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More About Peggy   By: (1857-1917)

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More About Peggy, by Mrs G. de Horne Vaizey

This is another excellent book by Mrs de Horne Vaizey, dating from the end of the nineteenth century. While of course it is dated in its references to the world around its actors, yet nevertheless their emotions are well described, and no doubt are timeless.

In some ways the world around the people in the book is recognisable today, in a way which a book written thirty or forty years before would not have been. They have electricity, telephones, trains, buses, and many other things that we still use regularly today. Of course one major difference is that few people today have servants, while middle class and upper class families of the eighteen nineties would certainly have had them.

Today we travel by aeroplane, while in those days, and indeed for much of my own life, we travelled by ship and train. It was normal when travelling back to England from India to disembark at Marseilles, and come on to the Channel Ports by train, perhaps even spending a week or two in Italy, en route. I have done it myself.

So it is not so very dated after all. But I do think there is a real value in reading the book. Oddly enough, I think that a boy would benefit from reading any of the author's books, more than a girl would, because it would give him an insight into the girlish mind which he could not so easily otherwise obtain. And as the young ladies of this book are trying to sort out whom they should marry, matters do get quite girlish. N.H.




It was mid January, and at home in England the ground was white with snow, but the sun shone down with brazen glare on the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, along which a P and O steamer was gliding on its homeward way. An awning was hoisted over the deck, but not a breath of wind fluttered its borders, and the passengers lay back in their deck chairs too limp and idle to do more than flick over the pages of the books which they were pretending to read. It was only twenty four hours since they had left Calcutta, and they were still in that early stage of journeying when they looked askance at their fellows, decided that never, no, never had Fate placed them in the midst of such uninteresting companions, and determined to keep severely to themselves during the rest of the voyage.

The stout lady in the white pique stared stonily at the thin lady in drill, and decided that she was an "Impossible Person," blissfully unconscious of the fact that before Aden was reached she would pour all her inmost secrets into the "Impossible Person's" ear, and weep salt tears at parting from her at Marseilles. The mother of the sickly little girls in muslin swept them away to the other end of the deck when she discovered them playing with the children who inhabited the next state room, and the men stared at one another stolidly across the smoking room. The more experienced travellers knew that ere a week had passed the scene would be changed, that a laughing babel of voices would succeed the silence, and deck sports and other entertainments take the place of inaction; but the younger members of the party saw no such alleviation ahead, and resigned themselves to a month of frosty solitude.

The ladies dozed amongst their cushions, but the men strolled up and down the deck smoking their cigars with that air of resigned dejection which seems to be the monopoly of Englishmen of the upper classes. The quick movements, animated gestures, and sparkling eyes of the Southerner were all lacking in these strongly built, well dressed, well set up men, who managed to conceal all signs of animation so successfully that no one looking at them could have believed that one was the wit of his regiment, another celebrated throughout an Indian province for his courage and daring, and a third an expectant bridegroom!

About eleven o'clock a diversion was made on the upper deck by the appearance of two more travellers an elegant looking woman accompanied by her husband, who came forward in search of the deck chairs which had been placed in readiness for their use... Continue reading book >>

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