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Our Little Ann

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OurLittleAnnRoberts1886small.jpg
Roberts Brothers, 1886

"Told with such sweetness and simplicity that it evokes a genuine interest."—Commercial Advertiser.  from advertisement by Little, Brown and Company 1903,at the back of Lassie.

 

"It breathes a pure and wholesome spirit, and is treated in a wholly artistic and sympathetic manner.  In every respect, it is one of the most charming of recent fictions."—Post, BostonFrom the publisher's (Robert's Brothers, 1891) advertisement at the back of Lil.

Our Little Ann (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1886) has been digitized by Google.

My Synopsis:

 

"Have you ever observed Laburnum Villa, Kentish Town?  The lilacs & laburnums grow so thickly... that there would be very little chance of getting a glimpse at the windows....  There is not even a peep to be had through the gate for it is all boarded up, except a little square of some six inches, through which the maid-servant may survey anyone who dares to ring the bell, and make sure that it is no wolf seeking admittance into the fold."  Yet, twice a week young Tom Garnett is admitted "to teach the little girls some Latin..." while awaiting his departure for his "good appointment in China."

Ann Nugent, aged 15 years, is an orphan who has come to Laburnum Villa

"to finish her neglected education and, in return, make herself generally useful. Quite a charity!"

 

"So Ann Nugent made herself generally useful, which means a great deal sometimes; she taught the little ones, saw to the practising of scales and exercises, did all the mending of the household, packed and unpacked the girls' boxes, wrote notes, ran errands, helped the hard-worked servants, was the earliest up in the morning and the latest in bed at night, and learnt what she could in the meantime, which as you can fancy, was not very much."

 

education & literacy

 

The story begins at Miss Primmer's "Seminary for young ladies... so severely proper... so aggressively modest, so loudly retiring..."

 

The "cheerful sound" of a Punch and Judy "penetrated to the schoolroom, where it roused he girls from the torpor of English grammar..."

 

Miss Primmer plans to present Mr. Garnett with a book,

"Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy," bound in purple morocco, with gilt edges rather sticking together—a sweet book, both inside and out, and exactly suited to the occasion."  Miss Primmer writes "an elegantly expressed inscription in the most pointed and finest of Italian hands on the flyleaf."  Miss P.'s favorite, "as a mark of special favor, had been allowed to work in book-mark to put in the book, at Miss Primmer's favorite passage—'Souvenir," in beads, on perforated card, with a peacock at the end splendid in purple and gold, the appropriateness of which will be evident to the meanest intellect." 

Tom Garnett's opinion of both Miss Primmer and Tupper is to consider them "humbugs."

 

Evelyn Whitaker Library is a physical archive of print materials concerning a late Victorian author. This website is a digital exhibition of that archive. It is also the place where I publish the results of my research into the life and writings of Evelyn Whitaker.
I strive to comply with copyright law.  I believe all the quotations and illustrations on this website are either in the public domain or comply with standards of fair use.  My original materials, including my synopses, my notes on Victorian life, and articles bearing my byline,  are copyrighted. 
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K Cummings Pipes. Evelyn Whitaker Library. http://www.evelynwhitakerlibrary.org/
 
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