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Betty Trevor   By: (1857-1917)

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Betty Trevor

by Mrs George de Horne Vaizey (aka Jessie Mansergh) This book concerns a family where the children consist of a couple of boys, and a few more than that of girls. They live in a Square in London, which bears the name of an existing London Square, but which is placed, according to the story, in quite a different place to the real one. The children are fascinated by the occupants of the various other houses, some of whom they gradually get to know.

The children grow up, the boys are away doing interesting things, and the girls become interested in their own clothes and appearances. This may be just a male's view of the story, but it seems like it to me, for there doesn't seem to be nearly as much life as you find in the same author's Pixie books. Well, I suppose that's not true: there is a subtle undercurrent of old love affairs revived that runs right to the very last page and that is one of Mrs Vaizey's greatest skills. If you haven't done so, do read the little biography we have written of her, as it will help you to understand her writing rather better than if you don't.

Still, you read the book, and see what you think. You may well be pleasantly surprised. BETTY TREVOR




"There goes the `Pampered Pet' again! Got its little keeper with it, as usual. Why don't they lead her by a chain, and be done with it?"

Miles stood by the schoolroom window, hands jingling in pockets, as he surveyed a prospect, sufficiently grey and drear to make any diversity doubly welcome, and at his words there came the sound of a general pushing back of chairs, as the four other occupants of the room dashed forward to share in the view.

They jostled each other with the scant courtesy which brothers and sisters are apt to show each other in early days; five big boys and girls, ranging between the ages of eight and nineteen. Miles kept his central position by reason of superior strength, a vigorous dig of his pointed elbow being enough to keep trespassers at a distance. Betty darted before him and nimbly dropped on her knees, the twins stood on either side of the window sill, while poor Pam grumbled and fretted in the background, dodging here and there to try all positions in turn, and finding each as unsatisfactory as the last.

The Square gardens looked grey and sodden with the desolation of autumn in a city, and the road facing the window was empty, except for two female figures a lady, and a girl of sixteen, who were slowly approaching the corner. The lady was dressed in black, the girl was noticeably smart, in a pretty blue costume, with dainty boots on her tiny feet, and a fur cap worn at the fashionable angle on her golden head.

"That's a new dress, the fifth I've seen her in this month!" sighed Betty enviously. "Wearing it on an afternoon like this, too. The idea! Serve her right if it were soaked through!"

"Look at her mincing over the puddles! She'd rather go a mile out of her way than get a splash on those precious boots. I'm sure by the look of them that they pinch her toes! I am glad you girls don't make ninnies of yourselves by wearing such stupid things."

"Can't! Feet too big!" mumbled Jill, each cheek bulging in turn with the lump of toffee which she was mechanically moving from side to side, so as to lengthen the enjoyment as much as possible.

"Can't! Too poor! Only four shillings to last out till the end of the quarter!" sighed Betty, dolorous again.

"Boots! Boots! What boots? Let me see her boots. It's mean! You won't let me see a thing!" cried Pam, pushing her shaggy head round Miles' elbow, and craning forward on the tip of her toes. "I say! She's grander than ever to day, isn't she?"

"Look at the umbrella! About as thick as a lead pencil!" scoffed Jill, flattening her nose against the pane... Continue reading book >>

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