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Monday
Jun212010

Children of Green Knowe

Last week's featured work of art in the Middle Grade Gallery came from L.M. Boston's The Children of Green Knowe (1955; this edition, Harcourt Young Classics, 2002).  No one guessed.  I hope this is a reflection of how many people visit books together and not of how many people read Lucy Boston, because the Green Knowe Chronicles are wonderful.  Old-fashioned, yes, but in the very best sense of the word.  There's an ancient manor house, an almost equally ancient great-grandmother, and the ghosts of the three children in the painting--Toby, Alexander, and Linnet.

The painting of the Oldknow children (which can be glimpsed in the background of Brett Helquist's cover illustration for this edition) is at the center of the second book in the chronicles, Treasure of Green Knowe.  It's gone to an exhibition in London and may have to be sold.  Worst of all, its ghosts (but not all of them) have gone with it.  I think I like it even better than the first.

Reader Comments (8)

My feed reader hath seen fit to only just NOW post the previous post...I could have TOTALLY won that! I wrote my college thesis on L. M. Boston....

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Now there is a thesis I would like to read. What was it about?

June 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterAnamaria

It was my honors thesis - a separate animal from my senior thesis, which was on Randall Jarrell's children's books - and was actually a linked collection of shorter essays that added up to about 40 pages. They include sections on the history of The Manor (the house that inspired Green Knowe), a sort of general theory about the characters, the female characters, and Hanno and Ping's roles as refugees. It was fun! I didn't really like most of my college classes, but I liked writing papers - when I could pick the subject and so on.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I wrote all my major papers on children's lit. I completely subverted my english lit. degree (-:) For Milton class I did His Dark Materials, for Shakespeare it was Susan Cooper's King of Shadows, etc. I'm still not sure how I convinced my professors, but I'm glad they let me - it was the only thing that made school bearable. That and language classes.

June 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Brilliant, Jennifer. I think your professors were wise to let you work with children's lit (I wish I had thought of that), and would love to visit Lucy Boston's Manor House one day myself. Haven't gotten to Hanno and Ping yet--I have to admit that I just discovered Green Knowe myself.

June 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterAnamaria

You have a lovely journey ahead of you!

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I just checked this book out to read to my daughter! It's been years since I've read it, but I've read it a number of times. The main character's name is what my youngest brother was called for the first few years of his life.

June 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaints and Spinners

Oh, please let me know if she enjoys it, Farida. I've been thinking about reading it to my own kids, too. Was your little brother called after Tolly in the book or was it a family nickname?

June 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterAnamaria

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