Daddy-Long-Legs

Whenever we get a rare day cold enough for a fire, I curl up with a glass of sherry and one of my favorite “girl” books. Tonight it was Jean Webster‘s Daddy-Long-Legs, because I just retrieved it from DF. I purchased this copy in Japan where it is published as a foreign classic for students of English. However, it is now in the public domain, so you could download it from Project Gutenberg. I don’t think that reading it online would give you the same pleasure as reading a real book in front of a fire. And the drawings are integral to the narrative.

It is written as a series of letters from the orphan, Judy, to an unknown benefactor (Daddy-Long-Legs) who has sent her to college.

Originally published in 1912, this book is, in a word, charming. I have nothing more to say about it, except that if you’re a girl, or have any girlishness left in you, you should cuddle up all toasty and read it, especially if you like reading chatty letters.

“Oh, I’m developing a beautiful character! It droops a bit under cold and frost, but it does grow fast when the sun shines.” — p 45

“Do you want to know what I look like? Here’s a photograph of all three that Leonora Fenton took.

“The light one who is laughing is Sallie, and the tall one with her nose in the air is Julia, and the little one with the hair blowing across her face is Judy–she is really more beautiful than that, but the sun was in her eyes.” — p 64

“I’ve been hearing about Shakespeare all my life, but I had no idea he really wrote so well; I always suspected him of going largely on his reputation.” — p 75

“[Mrs. Semple] never lets ideas interrupt the easy flow of her conversation.” — p 105

“The feeling often comes over me that I am not at all remarkable; it is fun to plan a career, but in all probability I shan’t turn out a bit different from any other ordinary person. I may end by marrying an undertaker and being an inspiration to him in his work.” — p 143

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