my little hands on, from Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang to Little Golden Books, and more.

The illustrations sparked my imagination as much as the stories: Arthur Rackham, Sheilah Beckett, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen and so on brought Fairyland to vivid visual life. This place was real to me. I read the stories, I wrote a few of my own in crayon and pencil, and I drew fairy princesses (once, notoriously, a spectacular princess on a flyleaf in the family Bible…). Looking back, that beautiful, elusive, glittering place, Fairyland, led me to historical settings, and to a love of romance, adventure, and magic. 

Mary Jo: As soon as I learned how to read, I became addicted, and one of the joys of reading was that it took me to places very different from the quiet farm country where I grew up.  Faraway places with strange sounding names…. GameOfKingsDunnett

Places I fell in love with?  I had a deep attachment to the space ship Polaris that was home base for Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, but in the real world, it will surprise no one that I loved stories set in Britain.  Castles!  Craggy coasts!  Highlands!  Lots and lots of richly flavored history!  I read Thomas Costain's Plantagenet Chronicles, four fat volumes, just for fun.  (And I still remember a lot of those kings, too.)

I think I liked that Britain is similar enough to the US to be accessible, but different enough to be interesting.  If I had to name one book that totally blew me away with its brilliant story and vivid sense of place, it would be The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett.  

First of the magnificent six volume Lymond Chronicles, it made Scotland come alive in wondrous ways.  If you haven't read The Game of Kings, it's currently available in an e-book edition for $1.99.  But given the complex cast of characters, there's a lot to be said for a print copy!

I'm not sure if Britain imprinted on my soul from early reading, or that I was born loving it and drawn to stories set there.  Whatever the reason, "Oh, to be in England now that April (June!) is here…."

AlisonUttleyNicola:  Like so many other readers, I loved travelling via books to distant and exotic places. When I was a child we lived in the city and the countryside was a bit of a mystery to me. As a family we couldn't afford to travel much so places like Norfolk or Scotland seemed far away and like another world to me! Oh to camp out on the wild mountains or go sailing on the Norfolk Broads! I think that my childhood reading did instil in me a deep love of the English countryside which, as an adult, I've been lucky enough to get to know well.

Then there were the really exotic places, like America and Australia, which I don't think I ever expected to visit in real life. I read the entire series of Little House on the Prairie and all the Brumby books by Elyne Mitchell and probably extrapolated from those that life in far flung parts of the globe was exactly like it was described in those books!

But my first love was always the past. I fell in love with Tudor England when I read A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley when I was about eleven years old. I so wanted to be that girl who steps through a time portal and finds herself caught up in all the intrigue of Elizabethan England! It was books like that that fostered my love of history and eventually led to me becoming a writer. The past really was a different country and one I have never fallen out of love with. Otto-of-the-silver-hand-10

Cara/Andrea: Books have always been magical for me. I was one of those kids who would sneak a flashlight into bed so I could read under the covers way past my bedtime. I had a very active imagination, so I think storytelling just struck a chord with me–the idea that I could suddenly be swept away to all sorts of wonderful places, meet intrepid companions and have fabulous adventures was something very special. Tales of quests appealed to me–I loved anything with knights in shining armor. I vividly remember The Once and Future King, Ivanhoe, Robin Hood stories, Otto of the Silver Hand, which had gorgeous illustrations by Howard Pyle. The Wind in the Willows, the Winnie the Pooh stories and The Fabulous Flight also were great favorites, as animal friends also struck a chord. (The family dog and I had grand adventures in the woods behind my house, some of which involved a bow and arrow. Happily we both survived!)

As I sit looking back at the list of memorable reads, I realize they tended to take me to England. Castles, forests, legends, kings and grand battles—yes, that’s the stuff that captivated my fancy. Stories set in England always seemed to have a richness, a sense of history and tradition, of codes of honor, courage and friendship. These things that appealed to me as child have shaped my own storytelling now, and my love of the rich tapestry of history. But I also think that along with falling in love with a specific place, I fell in love with the elemental act of reading. I learned to appreciate the art of language and description, of voice and characterization. I realized how powerful words are, and loved how they could make me laugh or cry. Most of all I loved that words taught me to dream that anything’s possible. That’s a real gift for a lifetime.

The_Chronicles_of_Narnia_box_set_coverJo Bourne: Narnia. This was such a rich, fully realized world. I grew up to find it full of Historical references and symbolism that I kind of missed the first time through, as a child. It only made me love the books more.

Why did I respond to these books?  I wanted to go live where a child's actions could have significance for good or evil. Where anyone, (even a girl,) could be a hero. Where animals talked and had their own wise and kindly virtues and surprising agendas. (I loved Reepicheep.) Where the days were full of derring-do and sword fighting and bravery and sometimes hunger and sometimes splendid food and also, always magic. And the Good Guys won.

I read these books to my own kids. I think they liked them.

Anne:  Like most of the other wenches, my fantasy land was England as well, the land of magical woods — the Faraway Tree, the Hundred Acre Wood, Sherwood Forest — and ancient castles, mysterious mansions, old thatched cottages, stone towers and cosy farmhouses. Probably the author most responsible for these imaginings was Enid Blyton, a hugely prolific English writer well known to all our English, Australian and NZ readers, but not so much the the US ones, I suspect.
Gypsy-caravan

She had the knack of writing stories that were total kids' fantasies —  adventurous holidays in which unsupervised children roamed the country, and few adults appeared; schools where midnight feasts were common; a world in which  clever children could defeat criminal gangs. And then there were all the magical places and people, rabbits with wings, magical worlds at the top of trees, and more.

When I looked at the topic for today's Ask a Wench, an image popped into my head of a brightly painted gypsy caravan pulled by a horse, ambling through an idyllic green countryside. 

It could have been from the Wind in the Willows, or from any one of a number of stories, but I think it's from an Enid Blyton book called The Caravan Family, that I'd read when I was five or six. Wherever the source, it's still an appealing fantasy for me, wandering at an easy pace through beautiful countryside, lulled by the rhythmic clip-clopping of the horse's hooves, stopping by a stream for a picnic lunch and perhaps a swim, dinner cooked over a fire under the stars, and then sleeping in a brilliantly painted cosy wooden caravan. It's pure wish-fulfillment, of course, but Enid Blyton was very good at that

And so, now over to you, wenchly readers:  In your childhood reading was there a place you fell in love with?  

 

210 thoughts on “Ask A Wench — childhood reading”

  1. Lucy Maud Montgomery sparked a love of Prince Edward Island, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island twice. It’s just as magical as her descriptions: Green Gables, Avonlea, Ingleside, Silver Bush…

    Reply
  2. Lucy Maud Montgomery sparked a love of Prince Edward Island, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island twice. It’s just as magical as her descriptions: Green Gables, Avonlea, Ingleside, Silver Bush…

    Reply
  3. Lucy Maud Montgomery sparked a love of Prince Edward Island, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island twice. It’s just as magical as her descriptions: Green Gables, Avonlea, Ingleside, Silver Bush…

    Reply
  4. Lucy Maud Montgomery sparked a love of Prince Edward Island, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island twice. It’s just as magical as her descriptions: Green Gables, Avonlea, Ingleside, Silver Bush…

    Reply
  5. Lucy Maud Montgomery sparked a love of Prince Edward Island, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit the island twice. It’s just as magical as her descriptions: Green Gables, Avonlea, Ingleside, Silver Bush…

    Reply
  6. Sharon, that’s one of my special childhood reading places, too. I’ve been to Canada several times and never managed to get to Prince Edward Island. One day . . .

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  7. Sharon, that’s one of my special childhood reading places, too. I’ve been to Canada several times and never managed to get to Prince Edward Island. One day . . .

    Reply
  8. Sharon, that’s one of my special childhood reading places, too. I’ve been to Canada several times and never managed to get to Prince Edward Island. One day . . .

    Reply
  9. Sharon, that’s one of my special childhood reading places, too. I’ve been to Canada several times and never managed to get to Prince Edward Island. One day . . .

