sunday best #11: “The Young Visiters”

The Young Visiters [sic]
Daisy Ashford
First published in 1919

Big Tam Connery says:

The Young Vishitersh ish a book written by a Victorian child, at the age of nine. It came to the attention of JM Barrie, when Daishy wash older, and in hish prefashe he deshcribesh the book as ‘remarkable in itsh length and completenessh’. He’sh rather rude about the Child Author and her idioshyncratic shpelling, but Daishy, in her own wonderful shtyle, ish very frank about the inner livesh of the charactersh she’sh showing ush.

The shtory conshernsh a young lady called Ethel who ashpiresh to the High Life. Ethel meetsh a Mr Shalteena, who ish ‘not quite a gentleman’ (and hash very tender feelingsh) and she goesh to shtay with him. They vishit other people’sh houshesh, and the Cryshtal Palashe, and there ish mucsh detail of taking tea and nobility and their shervantsh and behaving correctly, all rendered in her odd way, ash here:

Could I be anything at Buckingham Pallace said Mr Salteena with flashing eyes.
Oh well I dont quite know said the noble earl but you might perhaps gallopp beside the royal baroushe if you care to try.
Oh indeed I should cried Mr Salteena I am very fond of fresh air and royalties.
Well said the earl with a knowing smile I might arrange it with the prince of Wales who I am rarther intimate with.
Not really gasped Mr Salteena.
Dear me yes remarked the earl carelessly and if we decide for your to gallopp by the royal viacle you must be mesured for some plush knickerbockers at once.
Mr Salteena glanced at his rarther fat legs and sighed.

To read it ish to indulge in the innoshent pleashure of watching a young mind at play. When I’m tired of life and of contemporary writing by fine minds, and jusht want to be amushed, it never failsh to make me shmile.

“The Young Visiters” is recommended by @BigTamConnery (see also his six things).
  • First published: 1919
  • Current availability: Available on Amazon UK

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