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Holiday House

Catherine Sinclair

Book Overview: 

Extremely popular when it was published, this book was one of the first to include fairy tales which were not only didactic but also enjoyable and entertaining. But beware! These are not only fairy tales! They have lessons to teach and can be viewed as a historical document telling us very vividly about the time they were written.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .do you advance three steps backwards?”

“That is quite impossible, unless you turn me into a crab.”

“Tell me, then, which is the principal town in Caffraria?”

“Is there any town there? I do not recollect it.”

“Then so much the worse!—how are you ever to get through life without knowing the chief town in Caffraria! I am quite ashamed of your ignorance. Now let us try a little arithmetic! Open the door of your understanding and tell me, when wheat is six shillings a bushel, what is the price of a penny loaf. Take your slate and calculate that.”

“Yes, uncle David, if you will find out, when gooseberries are two shillings the pint, what is the price of a threepenny tart. You remind me of my old nursery song—

‘The man in the wilderness asked me, How many strawberries grew in the sea; I answered him, as I thought it good, As many red herrings as. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is the story of a typical upper-class Victorian family in England, originally written in 1839.

One of the earliest (1839) realistic novels written for children in English. It more similar to adult sentimental novels of the 19th century than to the moralistic/cautionary tales that were what was mainly written for children at this time. In contrast to those "Goofus and Gallant" type stories, Ho

This was not what I was expecting. I feel a little shell shocked.
Prepare for spoilers.
The first half (maybe a little over half) was a series of short stories of a brother and sister, Harry and Laura, getting into the most ridiculous scrapes you can imagine. They are a pair of troublesome children wh

Written in 1830 this is often described as being the first book for children where mischief is expected and celebrated by the author, and in the first half of the book there are amusing episodes of naughtiness and fun being poked at the strictures placed on Victorian upper/middle class children. How

Of its time, so it was interesting to read as a historical document.

Kinda weird...but it was seriously entertaining.