    Reply
  10. Sharon, that’s one of my special childhood reading places, too. I’ve been to Canada several times and never managed to get to Prince Edward Island. One day . . .

    Reply
  11. LOL Jan — to be honest I can’t remember whether it was Malory or Mallory — they were my older sisters’ books and they’ve long gone to wherever books go when people won’t let me keep them, but I do recall those midnight feasts.

    Reply
  12. LOL Jan — to be honest I can’t remember whether it was Malory or Mallory — they were my older sisters’ books and they’ve long gone to wherever books go when people won’t let me keep them, but I do recall those midnight feasts.

    Reply
  13. LOL Jan — to be honest I can’t remember whether it was Malory or Mallory — they were my older sisters’ books and they’ve long gone to wherever books go when people won’t let me keep them, but I do recall those midnight feasts.

    Reply
  14. LOL Jan — to be honest I can’t remember whether it was Malory or Mallory — they were my older sisters’ books and they’ve long gone to wherever books go when people won’t let me keep them, but I do recall those midnight feasts.

    Reply
  15. LOL Jan — to be honest I can’t remember whether it was Malory or Mallory — they were my older sisters’ books and they’ve long gone to wherever books go when people won’t let me keep them, but I do recall those midnight feasts.

    Reply
  16. I’m with Sharon and Anne, I too always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island after reading Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one day…
    I’m currently reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a memoir of her childhood reading. I heard her give a reading from it the other week (at the Savoy!) where she focused on Milly Molly Mandy, which brought back such memories. I’d have loved to have visited her village, to play with Milly Molly Mandy and Little Friend Susan.

    Reply
  17. I’m with Sharon and Anne, I too always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island after reading Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one day…
    I’m currently reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a memoir of her childhood reading. I heard her give a reading from it the other week (at the Savoy!) where she focused on Milly Molly Mandy, which brought back such memories. I’d have loved to have visited her village, to play with Milly Molly Mandy and Little Friend Susan.

    Reply
  18. I’m with Sharon and Anne, I too always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island after reading Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one day…
    I’m currently reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a memoir of her childhood reading. I heard her give a reading from it the other week (at the Savoy!) where she focused on Milly Molly Mandy, which brought back such memories. I’d have loved to have visited her village, to play with Milly Molly Mandy and Little Friend Susan.

    Reply
  19. I’m with Sharon and Anne, I too always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island after reading Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one day…
    I’m currently reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a memoir of her childhood reading. I heard her give a reading from it the other week (at the Savoy!) where she focused on Milly Molly Mandy, which brought back such memories. I’d have loved to have visited her village, to play with Milly Molly Mandy and Little Friend Susan.

    Reply
  20. I’m with Sharon and Anne, I too always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island after reading Anne of Green Gables. Maybe one day…
    I’m currently reading Lucy Mangan’s Bookworm, which is a memoir of her childhood reading. I heard her give a reading from it the other week (at the Savoy!) where she focused on Milly Molly Mandy, which brought back such memories. I’d have loved to have visited her village, to play with Milly Molly Mandy and Little Friend Susan.

    Reply
  21. My friends’ daughters go to Roedean, the school which inspired Malory Towers, complete with the tidal swimming pool in the cliffs, an amazing library and studding wood paneled classrooms with sea views. When I went to an open day with them, it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

    Reply
  22. My friends’ daughters go to Roedean, the school which inspired Malory Towers, complete with the tidal swimming pool in the cliffs, an amazing library and studding wood paneled classrooms with sea views. When I went to an open day with them, it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

    Reply
  23. My friends’ daughters go to Roedean, the school which inspired Malory Towers, complete with the tidal swimming pool in the cliffs, an amazing library and studding wood paneled classrooms with sea views. When I went to an open day with them, it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

    Reply
  24. My friends’ daughters go to Roedean, the school which inspired Malory Towers, complete with the tidal swimming pool in the cliffs, an amazing library and studding wood paneled classrooms with sea views. When I went to an open day with them, it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

    Reply
  25. My friends’ daughters go to Roedean, the school which inspired Malory Towers, complete with the tidal swimming pool in the cliffs, an amazing library and studding wood paneled classrooms with sea views. When I went to an open day with them, it was like stepping into the pages of the books.

    Reply
  26. I was an avid reader as a child and read biographies as well as fiction, so I’m sure I was interested in lots of far flung places, but the first one I can remember longing to visit was Peter Pan’s Neverland, especially the area where the mermaids lived. I still have all the Little Golden Books published when the Disney version was first in theaters. And of course I also wanted to be able to fly.

    Reply
  27. I was an avid reader as a child and read biographies as well as fiction, so I’m sure I was interested in lots of far flung places, but the first one I can remember longing to visit was Peter Pan’s Neverland, especially the area where the mermaids lived. I still have all the Little Golden Books published when the Disney version was first in theaters. And of course I also wanted to be able to fly.

    Reply
  28. I was an avid reader as a child and read biographies as well as fiction, so I’m sure I was interested in lots of far flung places, but the first one I can remember longing to visit was Peter Pan’s Neverland, especially the area where the mermaids lived. I still have all the Little Golden Books published when the Disney version was first in theaters. And of course I also wanted to be able to fly.

    Reply
  29. I was an avid reader as a child and read biographies as well as fiction, so I’m sure I was interested in lots of far flung places, but the first one I can remember longing to visit was Peter Pan’s Neverland, especially the area where the mermaids lived. I still have all the Little Golden Books published when the Disney version was first in theaters. And of course I also wanted to be able to fly.

    Reply
  30. I was an avid reader as a child and read biographies as well as fiction, so I’m sure I was interested in lots of far flung places, but the first one I can remember longing to visit was Peter Pan’s Neverland, especially the area where the mermaids lived. I still have all the Little Golden Books published when the Disney version was first in theaters. And of course I also wanted to be able to fly.

    Reply
  31. I don’t have any specific book in mind, but when I first went to England I felt at home, as if I knew the place. I decided that was because so many of the books I had read, or had been read to me, took place in England. It is not surprising so many of us fell in love with England. I suspect that had we been raised in a German, or French, speaking country we would have fallen in love with different locations.

    Reply
  32. I don’t have any specific book in mind, but when I first went to England I felt at home, as if I knew the place. I decided that was because so many of the books I had read, or had been read to me, took place in England. It is not surprising so many of us fell in love with England. I suspect that had we been raised in a German, or French, speaking country we would have fallen in love with different locations.

    Reply
  33. I don’t have any specific book in mind, but when I first went to England I felt at home, as if I knew the place. I decided that was because so many of the books I had read, or had been read to me, took place in England. It is not surprising so many of us fell in love with England. I suspect that had we been raised in a German, or French, speaking country we would have fallen in love with different locations.

    Reply
  34. I don’t have any specific book in mind, but when I first went to England I felt at home, as if I knew the place. I decided that was because so many of the books I had read, or had been read to me, took place in England. It is not surprising so many of us fell in love with England. I suspect that had we been raised in a German, or French, speaking country we would have fallen in love with different locations.

    Reply
  35. I don’t have any specific book in mind, but when I first went to England I felt at home, as if I knew the place. I decided that was because so many of the books I had read, or had been read to me, took place in England. It is not surprising so many of us fell in love with England. I suspect that had we been raised in a German, or French, speaking country we would have fallen in love with different locations.

    Reply
  36. Sherwood Forest. The book that I loved most and read over and over again was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in which Robin and his outlaws defied the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. That and Grimms fairy tales. To this day, a forest seems to me a magic place. I can’t resist walking down a path through the forest, because it could lead to wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  37. Sherwood Forest. The book that I loved most and read over and over again was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in which Robin and his outlaws defied the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. That and Grimms fairy tales. To this day, a forest seems to me a magic place. I can’t resist walking down a path through the forest, because it could lead to wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  38. Sherwood Forest. The book that I loved most and read over and over again was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in which Robin and his outlaws defied the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. That and Grimms fairy tales. To this day, a forest seems to me a magic place. I can’t resist walking down a path through the forest, because it could lead to wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  39. Sherwood Forest. The book that I loved most and read over and over again was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in which Robin and his outlaws defied the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. That and Grimms fairy tales. To this day, a forest seems to me a magic place. I can’t resist walking down a path through the forest, because it could lead to wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  40. Sherwood Forest. The book that I loved most and read over and over again was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, in which Robin and his outlaws defied the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. That and Grimms fairy tales. To this day, a forest seems to me a magic place. I can’t resist walking down a path through the forest, because it could lead to wonderful adventures!

