The Books of My Numberless Dreams

The perfect stories for your favourite child

Posted on: January 31, 2008

Eventually her father comes back, but Elsie is all awkward and shy with him, so he thinks she’s scared of him. Also, he secretly dislikes her. But he wants to be a good father to her, so he takes over every aspect of her life, particularly breakfast: she’s not allowed to drink coffee, eat meat or hot bread, and she won’t be allowed to taste butter until she’s, like, twelve. According to one of the pieces in The Girl’s Own, a collection of essays edited by Claudia Nelson and Lynn Vallone, some mid-nineteenth century doctors thought hot bread and coffee led to premature sexual development in young girls. Personally, I think avoiding her father’s friend Mr. Travilla would be as much help to Elsie on that front as giving up coffee. He’s creepy.

Anyway, Mr. Dinsmore grows to love Elsie, and of course she adores him, so they get along pretty well, so long as she’s completely obedient, which she always is, provided he doesn’t tell her to do anything fun on a Sunday. The one time he does, Elsie falls off a piano stool and hits her head, almost being killed.

Melody on Elsie Dinsmore written by Martha Finley

Maybe I’ll get a post up on that Moravia novel some time today. Maybe not. I have the first Elsie book opened in a different tab and a pile of books I need to go through and I haven’t had lunch.

1 Response to "The perfect stories for your favourite child"

You are unjust to Elsie. I love all her books.

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