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Girls of the Forest   By: (1854-1914)

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GIRLS OF THE FOREST

GUARANTEE

The story in this book is complete as written and published by the Author

MACLELLAN ·N·Y· COMPANY

GIRLS OF THE FOREST

L. T. MEADE

AUTHOR OF ALWYN'S FRIENDS, BEYOND THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, GOOD LUCK, PLAYMATES, PRETTY GIRL AND THE OTHERS, THE PALACE BEAUTIFUL, ETC.

AKRON, OHIO MACLELLAN ·N·Y· COMPANY PUBLISHERS

BIOGRAPHY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

L. T. Meade (Mrs. Elizabeth Thomasina Smith), English novelist, was born at Bandon, County Cork, Ireland, 1854, the daughter of Rev. R. T. Meade, rector at Novohal, County Cork, and married Toulmin Smith in 1879. She wrote her first book, Lettie's Last Home , at the age of 17, and since then has been an unusually prolific writer, her stories attaining wide popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.

She worked in the British Museum, lived in Bishopsgate Without, making special studies of East London life, which she incorporated in her stories. She edited the Atlanta , a magazine, for six years. Her pictures of girls, especially in the influence they exert on their elders, are drawn with intuitive fidelity, pathos, love, and humor, as in Girls of the Forest , flowing easily from her pen. She has traveled extensively, and is devoted to motoring and other outdoor sports.

Among more than fifty novels she has written, dealing largely with questions of home life, are: A Knight of To day (1877), Bel Marjory (1878), Mou setse: a Negro Hero (1880), Mother Herring's Chickens (1881), A London Baby: The Story of King Roy (1883), Two Sisters (1884), The Angel of Life (1885), A World of Girls (1886), Sweet Nancy (1887), Nobody's Neighbors (1887), Deb and The Duchess (1888), Girls of the Forest (1908), Aylwyn's Friends (1909), Pretty Girl and the Others (1910).

GIRLS OF THE FOREST.

CHAPTER I.

THE GUEST WHO WAS NEITHER OLD NOR YOUNG.

It was a beautiful summer's afternoon, and the girls were seated in a circle on the lawn in front of the house. The house was an old Elizabethan mansion, which had been added to from time to time fresh additions jutting out here and running up there. There were all sorts of unexpected nooks and corners to be found in the old house a flight of stairs just where you did not look for any, and a baize door shutting away the world at the moment when you expected to behold a long vista into space. The house itself was most charming and inviting looking; but it was also, beyond doubt, much neglected. The doors were nearly destitute of paint, and the papers on many of the walls had completely lost their original patterns. In many instances there were no papers, only discolored walls, which at one time had been gay with paint and rendered beautiful with pictures. The windows were destitute of curtains; the carpets on the floors were reduced to holes and patches. The old pictures in the picture gallery still remained, however, and looked down on the young girls who flitted about there on rainy days with kindly, or searching, or malevolent eyes as suited the characters of those men and women who were portrayed in them.

But this was the heart of summer, and there was no need to go into the musty, fusty old house. The girls sat on the grass and held consultation.

"She is certainly coming to morrow," said Verena. "Father had a letter this morning. I heard him giving directions to old John to have the trap patched up and the harness mended. And John is going to Lyndhurst Road to meet her. She will arrive just about this time. Isn't it too awful?"

"Never mind, Renny," said her second sister; "the sooner she comes, the sooner she'll go. Briar and Patty and I have put our heads together, and we mean to let her see what we think of her and her interfering ways... Continue reading book >>




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