    Reply
  41. My very first books were picture books: more illustration than text on many pages. They included “My Shadow” (selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses), two volumes of folk tales, Hawthorn’s retelling of the classic myths, Peter Pan, a lesser known book of poetry called Rimskittle’s Book, and all four Milne Pooh and Christopher Robin adventures.
    All other early reading stands on the shoulders of these books. They bring a sense of foreign lands, of home and family, of history, and of adventure, as do the books mentioned above. So I believe we’re all coming from the same place.

    Reply
  42. My very first books were picture books: more illustration than text on many pages. They included “My Shadow” (selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses), two volumes of folk tales, Hawthorn’s retelling of the classic myths, Peter Pan, a lesser known book of poetry called Rimskittle’s Book, and all four Milne Pooh and Christopher Robin adventures.
    All other early reading stands on the shoulders of these books. They bring a sense of foreign lands, of home and family, of history, and of adventure, as do the books mentioned above. So I believe we’re all coming from the same place.

    Reply
  43. My very first books were picture books: more illustration than text on many pages. They included “My Shadow” (selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses), two volumes of folk tales, Hawthorn’s retelling of the classic myths, Peter Pan, a lesser known book of poetry called Rimskittle’s Book, and all four Milne Pooh and Christopher Robin adventures.
    All other early reading stands on the shoulders of these books. They bring a sense of foreign lands, of home and family, of history, and of adventure, as do the books mentioned above. So I believe we’re all coming from the same place.

    Reply
  44. My very first books were picture books: more illustration than text on many pages. They included “My Shadow” (selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses), two volumes of folk tales, Hawthorn’s retelling of the classic myths, Peter Pan, a lesser known book of poetry called Rimskittle’s Book, and all four Milne Pooh and Christopher Robin adventures.
    All other early reading stands on the shoulders of these books. They bring a sense of foreign lands, of home and family, of history, and of adventure, as do the books mentioned above. So I believe we’re all coming from the same place.

    Reply
  45. My very first books were picture books: more illustration than text on many pages. They included “My Shadow” (selections from A Child’s Garden of Verses), two volumes of folk tales, Hawthorn’s retelling of the classic myths, Peter Pan, a lesser known book of poetry called Rimskittle’s Book, and all four Milne Pooh and Christopher Robin adventures.
    All other early reading stands on the shoulders of these books. They bring a sense of foreign lands, of home and family, of history, and of adventure, as do the books mentioned above. So I believe we’re all coming from the same place.

    Reply
  46. I was an avid reader as a child. I read everything in our small town library. In the beginning my favorites were the horse stories. I just knew I’d be getting a horse some day. The next reads were science fiction. I read all the classic authors (they weren’t necessarily classic yet!). I knew that eventually I would be living in space or on the moon. I thought it was a fact and that everyone would have the chance. I guess I loved adventure stories of all kinds. There was some poetry thrown in – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still have my original book.

    Reply
  47. I was an avid reader as a child. I read everything in our small town library. In the beginning my favorites were the horse stories. I just knew I’d be getting a horse some day. The next reads were science fiction. I read all the classic authors (they weren’t necessarily classic yet!). I knew that eventually I would be living in space or on the moon. I thought it was a fact and that everyone would have the chance. I guess I loved adventure stories of all kinds. There was some poetry thrown in – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still have my original book.

    Reply
  48. I was an avid reader as a child. I read everything in our small town library. In the beginning my favorites were the horse stories. I just knew I’d be getting a horse some day. The next reads were science fiction. I read all the classic authors (they weren’t necessarily classic yet!). I knew that eventually I would be living in space or on the moon. I thought it was a fact and that everyone would have the chance. I guess I loved adventure stories of all kinds. There was some poetry thrown in – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still have my original book.

    Reply
  49. I was an avid reader as a child. I read everything in our small town library. In the beginning my favorites were the horse stories. I just knew I’d be getting a horse some day. The next reads were science fiction. I read all the classic authors (they weren’t necessarily classic yet!). I knew that eventually I would be living in space or on the moon. I thought it was a fact and that everyone would have the chance. I guess I loved adventure stories of all kinds. There was some poetry thrown in – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still have my original book.

    Reply
  50. I was an avid reader as a child. I read everything in our small town library. In the beginning my favorites were the horse stories. I just knew I’d be getting a horse some day. The next reads were science fiction. I read all the classic authors (they weren’t necessarily classic yet!). I knew that eventually I would be living in space or on the moon. I thought it was a fact and that everyone would have the chance. I guess I loved adventure stories of all kinds. There was some poetry thrown in – A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still have my original book.

    Reply
  51. When I was a very small child we lived in the country and our house was surrounded by woods, which in my imagination was a forest. Before I was even able to read, my mother would either read or sing for us kids each night at bedtime. Most of the stories were fairy tales which almost always involved a forest. And like Lillian Marek above, one of my earliest heroes was Robin Hood.
    In my earliest daydreams I was Maid Marion on an adventure with my Robin Hood. That is except for the times I was Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane (smile).

    Reply
  52. When I was a very small child we lived in the country and our house was surrounded by woods, which in my imagination was a forest. Before I was even able to read, my mother would either read or sing for us kids each night at bedtime. Most of the stories were fairy tales which almost always involved a forest. And like Lillian Marek above, one of my earliest heroes was Robin Hood.
    In my earliest daydreams I was Maid Marion on an adventure with my Robin Hood. That is except for the times I was Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane (smile).

    Reply
  53. When I was a very small child we lived in the country and our house was surrounded by woods, which in my imagination was a forest. Before I was even able to read, my mother would either read or sing for us kids each night at bedtime. Most of the stories were fairy tales which almost always involved a forest. And like Lillian Marek above, one of my earliest heroes was Robin Hood.
    In my earliest daydreams I was Maid Marion on an adventure with my Robin Hood. That is except for the times I was Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane (smile).

    Reply
  54. When I was a very small child we lived in the country and our house was surrounded by woods, which in my imagination was a forest. Before I was even able to read, my mother would either read or sing for us kids each night at bedtime. Most of the stories were fairy tales which almost always involved a forest. And like Lillian Marek above, one of my earliest heroes was Robin Hood.
    In my earliest daydreams I was Maid Marion on an adventure with my Robin Hood. That is except for the times I was Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane (smile).

    Reply
  55. When I was a very small child we lived in the country and our house was surrounded by woods, which in my imagination was a forest. Before I was even able to read, my mother would either read or sing for us kids each night at bedtime. Most of the stories were fairy tales which almost always involved a forest. And like Lillian Marek above, one of my earliest heroes was Robin Hood.
    In my earliest daydreams I was Maid Marion on an adventure with my Robin Hood. That is except for the times I was Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane (smile).

    Reply
  56. For me, it was Prydain. I had always been a reader, but until a teacher read The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) to us, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. That book started my love of fantasy.

    Reply
  57. For me, it was Prydain. I had always been a reader, but until a teacher read The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) to us, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. That book started my love of fantasy.

    Reply
  58. For me, it was Prydain. I had always been a reader, but until a teacher read The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) to us, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. That book started my love of fantasy.

    Reply
  59. For me, it was Prydain. I had always been a reader, but until a teacher read The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) to us, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. That book started my love of fantasy.

    Reply
  60. For me, it was Prydain. I had always been a reader, but until a teacher read The Book of Three (Lloyd Alexander) to us, I had no idea of what was waiting for me. That book started my love of fantasy.

