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Joyce Morrell's Harvest The Annals of Selwick Hall   By: (1836-1893)

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Joyce Morrell's Harvest, by Emily Sarah Holt.

This book is one of a series involving the same late sixteenth century family. Its predecessor is "Lettice Eden", and its successor is "It might have been." Readers may find a little difficulty with the language, for it is written in Elizabethan English, though that won't bother you if you are familiar with the plays of Shakespeare.

Three young teenage girls, and their aunt Joyce are chatting together one evening, when one of the girls suggests they might all try to keep a journal. The idea is scoffed at, because, it was said, nothing ever happens in their neck of the woods. A few exaggerated examples of the daily events that might be recorded were given, but nonetheless, they applied to their father for the paper, pens and ink, that they would need, and set to work, taking it in turns to write up the journal.

It is slightly annoying that every proper name is written in italics, which your reviewer found rather unusual, but you can get used to anything, and once you have done that it doesn't seem too bad.

The author was said to be a good historian, and so you will find the book informative and interesting, as the great issues of the day are discussed, many of them being of a religious nature.



Those to whom "Lettice Eden" is an old friend will meet with many acquaintances in these pages. The lesson is partly of the same type the difference between that which seems, and that which is; between the gold which will stand the fire, and the imitation which the flame will dissolve in a moment; between the true diamond, small though it be, which is worth a fortune, and the glittering paste which is worth little more than nothing.

But here there is a further lesson beyond this. It is one which God takes great pains to teach us, and which we, alas! are very slow to learn. "Tarry thou the Lord's leisure." In the dim eyes of frail children of earth, God's steps are often very slow. We are too apt to forget that they are very sure. But He will not be hurried: He has eternity to work in, "If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us." How many of us, who fancied their prayers unheard because they could not see the answer, may find that answer, rich, abundant, eternal, in that Land where they shall know as they are known! Let us wait for God. We shall find some day that it was worth while.



"He would be on the mountain's top, without the toil and travail of the climbing." Tupper.

SELWICK HALL, LAKE DERWENTWATER, OCTOBER YE FIRST, MDLXXIX. It came about, as I have oft noted things to do, after a metely deal of talk, yet right suddenly in the end.

Aunt Joyce , Milly , Edith , and I, were in the long gallery. We had been talking a while touching olden times (whereof Aunt Joyce is a rare hand at telling of stories), and Mother's chronicle she was wont to keep, and hath shown us, and such like matter. When all at once quoth Edith

"Why should not we keep a chronicle?"

"Ay, why not?" saith Aunt Joyce , busied with her sewing.

Milly fell a laughing.

"Dear heart, Edith , and what should we put in a chronicle?" saith she. "` Monday , the cat washed her face. Tuesday , it rained. Wednesday , Nell made a tansy pudding. Thursday , I lost my temper. Friday , I found it again. Saturday , Edith looked in the mirror, and Aunt Joyce made an end of a piece of sewing.' Good lack, it shall be a rare jolly book!"

"Nay, I would never set down such stuff as that," answered Edith .

"Why, what else is there?" saith Milly . "We have dwelt hither ever since we were born, saving when we go to visit Aunt Joyce , and one day is the very cut of an other. Saving when Master Stuyvesant came hither, nought never happened in this house since I was born... Continue reading book >>

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