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Brave and True Short stories for children by G. M. Fenn and Others   By: (1831-1909)

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Brave and True, Short stories for children by G M Fenn and others.

Although Fenn's name appears on the cover, and on the title page, he does not appear to have written more than one of the stories, and the story that gave its name to the book was not by him. There are several stories that were not signed by an author's name, so we have a mystery there. They were probably just using Fenn's name to sell the book.

The target audience appears to be seven or eight year olds; certainly not the sixteen year olds that Fenn generally aimed for. There are twelve items, three of which are rather trivial "poems". The nine short stories all have the theme "Brave and True", and vary in their settings from small boarding schools in the Home Counties, to the Rocky Mountains.

We had originally intended to produce this book merely as a pdf (which is of course still available), but with an effort of will we managed to make an xhtml book of it, though this does not have all the delightful little line drawings that appeared throughout the eighty pages of the book.

It is possible that the principal merit of this book is the way it throws light on the lives of the younger boarding school boys and girls of the nineteenth century, particularly eight to thirteen year old boys. I can tell you that not a lot had changed by the time I was at such a school, less than fifty years later. Even the Eton collar and the bum freezer jacket was familiar to me! NH




"But I say, Martin, tell us about it! My pater wrote to me that you'd done no end of heroic things, and saved Bullace senior from being killed. His pater told him, so I know it's all right. But wasn't it a joke you two should be on the same ship?"

Martin looked up at his old schoolfellow. He had suddenly become a person of importance in the well known old haunts where he had learned and played only as one of the schoolboys.

"It wasn't much of a joke sometimes," said he. "I thought at first that I was glad to see a face I knew. But there were lots of times after that when I didn't think it."

"Wasn't old Bullfrog amiable, then?"

"He was never particularly partial to me, you know," answered Martin. "The first term I was at school before you came I remember I caught him out at a cricket match. He was always so sure of making top score! He called me an impudent youngster in those days."

"He never was too good to you, I remember. I was one of the chaps he let alone."

"Well, he went on calling me an impudent youngster," continued Martin, "and all that sort of thing and he tried to set the other fellows against me. Oh, it isn't all jam in the Royal Navy! You haven't left school when you go there , and the gunroom isn't always just exactly paradise, you know! And if your seniors try to make it hot for you, why they can!"

"So you and Bullfrog didn't exactly hit it off?"

"Oh, well, he was sub lieutenant this last voyage, and you can't stand up to your senior officer as you can to your schoolfellows, don't you see?"

There was a minute's silence, broken by an eager request. "But tell us about the battle. What did it feel like to be there? How was it old Bullfrog let you go at all?"

"He hadn't the ordering of that , thank goodness," said Martin fervently. "And I was jolly glad he hadn't! We had some excitement getting those big guns along, I can tell you! The roads weren't just laid out for that game."

"Well, go on," said another eager voice. "Then one day we came upon the enemy, and there was a stand up fight, you know. How did it feel? Well, there wasn't much thinking about it. You just knew that you were ready to blaze at them, and they were popping at you from their entrenchments; and that you jolly well meant to give them the worst of it... Continue reading book >>

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