    Reply
  61. I am with you Anne England and that would be because of Enid Blyton I loved all of The Secret Seven and Famous Five and their adventures always left me smiling.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  62. I am with you Anne England and that would be because of Enid Blyton I loved all of The Secret Seven and Famous Five and their adventures always left me smiling.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  63. I am with you Anne England and that would be because of Enid Blyton I loved all of The Secret Seven and Famous Five and their adventures always left me smiling.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  64. I am with you Anne England and that would be because of Enid Blyton I loved all of The Secret Seven and Famous Five and their adventures always left me smiling.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  65. I am with you Anne England and that would be because of Enid Blyton I loved all of The Secret Seven and Famous Five and their adventures always left me smiling.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  66. Jenny I’ll have to read that memoir. I also remember Milly Molly Mandy! I envy you hearing the reading at the Savoy — I love hearing writers read from and talk about their books. And at the Savoy — not too shabby. *g*

    Reply
  67. Jenny I’ll have to read that memoir. I also remember Milly Molly Mandy! I envy you hearing the reading at the Savoy — I love hearing writers read from and talk about their books. And at the Savoy — not too shabby. *g*

    Reply
  68. Jenny I’ll have to read that memoir. I also remember Milly Molly Mandy! I envy you hearing the reading at the Savoy — I love hearing writers read from and talk about their books. And at the Savoy — not too shabby. *g*

    Reply
  69. Jenny I’ll have to read that memoir. I also remember Milly Molly Mandy! I envy you hearing the reading at the Savoy — I love hearing writers read from and talk about their books. And at the Savoy — not too shabby. *g*

    Reply
  70. Jenny I’ll have to read that memoir. I also remember Milly Molly Mandy! I envy you hearing the reading at the Savoy — I love hearing writers read from and talk about their books. And at the Savoy — not too shabby. *g*

    Reply
  71. I did not know that Roedean was the original inspiration for Malory Towers, Jenny. I would love to visit it one day.
    All this talk of childhood reading makes me want to go back and read those old favorites, but I’m afraid they won’t please me as much. Some years back I recommended an Enid Blyton book to a friend of mine, and when I read it, I realized it was quite casually racist. Times and attitudes have changed so much.

    Reply
  72. I did not know that Roedean was the original inspiration for Malory Towers, Jenny. I would love to visit it one day.
    All this talk of childhood reading makes me want to go back and read those old favorites, but I’m afraid they won’t please me as much. Some years back I recommended an Enid Blyton book to a friend of mine, and when I read it, I realized it was quite casually racist. Times and attitudes have changed so much.

    Reply
  73. I did not know that Roedean was the original inspiration for Malory Towers, Jenny. I would love to visit it one day.
    All this talk of childhood reading makes me want to go back and read those old favorites, but I’m afraid they won’t please me as much. Some years back I recommended an Enid Blyton book to a friend of mine, and when I read it, I realized it was quite casually racist. Times and attitudes have changed so much.

    Reply
  74. I did not know that Roedean was the original inspiration for Malory Towers, Jenny. I would love to visit it one day.
    All this talk of childhood reading makes me want to go back and read those old favorites, but I’m afraid they won’t please me as much. Some years back I recommended an Enid Blyton book to a friend of mine, and when I read it, I realized it was quite casually racist. Times and attitudes have changed so much.

    Reply
  75. I did not know that Roedean was the original inspiration for Malory Towers, Jenny. I would love to visit it one day.
    All this talk of childhood reading makes me want to go back and read those old favorites, but I’m afraid they won’t please me as much. Some years back I recommended an Enid Blyton book to a friend of mine, and when I read it, I realized it was quite casually racist. Times and attitudes have changed so much.

    Reply
  76. LOL Kathy — I was sure I could fly. I “remember” it. Oh the power of a child’s imagination. I wasn’t so keen on visiting Neverland — crocodiles and pirates — and not of the Johnny Depp variety.

    Reply
  77. LOL Kathy — I was sure I could fly. I “remember” it. Oh the power of a child’s imagination. I wasn’t so keen on visiting Neverland — crocodiles and pirates — and not of the Johnny Depp variety.

    Reply
  78. LOL Kathy — I was sure I could fly. I “remember” it. Oh the power of a child’s imagination. I wasn’t so keen on visiting Neverland — crocodiles and pirates — and not of the Johnny Depp variety.

    Reply
  79. LOL Kathy — I was sure I could fly. I “remember” it. Oh the power of a child’s imagination. I wasn’t so keen on visiting Neverland — crocodiles and pirates — and not of the Johnny Depp variety.

    Reply
  80. LOL Kathy — I was sure I could fly. I “remember” it. Oh the power of a child’s imagination. I wasn’t so keen on visiting Neverland — crocodiles and pirates — and not of the Johnny Depp variety.

    Reply
  81. An interesting notion, Alison. It’s my impression (and I could be very wrong) that England had an early-mid 20th century explosion of children’s book publishing that perhaps other countries didn’t. In Australia we got translated versions of some of the European bestsellers — Finn Family Moomintroll, Pippi Longstocking, Hans Brinker, Kate Seredi (The Good Master) and others, but the massive output of authors like Enid Blyton — who published hundreds of books — ensured that we voracious little bookworms were kept entertained.
    I would love to hear about the books that French and German and other European people read growing up.

    Reply
  82. An interesting notion, Alison. It’s my impression (and I could be very wrong) that England had an early-mid 20th century explosion of children’s book publishing that perhaps other countries didn’t. In Australia we got translated versions of some of the European bestsellers — Finn Family Moomintroll, Pippi Longstocking, Hans Brinker, Kate Seredi (The Good Master) and others, but the massive output of authors like Enid Blyton — who published hundreds of books — ensured that we voracious little bookworms were kept entertained.
    I would love to hear about the books that French and German and other European people read growing up.

    Reply
  83. An interesting notion, Alison. It’s my impression (and I could be very wrong) that England had an early-mid 20th century explosion of children’s book publishing that perhaps other countries didn’t. In Australia we got translated versions of some of the European bestsellers — Finn Family Moomintroll, Pippi Longstocking, Hans Brinker, Kate Seredi (The Good Master) and others, but the massive output of authors like Enid Blyton — who published hundreds of books — ensured that we voracious little bookworms were kept entertained.
    I would love to hear about the books that French and German and other European people read growing up.

    Reply
  84. An interesting notion, Alison. It’s my impression (and I could be very wrong) that England had an early-mid 20th century explosion of children’s book publishing that perhaps other countries didn’t. In Australia we got translated versions of some of the European bestsellers — Finn Family Moomintroll, Pippi Longstocking, Hans Brinker, Kate Seredi (The Good Master) and others, but the massive output of authors like Enid Blyton — who published hundreds of books — ensured that we voracious little bookworms were kept entertained.
    I would love to hear about the books that French and German and other European people read growing up.

    Reply
  85. An interesting notion, Alison. It’s my impression (and I could be very wrong) that England had an early-mid 20th century explosion of children’s book publishing that perhaps other countries didn’t. In Australia we got translated versions of some of the European bestsellers — Finn Family Moomintroll, Pippi Longstocking, Hans Brinker, Kate Seredi (The Good Master) and others, but the massive output of authors like Enid Blyton — who published hundreds of books — ensured that we voracious little bookworms were kept entertained.
    I would love to hear about the books that French and German and other European people read growing up.

    Reply
  86. Sue, I agree with you — that early reading, those glorious illustrations sparked our imaginations and taught us to delight in other places, other lands, other realities. What a gift, eh?

    Reply
  87. Sue, I agree with you — that early reading, those glorious illustrations sparked our imaginations and taught us to delight in other places, other lands, other realities. What a gift, eh?

    Reply
  88. Sue, I agree with you — that early reading, those glorious illustrations sparked our imaginations and taught us to delight in other places, other lands, other realities. What a gift, eh?

    Reply
  89. Sue, I agree with you — that early reading, those glorious illustrations sparked our imaginations and taught us to delight in other places, other lands, other realities. What a gift, eh?

    Reply
  90. Sue, I agree with you — that early reading, those glorious illustrations sparked our imaginations and taught us to delight in other places, other lands, other realities. What a gift, eh?

