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Majorie Daw

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Book Overview: 

The story, which is written entirely as a series of letters between two friends, concerns the invention of an imaginary young woman, Marjorie Daw, by one correspondent, intended as a harmless diversion. When the other correspondent becomes madly smitten with the imaginary Ms Daw, the first correspondent is forced to confess his ruse.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e to yourself a large white house just across the road, nearly opposite our cottage. It is not a house, but a mansion, built, perhaps, in the colonial period, with rambling extensions, and gambrel roof, and a wide piazza on three sides—a self-possessed, high-bred piece of architecture, with its nose in the air. It stands back from the road, and has an obsequious retinue of fringed elms and oaks and weeping willows. Sometimes in the morning, and oftener in the afternoon, when the sun has withdrawn from that part of the mansions, a young woman appears on the piazza with some mysterious Penelope web of embroidery in her hand, or a book. There is a hammock over there—of pineapple fibre, it looks from here. A hammock is very becoming when one is eighteen, and has golden hair, and dark eyes, and an emerald-colored illusion dress looped up after the fashion of a Dresden china shepherdess, and is chaussee like a belle of the time of Louis Quatorze. All this splendor g. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Very readable, and not at all the surprise ending I was anticipating!

I'm going to give this one an okay. Nice short story, nothing special.

Oh boy! Another short story I stumbled on by accident again in one of my Mom's old short story anthology books. You will have to read it for the fun surprise ending! Another very re -readable short story!


"Marjorie Daw" is a short story first published about 1869. I read it in the 1960's. It is about two friends exchanging letters as one of them recovers from an injury. One friend keeps up his injured friends spirits by making up a story about a young woman. His good intentions backfire ...more

Some reviewers here are impressed by the surprise ending. I'm surprised they're impressed.