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A Flat Iron for a Farthing or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son   By: (1841-1885)

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A Flat Iron for a Farthing or Some Passages in the Life of an Only Son is a delightful yet heartwarming book by Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing. This timeless tale follows the life of Hugh, an imaginative and endearing young boy, as he navigates the challenges and adventures that come his way.

From the very beginning, readers are drawn into Hugh's world, where he exists as an only child in a loving yet financially struggling family. The story beautifully captures the essence of Victorian England, where societal norms and economic realities heavily influenced one's prospects in life. Ewing does a remarkable job of depicting the hardships faced by families like Hugh's, while also infusing a sense of hope and resilience into the narrative.

The central theme of the book revolves around the transformative power of kindness and empathy. Throughout the story, Hugh encounters various characters from different social backgrounds, each with their own set of struggles. Through his genuine compassion and desire to help, he manages to make a positive impact on their lives. This overarching message not only resonates with children but also with readers of all ages, as it reminds us of the importance of compassion in a world that sometimes feels disconnected.

Ewing's writing style is captivating, displaying her ability to seamlessly transport the readers into different scenes and environments. Her attention to detail paints vivid pictures in the mind, making the story come alive with every turn of the page. Additionally, her use of imaginative language and descriptive metaphors adds depth and richness to the narrative, enhancing the reader's experience.

What sets A Flat Iron for a Farthing apart is the author's ability to tackle both the light-hearted moments of childhood innocence and the more somber aspects of life in a delicate balance. The story effortlessly transitions between humorous escapades and more profound observations about societal divisions and prejudices. It is a testament to Ewing's skill as a storyteller that she can address these weighty themes while maintaining a sense of childlike wonder and innocence throughout the book.

As a children's book, A Flat Iron for a Farthing is a perfect choice for young readers eager to explore different worlds and meet fascinating characters. However, it also holds a special appeal for older readers who can appreciate the timeless lessons it imparts. Ewing's book serves as a gentle reminder that the simple acts of kindness, empathy, and understanding can make a significant difference in our lives and the lives of others.

In conclusion, A Flat Iron for a Farthing or Some Passages in the Life of an Only Son is a heartfelt and engaging book that captures the essence of childhood, compassion, and the importance of empathy. Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing's masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions make this a must-read for both children and adults alike. It is a book that will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.

First Page:

[Illustration: Mrs. Bundle (see p. 3).]



Some Passages in the Life of an only Son


Juliana Horatia Ewing

Illustrated by

M. V. Wheelhouse

George Bell & Sons








E. B.

OBIT 3 MARCH, 1872, ÆT. 83.

J. H. E.


An apology is a sorry Preface to any book, however insignificant, and yet I am anxious to apologise for the title of this little tale. The story grew after the title had been (hastily) given, and so many other incidents gathered round the incident of the purchase of the flat iron as to make it no longer important enough to appear upon the title page. It would, however, be dishonest to change the name of a tale which is reprinted from a Magazine; and I can only apologise for an appearance of affectation in it which was not intended... Continue reading book >>

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