    Reply
  91. Cindy, I was a horse-book reader, too. We had a pony when I was very small and lived in the country, but when we started moving house every year or two, that was no longer possible, so I fed my horse longing through reading.
    Nicola mentioned the Australian Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell — a brumby is a wild horse — and I still have my copy of the Silver Brumby. I also read My Friend Flicka, and other American horse stories. Then there were the Uk horsey stories by the Pullein-Thompson sisters (I think).

    Reply
  92. Cindy, I was a horse-book reader, too. We had a pony when I was very small and lived in the country, but when we started moving house every year or two, that was no longer possible, so I fed my horse longing through reading.
    Nicola mentioned the Australian Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell — a brumby is a wild horse — and I still have my copy of the Silver Brumby. I also read My Friend Flicka, and other American horse stories. Then there were the Uk horsey stories by the Pullein-Thompson sisters (I think).

    Reply
  93. Cindy, I was a horse-book reader, too. We had a pony when I was very small and lived in the country, but when we started moving house every year or two, that was no longer possible, so I fed my horse longing through reading.
    Nicola mentioned the Australian Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell — a brumby is a wild horse — and I still have my copy of the Silver Brumby. I also read My Friend Flicka, and other American horse stories. Then there were the Uk horsey stories by the Pullein-Thompson sisters (I think).

    Reply
  94. Cindy, I was a horse-book reader, too. We had a pony when I was very small and lived in the country, but when we started moving house every year or two, that was no longer possible, so I fed my horse longing through reading.
    Nicola mentioned the Australian Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell — a brumby is a wild horse — and I still have my copy of the Silver Brumby. I also read My Friend Flicka, and other American horse stories. Then there were the Uk horsey stories by the Pullein-Thompson sisters (I think).

    Reply
  95. Cindy, I was a horse-book reader, too. We had a pony when I was very small and lived in the country, but when we started moving house every year or two, that was no longer possible, so I fed my horse longing through reading.
    Nicola mentioned the Australian Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell — a brumby is a wild horse — and I still have my copy of the Silver Brumby. I also read My Friend Flicka, and other American horse stories. Then there were the Uk horsey stories by the Pullein-Thompson sisters (I think).

    Reply
  96. Misti, Prydain is a new one on me. Thank you — I’m off to investigate.
    Those days when teachers read books aloud to their classes — they were magical times. I wonder if they still happen, or whether school programs are now so structured that it’s been squeezed out.

    Reply
  97. Misti, Prydain is a new one on me. Thank you — I’m off to investigate.
    Those days when teachers read books aloud to their classes — they were magical times. I wonder if they still happen, or whether school programs are now so structured that it’s been squeezed out.

    Reply
  98. Misti, Prydain is a new one on me. Thank you — I’m off to investigate.
    Those days when teachers read books aloud to their classes — they were magical times. I wonder if they still happen, or whether school programs are now so structured that it’s been squeezed out.

    Reply
  99. Misti, Prydain is a new one on me. Thank you — I’m off to investigate.
    Those days when teachers read books aloud to their classes — they were magical times. I wonder if they still happen, or whether school programs are now so structured that it’s been squeezed out.

    Reply
  100. Misti, Prydain is a new one on me. Thank you — I’m off to investigate.
    Those days when teachers read books aloud to their classes — they were magical times. I wonder if they still happen, or whether school programs are now so structured that it’s been squeezed out.

    Reply
  101. Yes, Mary, Maid Marion was a good heroine, wasn’t she? And the forest fairytales were always a little bit scary and adventurous. In Australia, in my state (Victoria) we had a school reader that every kid in a government primary (elementary) school read, and in the Grade 2 reader there was a story of The Hobyahs — scary creatures who came creep-creep-creeping out of the forest . . . Scared us silly. And we loved it. *g*

    Reply
  102. Yes, Mary, Maid Marion was a good heroine, wasn’t she? And the forest fairytales were always a little bit scary and adventurous. In Australia, in my state (Victoria) we had a school reader that every kid in a government primary (elementary) school read, and in the Grade 2 reader there was a story of The Hobyahs — scary creatures who came creep-creep-creeping out of the forest . . . Scared us silly. And we loved it. *g*

    Reply
  103. Yes, Mary, Maid Marion was a good heroine, wasn’t she? And the forest fairytales were always a little bit scary and adventurous. In Australia, in my state (Victoria) we had a school reader that every kid in a government primary (elementary) school read, and in the Grade 2 reader there was a story of The Hobyahs — scary creatures who came creep-creep-creeping out of the forest . . . Scared us silly. And we loved it. *g*

    Reply
  104. Yes, Mary, Maid Marion was a good heroine, wasn’t she? And the forest fairytales were always a little bit scary and adventurous. In Australia, in my state (Victoria) we had a school reader that every kid in a government primary (elementary) school read, and in the Grade 2 reader there was a story of The Hobyahs — scary creatures who came creep-creep-creeping out of the forest . . . Scared us silly. And we loved it. *g*

    Reply
  105. Yes, Mary, Maid Marion was a good heroine, wasn’t she? And the forest fairytales were always a little bit scary and adventurous. In Australia, in my state (Victoria) we had a school reader that every kid in a government primary (elementary) school read, and in the Grade 2 reader there was a story of The Hobyahs — scary creatures who came creep-creep-creeping out of the forest . . . Scared us silly. And we loved it. *g*

    Reply
  106. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to add, and then I remembered: I was a ballet dancer, and crazy about Jean Estoril’s 1950s-’70s “Drina” ballet books.
    In my late teens I moved to London on my own, and ended up on Red Lion Street.
    Something about “Red Lion Street” and “Red Lion Square” sounded so familiar to me, and I finally realised: I was living in the exact location my favourite childhood books were set.
    Of all the places in such a massive city! It was a total fluke that it happened. (Another fluke: my next address turned out to be the same one my aunt lived on 3.5 decades before me!)

    Reply
  107. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to add, and then I remembered: I was a ballet dancer, and crazy about Jean Estoril’s 1950s-’70s “Drina” ballet books.
    In my late teens I moved to London on my own, and ended up on Red Lion Street.
    Something about “Red Lion Street” and “Red Lion Square” sounded so familiar to me, and I finally realised: I was living in the exact location my favourite childhood books were set.
    Of all the places in such a massive city! It was a total fluke that it happened. (Another fluke: my next address turned out to be the same one my aunt lived on 3.5 decades before me!)

    Reply
  108. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to add, and then I remembered: I was a ballet dancer, and crazy about Jean Estoril’s 1950s-’70s “Drina” ballet books.
    In my late teens I moved to London on my own, and ended up on Red Lion Street.
    Something about “Red Lion Street” and “Red Lion Square” sounded so familiar to me, and I finally realised: I was living in the exact location my favourite childhood books were set.
    Of all the places in such a massive city! It was a total fluke that it happened. (Another fluke: my next address turned out to be the same one my aunt lived on 3.5 decades before me!)

    Reply
  109. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to add, and then I remembered: I was a ballet dancer, and crazy about Jean Estoril’s 1950s-’70s “Drina” ballet books.
    In my late teens I moved to London on my own, and ended up on Red Lion Street.
    Something about “Red Lion Street” and “Red Lion Square” sounded so familiar to me, and I finally realised: I was living in the exact location my favourite childhood books were set.
    Of all the places in such a massive city! It was a total fluke that it happened. (Another fluke: my next address turned out to be the same one my aunt lived on 3.5 decades before me!)

    Reply
  110. I didn’t think I had anything interesting to add, and then I remembered: I was a ballet dancer, and crazy about Jean Estoril’s 1950s-’70s “Drina” ballet books.
    In my late teens I moved to London on my own, and ended up on Red Lion Street.
    Something about “Red Lion Street” and “Red Lion Square” sounded so familiar to me, and I finally realised: I was living in the exact location my favourite childhood books were set.
    Of all the places in such a massive city! It was a total fluke that it happened. (Another fluke: my next address turned out to be the same one my aunt lived on 3.5 decades before me!)

