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More about Pixie   By: (1857-1917)

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More About Pixie, 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. It was a passing joke in the book that it was surprising that the butler, on discovering a young couple kissing, did not say, "Allow me, madam."

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. N.H.





The night nurse was dusting the room preparatory to going off duty for the day, and Sylvia was lying on her water bed watching her movements with gloomy, disapproving eyes. For four long weeks ever since the crisis had passed and she had come back to consciousness of her surroundings she had watched the same proceeding morning after morning, until its details had become almost unbearably wearisome to her weak nerves.

First of all came Mary to sweep the floor she went down on her knees, and swept up the dust with a small hand brush, and however carefully she might begin, it was quite, quite certain that she would end by knocking up against the legs of the bed, and giving a jar and shock to the quivering inmate. Then she would depart, and nurse would take the ornaments off the mantelpiece, flick the duster over them, and put them back in the wrong places.

It did not seem of the least importance to her whether the blue vase stood in the centre or at the side, but Sylvia had a dozen reasons for wishing to have it in exactly one position and no other. She liked to see its graceful shape and rich colouring reflected in the mirror which hung immediately beneath the gas bracket; if it were moved to the left it spoiled her view of a tiny water colour painting which was one of her greatest treasures, while if it stood on the right it ousted the greatest treasure of all the silver framed portrait of the dear, darling, most beloved of fathers, who was afar off at the other side of the world, tea planting in Ceylon.

Sylvia was too weak to protest, but she burrowed down among the clothes, and moped to herself in good old typhoid fashion. "Wish she would leave it alone! Wish people wouldn't bother about the room. Don't care if it is dusty! Wish I could be left in peace. Don't believe I shall ever be better. Don't believe my temperature ever will go down. Don't care if it doesn't! Wish father were home to come and talk, and cheer me up. Boo hoo hoo!"

The tears trickled down and splashed saltly against her lips, but she kept her sobs under control, for crying was a luxury which was forbidden by the authorities, and could only be indulged in by stealth.

The night nurse thought that the patient had fallen asleep, but when she went off duty, and her successor arrived, she cast a suspicious glance at the humped up bedclothes, and turned them down with a gentle but determined hand... Continue reading book >>

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