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Penelope's English Experiences

Kate Douglas Wiggin

Book Overview: 

Penelope's English Experiences is a fictional travelogue, which documents the experiences of three American ladies on a visit to England. Included are scenes in London and the village of Belvern, containing fanciful sketches of a West-end ball, portraits of domestic originals, etc., characterized by humorous trifling and droll exaggeration of English traits. By the author Mother Carey's Chickens, A Cathedral Courtship, etc.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .America. He is thoroughly respectable, I should think, my urban Colin. He does not have the air of a gay deceiver roving from flower to flower, stealing honey as he goes; he looks, on the contrary, as if it were his intention to lead Phoebe to the altar on the next bank holiday; there is a dead calm in his actions which bespeaks no other course. If Colin were a Don Juan, surely he would be a trifle more ardent, for there is no tropical fervour in his matter-of-fact caresses. He does not embrace Phoebe in the park, apparently, because he adores her to madness; because her smile is like fire in his veins, melting down all his defences; because the intoxication of her nearness is irresistible; because, in fine, he cannot wait until he finds a more secluded spot: nay, verily, he embraces her because—tell me, infatuated fruiterers, poulterers, soldiers, haberdashers (limited), what is your reason? For it does not appear to the casual eye. Stormy weather does not vex the . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book was recommended to me by a friend at library school cause we're both quite fond of the late Victorian/Early Edwardian era. This book seemed like what would happen if Elizabeth Gaskell tried to write teen-romance. It was very amusing and charming (though without Gaskell's grasp of humanity)

Of the Penelope books, this one is the best. They're all travelogues disguised as romances. It was fun exploring the travel norms in that day

Pleasant and mildly humorous account of three young American women visiting England in the 1890s. There are some amusing incidents, I particularly liked the part where the narrator, Penelope, staying in’Belvern’ (a lightly fictionalised Malvern) persuades her landlady, who is hard up, to start servi

This was cute and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.

Sweet and clever fictional travelogue of an artist with a not-too-biting wit who visits England with two richer friends. The highlight of the book is when they host a dinner-party whose entertainment is the ball being given across the street and they make up the most delicious story about the people

Delightful Edwardian travelogue about 3 American ladies in London and the countryside.

In 1890 something, three American girls go to London for the Season. There's Selemina, almost 40 and as English as if she had been born there; Penelope, almost 30 and an artist and Francesca, almost 20 and searching for a wealthy husband. The girls enjoy the delights London has to offer and discover