    Reply
  111. Wow Sonya, what an amazing coincidence — Red Lion Square and also that your aunt had lived in the same place.
    Did you ever read the book Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield when you were a child? It’s a lovely book, for 10 – 11 year olds if I remember correctly. A few years ago I recommended it to a friend whose granddaughter was studying ballet, and she loved it.
    Noel Streatfield did a whole series of “shoe” books. Another favorite of mine was White Boots, about ice skating.

    Reply
  112. Wow Sonya, what an amazing coincidence — Red Lion Square and also that your aunt had lived in the same place.
    Did you ever read the book Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield when you were a child? It’s a lovely book, for 10 – 11 year olds if I remember correctly. A few years ago I recommended it to a friend whose granddaughter was studying ballet, and she loved it.
    Noel Streatfield did a whole series of “shoe” books. Another favorite of mine was White Boots, about ice skating.

    Reply
  113. Wow Sonya, what an amazing coincidence — Red Lion Square and also that your aunt had lived in the same place.
    Did you ever read the book Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield when you were a child? It’s a lovely book, for 10 – 11 year olds if I remember correctly. A few years ago I recommended it to a friend whose granddaughter was studying ballet, and she loved it.
    Noel Streatfield did a whole series of “shoe” books. Another favorite of mine was White Boots, about ice skating.

    Reply
  114. Wow Sonya, what an amazing coincidence — Red Lion Square and also that your aunt had lived in the same place.
    Did you ever read the book Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield when you were a child? It’s a lovely book, for 10 – 11 year olds if I remember correctly. A few years ago I recommended it to a friend whose granddaughter was studying ballet, and she loved it.
    Noel Streatfield did a whole series of “shoe” books. Another favorite of mine was White Boots, about ice skating.

    Reply
  115. Wow Sonya, what an amazing coincidence — Red Lion Square and also that your aunt had lived in the same place.
    Did you ever read the book Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfield when you were a child? It’s a lovely book, for 10 – 11 year olds if I remember correctly. A few years ago I recommended it to a friend whose granddaughter was studying ballet, and she loved it.
    Noel Streatfield did a whole series of “shoe” books. Another favorite of mine was White Boots, about ice skating.

    Reply
  116. The first thing that popped into my head when I read the question was, Kirren Island. I lived for Enid Blyton books when I was a child. I lived out in the countryside with three brothers and all boys as near neighbors so at times I was quite lonely. Reading was my escape and from the first reading of The Famous Five I wanted to live on Kirren Island. I loved the idea of camping and looking after yourself on a deserted island that belonged to you. Now and again I still those books and enjoy them. Of course I wanted to attend Malory Towers too. Who didn’t???
    Wonderful memories.

    Reply
  117. The first thing that popped into my head when I read the question was, Kirren Island. I lived for Enid Blyton books when I was a child. I lived out in the countryside with three brothers and all boys as near neighbors so at times I was quite lonely. Reading was my escape and from the first reading of The Famous Five I wanted to live on Kirren Island. I loved the idea of camping and looking after yourself on a deserted island that belonged to you. Now and again I still those books and enjoy them. Of course I wanted to attend Malory Towers too. Who didn’t???
    Wonderful memories.

    Reply
  118. The first thing that popped into my head when I read the question was, Kirren Island. I lived for Enid Blyton books when I was a child. I lived out in the countryside with three brothers and all boys as near neighbors so at times I was quite lonely. Reading was my escape and from the first reading of The Famous Five I wanted to live on Kirren Island. I loved the idea of camping and looking after yourself on a deserted island that belonged to you. Now and again I still those books and enjoy them. Of course I wanted to attend Malory Towers too. Who didn’t???
    Wonderful memories.

    Reply
  119. The first thing that popped into my head when I read the question was, Kirren Island. I lived for Enid Blyton books when I was a child. I lived out in the countryside with three brothers and all boys as near neighbors so at times I was quite lonely. Reading was my escape and from the first reading of The Famous Five I wanted to live on Kirren Island. I loved the idea of camping and looking after yourself on a deserted island that belonged to you. Now and again I still those books and enjoy them. Of course I wanted to attend Malory Towers too. Who didn’t???
    Wonderful memories.

    Reply
  120. The first thing that popped into my head when I read the question was, Kirren Island. I lived for Enid Blyton books when I was a child. I lived out in the countryside with three brothers and all boys as near neighbors so at times I was quite lonely. Reading was my escape and from the first reading of The Famous Five I wanted to live on Kirren Island. I loved the idea of camping and looking after yourself on a deserted island that belonged to you. Now and again I still those books and enjoy them. Of course I wanted to attend Malory Towers too. Who didn’t???
    Wonderful memories.

    Reply
  121. Teresa, yes indeed, what kid didn’t want to own their own island and be able to camp out on it unsupervised by adults? LOL. Enid Blyton was catnip for kids. And reading was my escape, too, as most of my childhood we didn’t have any kids living close and my siblings were much older and had left home. So books and animals were my friends.

    Reply
  122. Teresa, yes indeed, what kid didn’t want to own their own island and be able to camp out on it unsupervised by adults? LOL. Enid Blyton was catnip for kids. And reading was my escape, too, as most of my childhood we didn’t have any kids living close and my siblings were much older and had left home. So books and animals were my friends.

    Reply
  123. Teresa, yes indeed, what kid didn’t want to own their own island and be able to camp out on it unsupervised by adults? LOL. Enid Blyton was catnip for kids. And reading was my escape, too, as most of my childhood we didn’t have any kids living close and my siblings were much older and had left home. So books and animals were my friends.

    Reply
  124. Teresa, yes indeed, what kid didn’t want to own their own island and be able to camp out on it unsupervised by adults? LOL. Enid Blyton was catnip for kids. And reading was my escape, too, as most of my childhood we didn’t have any kids living close and my siblings were much older and had left home. So books and animals were my friends.

    Reply
  125. Teresa, yes indeed, what kid didn’t want to own their own island and be able to camp out on it unsupervised by adults? LOL. Enid Blyton was catnip for kids. And reading was my escape, too, as most of my childhood we didn’t have any kids living close and my siblings were much older and had left home. So books and animals were my friends.

    Reply
  126. I remember reading Thomas Costain also. And many horse stories and other animal stories. Then came T. H. White and England came alive for me.

    Reply
  127. I remember reading Thomas Costain also. And many horse stories and other animal stories. Then came T. H. White and England came alive for me.

    Reply
  128. I remember reading Thomas Costain also. And many horse stories and other animal stories. Then came T. H. White and England came alive for me.

    Reply
  129. I remember reading Thomas Costain also. And many horse stories and other animal stories. Then came T. H. White and England came alive for me.

    Reply
  130. I remember reading Thomas Costain also. And many horse stories and other animal stories. Then came T. H. White and England came alive for me.

    Reply
  131. Well you wanted a German perspective, so here goes (albeit it’s probably not a typical one):
    Heidi, so I wanted to sleep on a hay bed, drink goat’s milk and roam the mountains. I tried goat’s milk as a grown up and I actually found it pretty vile.
    Pippi Longstocking, so maybe Sweden or actually Taka Tuka Land, which sounded like a wonderful adventure
    Lots of historical novels like Felix Dahn’s A Fight for Rome or Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii gave me two things: A passion for history/archeology and a love for Italy (or Greece for that matter)
    The Enid Blyton books were actually translated into German and transported into Germany. So the twins were called Hanni and Nanni and went to a school called Lindenhof, somewhere in Bavaria 😉
    Then there are the Nesthäkchen (which basically is an affectionate word for the youngest child) books by Else Uri, which take place in Berlin and for holidays they went to the Baltic Sea or to the Riesengebirge (which today is Czech, I think). Places one couldn’t very well visit during the cold war, so they took on their own fascination.
    Of course we all read Karl May, especially the Winnetou books and for me there was also Lieselotte Welskopf’s Harka books and Blauvogel. All books about Indians (Native Americans), so I suppose I would have liked to go to the Mid West or the Black Hills and back in time of course, although life as a mere “squaw” might have been disappointing.
    I actually think, there were lots of German children’s books during my childhood, but most of them didn’t get translated, so they are not that well known.

