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Mirimirage

Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
The Return of the Twelves - Pauline Clarke
I'm sorry I didn't know about this book as a child, I think it would have been a favorite. It is very much in the tradition of classic British children's fantasy, a la E Nesbit and Edward Eager.

Moving to a new house near Haworth, young Max finds a set of wooden soldiers hidden in the attic. Once the possession of the Bronte children, the soldiers have taken on the identities from the Brontes' youthful stories and come to life.

The plot is charming and gentle, and Clarke portrays the modern children's personalities and relationships very convincingly.

There are some gems here for adults as well. I loved eight-year-old Max's attempt at cultural relativism:
If he were an Ashanti king, the first person he would sacrifice would be Anthony Gore. He knew that it was wrong to make human sacrifices, but then, if were an Ashanti king in those old days, he would not know this, so it would be all right. He supposed. When they knew better, they stopped doing it. Max wondered if they missed it very much.
My one major complaint is not with the author at all. I have the first American edition, by Coward-McCann (1963). I hope they are (or were, since I think they were absorbed by Penguin) properly ashamed of the inexcusably sloppy job they did printing this. There are several places in the second half where text is suddenly cut off, skipped, or replaced with text that was already printed on an earlier page. Big chunks that I don't see how any proofreader could have missed, like one page ending a paragraph and the next starting mid-sentence. This happened enough that I did actually miss a couple bits out of the story.