    Reply
  132. Well you wanted a German perspective, so here goes (albeit it’s probably not a typical one):
    Heidi, so I wanted to sleep on a hay bed, drink goat’s milk and roam the mountains. I tried goat’s milk as a grown up and I actually found it pretty vile.
    Pippi Longstocking, so maybe Sweden or actually Taka Tuka Land, which sounded like a wonderful adventure
    Lots of historical novels like Felix Dahn’s A Fight for Rome or Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii gave me two things: A passion for history/archeology and a love for Italy (or Greece for that matter)
    The Enid Blyton books were actually translated into German and transported into Germany. So the twins were called Hanni and Nanni and went to a school called Lindenhof, somewhere in Bavaria 😉
    Then there are the Nesthäkchen (which basically is an affectionate word for the youngest child) books by Else Uri, which take place in Berlin and for holidays they went to the Baltic Sea or to the Riesengebirge (which today is Czech, I think). Places one couldn’t very well visit during the cold war, so they took on their own fascination.
    Of course we all read Karl May, especially the Winnetou books and for me there was also Lieselotte Welskopf’s Harka books and Blauvogel. All books about Indians (Native Americans), so I suppose I would have liked to go to the Mid West or the Black Hills and back in time of course, although life as a mere “squaw” might have been disappointing.
    I actually think, there were lots of German children’s books during my childhood, but most of them didn’t get translated, so they are not that well known.

    Reply
  133. Well you wanted a German perspective, so here goes (albeit it’s probably not a typical one):
    Heidi, so I wanted to sleep on a hay bed, drink goat’s milk and roam the mountains. I tried goat’s milk as a grown up and I actually found it pretty vile.
    Pippi Longstocking, so maybe Sweden or actually Taka Tuka Land, which sounded like a wonderful adventure
    Lots of historical novels like Felix Dahn’s A Fight for Rome or Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii gave me two things: A passion for history/archeology and a love for Italy (or Greece for that matter)
    The Enid Blyton books were actually translated into German and transported into Germany. So the twins were called Hanni and Nanni and went to a school called Lindenhof, somewhere in Bavaria 😉
    Then there are the Nesthäkchen (which basically is an affectionate word for the youngest child) books by Else Uri, which take place in Berlin and for holidays they went to the Baltic Sea or to the Riesengebirge (which today is Czech, I think). Places one couldn’t very well visit during the cold war, so they took on their own fascination.
    Of course we all read Karl May, especially the Winnetou books and for me there was also Lieselotte Welskopf’s Harka books and Blauvogel. All books about Indians (Native Americans), so I suppose I would have liked to go to the Mid West or the Black Hills and back in time of course, although life as a mere “squaw” might have been disappointing.
    I actually think, there were lots of German children’s books during my childhood, but most of them didn’t get translated, so they are not that well known.

    Reply
  134. Well you wanted a German perspective, so here goes (albeit it’s probably not a typical one):
    Heidi, so I wanted to sleep on a hay bed, drink goat’s milk and roam the mountains. I tried goat’s milk as a grown up and I actually found it pretty vile.
    Pippi Longstocking, so maybe Sweden or actually Taka Tuka Land, which sounded like a wonderful adventure
    Lots of historical novels like Felix Dahn’s A Fight for Rome or Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii gave me two things: A passion for history/archeology and a love for Italy (or Greece for that matter)
    The Enid Blyton books were actually translated into German and transported into Germany. So the twins were called Hanni and Nanni and went to a school called Lindenhof, somewhere in Bavaria 😉
    Then there are the Nesthäkchen (which basically is an affectionate word for the youngest child) books by Else Uri, which take place in Berlin and for holidays they went to the Baltic Sea or to the Riesengebirge (which today is Czech, I think). Places one couldn’t very well visit during the cold war, so they took on their own fascination.
    Of course we all read Karl May, especially the Winnetou books and for me there was also Lieselotte Welskopf’s Harka books and Blauvogel. All books about Indians (Native Americans), so I suppose I would have liked to go to the Mid West or the Black Hills and back in time of course, although life as a mere “squaw” might have been disappointing.
    I actually think, there were lots of German children’s books during my childhood, but most of them didn’t get translated, so they are not that well known.

    Reply
  135. Well you wanted a German perspective, so here goes (albeit it’s probably not a typical one):
    Heidi, so I wanted to sleep on a hay bed, drink goat’s milk and roam the mountains. I tried goat’s milk as a grown up and I actually found it pretty vile.
    Pippi Longstocking, so maybe Sweden or actually Taka Tuka Land, which sounded like a wonderful adventure
    Lots of historical novels like Felix Dahn’s A Fight for Rome or Ben Hur or The Last Days of Pompeii gave me two things: A passion for history/archeology and a love for Italy (or Greece for that matter)
    The Enid Blyton books were actually translated into German and transported into Germany. So the twins were called Hanni and Nanni and went to a school called Lindenhof, somewhere in Bavaria 😉
    Then there are the Nesthäkchen (which basically is an affectionate word for the youngest child) books by Else Uri, which take place in Berlin and for holidays they went to the Baltic Sea or to the Riesengebirge (which today is Czech, I think). Places one couldn’t very well visit during the cold war, so they took on their own fascination.
    Of course we all read Karl May, especially the Winnetou books and for me there was also Lieselotte Welskopf’s Harka books and Blauvogel. All books about Indians (Native Americans), so I suppose I would have liked to go to the Mid West or the Black Hills and back in time of course, although life as a mere “squaw” might have been disappointing.
    I actually think, there were lots of German children’s books during my childhood, but most of them didn’t get translated, so they are not that well known.

    Reply
  136. If you can find in English Mercedes Lackey’s fantast “From a High Tower”, you may be interested in her treatment of Karl May’s works.

    Reply
  137. If you can find in English Mercedes Lackey’s fantast “From a High Tower”, you may be interested in her treatment of Karl May’s works.

    Reply
  138. If you can find in English Mercedes Lackey’s fantast “From a High Tower”, you may be interested in her treatment of Karl May’s works.

    Reply
  139. If you can find in English Mercedes Lackey’s fantast “From a High Tower”, you may be interested in her treatment of Karl May’s works.

    Reply
  140. If you can find in English Mercedes Lackey’s fantast “From a High Tower”, you may be interested in her treatment of Karl May’s works.

    Reply
  141. Yes, I have read that book. I confess I quite like Mercedes Lackey, and the explanation about the good indians/natives and the bad cowboys/western men that Giselle gives is spot on. The noble native … der edle Wilde … is actually a very German (and French) way of looking at native Americans and Karl May is one of the authors responsible for making that view popular.

    Reply
  142. Yes, I have read that book. I confess I quite like Mercedes Lackey, and the explanation about the good indians/natives and the bad cowboys/western men that Giselle gives is spot on. The noble native … der edle Wilde … is actually a very German (and French) way of looking at native Americans and Karl May is one of the authors responsible for making that view popular.

    Reply
  143. Yes, I have read that book. I confess I quite like Mercedes Lackey, and the explanation about the good indians/natives and the bad cowboys/western men that Giselle gives is spot on. The noble native … der edle Wilde … is actually a very German (and French) way of looking at native Americans and Karl May is one of the authors responsible for making that view popular.

    Reply
  144. Yes, I have read that book. I confess I quite like Mercedes Lackey, and the explanation about the good indians/natives and the bad cowboys/western men that Giselle gives is spot on. The noble native … der edle Wilde … is actually a very German (and French) way of looking at native Americans and Karl May is one of the authors responsible for making that view popular.

    Reply
  145. Yes, I have read that book. I confess I quite like Mercedes Lackey, and the explanation about the good indians/natives and the bad cowboys/western men that Giselle gives is spot on. The noble native … der edle Wilde … is actually a very German (and French) way of looking at native Americans and Karl May is one of the authors responsible for making that view popular.

    Reply
  146. Oh yes, of course, Heidi, Katja — how could I forget her! Sleeping in straw and drinking goats’ milk and going up the mountain with Grandfather — it sounded such fun, even though we had goats when I was little, and I know straw is prickly and itchy to sleep on. LOL
    And how interesting that so many of your German children’s books didn’t get translated into English — rather a shame. My earliest years were spent with lots of German-speaking neighbours, and my father’s good friend was Austrian, and I’m sure I was told many stories from that part of the world. My older sister would remember — she was a teenager when I was a toddler. I can still just remember some of the German Christmas carols we sang back then.

    Reply
  147. Oh yes, of course, Heidi, Katja — how could I forget her! Sleeping in straw and drinking goats’ milk and going up the mountain with Grandfather — it sounded such fun, even though we had goats when I was little, and I know straw is prickly and itchy to sleep on. LOL
    And how interesting that so many of your German children’s books didn’t get translated into English — rather a shame. My earliest years were spent with lots of German-speaking neighbours, and my father’s good friend was Austrian, and I’m sure I was told many stories from that part of the world. My older sister would remember — she was a teenager when I was a toddler. I can still just remember some of the German Christmas carols we sang back then.

    Reply
  148. Oh yes, of course, Heidi, Katja — how could I forget her! Sleeping in straw and drinking goats’ milk and going up the mountain with Grandfather — it sounded such fun, even though we had goats when I was little, and I know straw is prickly and itchy to sleep on. LOL
    And how interesting that so many of your German children’s books didn’t get translated into English — rather a shame. My earliest years were spent with lots of German-speaking neighbours, and my father’s good friend was Austrian, and I’m sure I was told many stories from that part of the world. My older sister would remember — she was a teenager when I was a toddler. I can still just remember some of the German Christmas carols we sang back then.

    Reply
  149. Oh yes, of course, Heidi, Katja — how could I forget her! Sleeping in straw and drinking goats’ milk and going up the mountain with Grandfather — it sounded such fun, even though we had goats when I was little, and I know straw is prickly and itchy to sleep on. LOL
    And how interesting that so many of your German children’s books didn’t get translated into English — rather a shame. My earliest years were spent with lots of German-speaking neighbours, and my father’s good friend was Austrian, and I’m sure I was told many stories from that part of the world. My older sister would remember — she was a teenager when I was a toddler. I can still just remember some of the German Christmas carols we sang back then.

    Reply
  150. Oh yes, of course, Heidi, Katja — how could I forget her! Sleeping in straw and drinking goats’ milk and going up the mountain with Grandfather — it sounded such fun, even though we had goats when I was little, and I know straw is prickly and itchy to sleep on. LOL
    And how interesting that so many of your German children’s books didn’t get translated into English — rather a shame. My earliest years were spent with lots of German-speaking neighbours, and my father’s good friend was Austrian, and I’m sure I was told many stories from that part of the world. My older sister would remember — she was a teenager when I was a toddler. I can still just remember some of the German Christmas carols we sang back then.

    Reply
  151. I too was an avid reader as a child. I remember looking at pictures and being frustrated because I knew the letters under them told what they were about. Nobody in my family read books very much (though we had them in the house), and nobody would bother to read to me, even my mother (she was too exhausted at the end of the day). So I *had* to learn to read, and I got it in kindergarten. After that I usually had my nose in a book. My books were like family to me. Little girls couldn’t go far alone, and books got me out of the house – out of the city to the wild west, to ancient Egypt, to outer space, and all the way to Oz.
    Outer space and Oz were my favorite places to visit. It seemed anything could happen there. Any adventure was possible, even to girls.

    Reply
  152. I too was an avid reader as a child. I remember looking at pictures and being frustrated because I knew the letters under them told what they were about. Nobody in my family read books very much (though we had them in the house), and nobody would bother to read to me, even my mother (she was too exhausted at the end of the day). So I *had* to learn to read, and I got it in kindergarten. After that I usually had my nose in a book. My books were like family to me. Little girls couldn’t go far alone, and books got me out of the house – out of the city to the wild west, to ancient Egypt, to outer space, and all the way to Oz.
    Outer space and Oz were my favorite places to visit. It seemed anything could happen there. Any adventure was possible, even to girls.

    Reply
  153. I too was an avid reader as a child. I remember looking at pictures and being frustrated because I knew the letters under them told what they were about. Nobody in my family read books very much (though we had them in the house), and nobody would bother to read to me, even my mother (she was too exhausted at the end of the day). So I *had* to learn to read, and I got it in kindergarten. After that I usually had my nose in a book. My books were like family to me. Little girls couldn’t go far alone, and books got me out of the house – out of the city to the wild west, to ancient Egypt, to outer space, and all the way to Oz.
    Outer space and Oz were my favorite places to visit. It seemed anything could happen there. Any adventure was possible, even to girls.

    Reply
  154. I too was an avid reader as a child. I remember looking at pictures and being frustrated because I knew the letters under them told what they were about. Nobody in my family read books very much (though we had them in the house), and nobody would bother to read to me, even my mother (she was too exhausted at the end of the day). So I *had* to learn to read, and I got it in kindergarten. After that I usually had my nose in a book. My books were like family to me. Little girls couldn’t go far alone, and books got me out of the house – out of the city to the wild west, to ancient Egypt, to outer space, and all the way to Oz.
    Outer space and Oz were my favorite places to visit. It seemed anything could happen there. Any adventure was possible, even to girls.

    Reply
  155. I too was an avid reader as a child. I remember looking at pictures and being frustrated because I knew the letters under them told what they were about. Nobody in my family read books very much (though we had them in the house), and nobody would bother to read to me, even my mother (she was too exhausted at the end of the day). So I *had* to learn to read, and I got it in kindergarten. After that I usually had my nose in a book. My books were like family to me. Little girls couldn’t go far alone, and books got me out of the house – out of the city to the wild west, to ancient Egypt, to outer space, and all the way to Oz.
    Outer space and Oz were my favorite places to visit. It seemed anything could happen there. Any adventure was possible, even to girls.

    Reply
  156. Any book with Fairies, Castles & Knights In Shining Armour – each or all – were my first loves. Of course, Robin Hood & Richard the Lionheart & King Arthur all figured in. Is it any wonder I enjoy Historical Romance?? Of course, I loved mysteries as well so I like this trend we see now – moving Historical Romance into a little more suspense & mystery. Keep writing “Wenches” – the books are so good!

    Reply
  157. Any book with Fairies, Castles & Knights In Shining Armour – each or all – were my first loves. Of course, Robin Hood & Richard the Lionheart & King Arthur all figured in. Is it any wonder I enjoy Historical Romance?? Of course, I loved mysteries as well so I like this trend we see now – moving Historical Romance into a little more suspense & mystery. Keep writing “Wenches” – the books are so good!

    Reply
  158. Any book with Fairies, Castles & Knights In Shining Armour – each or all – were my first loves. Of course, Robin Hood & Richard the Lionheart & King Arthur all figured in. Is it any wonder I enjoy Historical Romance?? Of course, I loved mysteries as well so I like this trend we see now – moving Historical Romance into a little more suspense & mystery. Keep writing “Wenches” – the books are so good!

    Reply
  159. Any book with Fairies, Castles & Knights In Shining Armour – each or all – were my first loves. Of course, Robin Hood & Richard the Lionheart & King Arthur all figured in. Is it any wonder I enjoy Historical Romance?? Of course, I loved mysteries as well so I like this trend we see now – moving Historical Romance into a little more suspense & mystery. Keep writing “Wenches” – the books are so good!

    Reply
  160. Any book with Fairies, Castles & Knights In Shining Armour – each or all – were my first loves. Of course, Robin Hood & Richard the Lionheart & King Arthur all figured in. Is it any wonder I enjoy Historical Romance?? Of course, I loved mysteries as well so I like this trend we see now – moving Historical Romance into a little more suspense & mystery. Keep writing “Wenches” – the books are so good!

    Reply

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