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BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge

keberoxu 13 Mar 18 - 07:19 PM
JennieG 14 Mar 18 - 12:25 AM
keberoxu 14 Mar 18 - 09:23 AM
Rapparee 14 Mar 18 - 12:25 PM
keberoxu 16 Mar 18 - 06:51 PM
Mo the caller 18 Mar 18 - 06:52 AM
Mo the caller 18 Mar 18 - 06:53 AM
Mo the caller 18 Mar 18 - 07:13 AM
keberoxu 18 Mar 18 - 11:40 AM
keberoxu 18 Mar 18 - 11:46 AM
Mo the caller 18 Mar 18 - 04:03 PM
keberoxu 19 Mar 18 - 06:17 PM
keberoxu 20 Mar 18 - 01:35 PM
keberoxu 22 Mar 18 - 12:50 PM
keberoxu 23 Mar 18 - 07:33 PM

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Subject: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 07:19 PM

ach, the Mudcat doesn't like me at the moment.
I posted an initial post, submitted it, and the monster ate it up.
Tiring.

Some of Elizabeth Goudge's historical fiction novels:

The Dean's Watch
The White Witch
Green Dolphin Street (made into a period-costume feature film)
The Middle Window (Scotland and Culloden)
Pilgrim Inn

and one work of C.S. Lewis-style fantasy:
The Little White Horse


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: JennieG
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 12:25 AM

I remember reading one of her books a very very long time ago, but can't remember which one it was! Green Dolphin Street is ringing a dim distant bell.

It was a long time ago, after all......


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 09:23 AM

One of Elizabeth Goudge's great loves
was the Channel Islands,
and several books feature those Islands.

Green Dolphin Street is one of those books.
It's an adventure, and so it's not limited to the islands:
it travels by clipper to New Zealand
in the era when the English were just colonizing the place.

Moreover, there is the homage to Mont-Saint-Michel
in the form of a fictitious convent at the top
of an enormous cliff which, at high tide,
is accessible only by seacraft if memory serves.
One of the characters scales the cliff bare-handed.
When Green Dolphin Street was made into a movie,
with both English and American stars in the cast,
the cliff-climbing scene was a very big deal in the film;
people who have seen the film (not me) recall the suspense.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Mar 18 - 12:25 PM

They were very popular back in the '70s. We always needed multiple copies.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Mar 18 - 06:51 PM

J. K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter books,
is widely quoted about the children's fantasy books that inspired her and which she admires;

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge, is one of them.
I am getting my branch library to borrow a copy for me,
as I have yet to read it.

The Little White Horse appears to be children's fantasy
in the sense of C.S. Lewis's Narnia books.
Multiple editions have kept it in print,
and more than once the book has been
adapted for television.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 06:52 AM

I seem to remember from the late 60s that a lot of her books were mystical-religious-telepathic, the way I wished the world was, rather than the way I thought it was.
Which was the one about the girl with the nasty teacher and the bomber pilot?


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 06:53 AM

....the one about the girl with the nasty teacher and the bomber pilot and a dog called Mouse


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 07:13 AM

Ah yes, I'm thinking about the Eliot trilogy
Bird in the Tree
Herb of Grace
Heart of the Family

full list here


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 11:40 AM

Dogs! Elizabeth Goudge treated family dogs as attentively
as she treated the human characters in her books.

The dog called Mouse is a little gray Cairn terrier.
I think a female? She lives with the Eliot family.
But she shows up only in book 3 of the Eliot group of books.
The first two Eliot books feature two aging dogs
called Pooh-Bah and The Bastard.

The Eliot family includes the bomber pilot, and you are right,
he is in book 3.
"The Heart of the Family" is the title of Book 3 as you posted.
Actually he is an Eliot, the pilot, and as an Eliot he is in all three books;
but in The Bird in the Tree, the first of the Eliot books,
he has yet to serve in the armed forces.

Now, then: the nasty teacher.
This sounds like a different Elizabeth Goudge title,
"The Rosemary Tree,"
about a private school for girls
whose headmistress dies after an illness;
one of the nasty teachers is confronted by the parent of
two sister students.
Because the parent is the local vicar,
he not only confronts the nasty teacher
but forces a conversion experience and a penance!


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 11:46 AM

If katlaughing were still with us, she would reiterate
some of her old posts on older Mudcat threads,
in which she sang the praises of an Elizabeth Goudge novel.

"The White Witch" is the name of katlaughing's favored book.
I have yet to read this one.
The setting is Cromwell's England,
when "witches" were burned at the stake.

Another Mudcat member was partial to
"The Middle Window," which was made into a television film in Germany,
called "Das Mittlere Fenster."
This historical novel examined reincarnation.
The more historical part of the novel
took place in Scotland at the time of Culloden;
the reincarnated souls were reborn in the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Mar 18 - 04:03 PM

I think you are right,it's a long time since I read them.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Mar 18 - 06:17 PM

Cathedral towns are also settings of Elizabeth Goudge books,
as Goudge began her childhood in a cathedral town.

One of these cathedral novels is
The Dean's Watch,
the subject of posts on old threads by
Mudcatter McGrath of Harlow -- he seems not to be posting lately.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Mar 18 - 01:35 PM

I hope to spend the next blizzard
(due tomorrow)
curled up with a circulating library copy of
The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Mar 18 - 12:50 PM

Sat down yesterday to read
The Little White Horse for the first time.

It's easy to see why this book has such a good reputation
decades after it was published.
The writing is exceptional, well-thought and deliberate.
The mythology is familiar and magical.
The characters are delineated in loving detail.
The animals, whether mundane or magical, are characters in their own right.

More than one television/film adaptation exists of this book;
the book remains better known,
and better regarded, than the attempts to adapt it for television.

Don't want to spoil it, but suffice to say
that the little white horse is something much more than a horse.


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Subject: RE: BS: the books of Elizabeth Goudge
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 07:33 PM

Having reflections and second thoughts on
The Little White Horse.

In some respects, this children's fantasy by Elizabeth Goudge
is a throwback to the nineteenth-century Aberdeenshire native,
George MacDonald, he of
The Princess and the Goblins and
The Princess and Curdie,
among numerous other children's books.

I say "throwback" because of the emphasis on nobility, aristocracy,
and royalty.
MacDonald had some wonderful Wise Woman characters,
a breakthrough of Jungian proportions in those days;
but every growing girl had to be a Princess, it seemed,
in his children's books.
Growing girls had to be exalted to be protagonists.

And so it is in The Little White Horse,
in which the newly-orphaned young lady, with her governess,
goes to the land of her ancestors
and finds that there, she is next in line to the throne.
Which means that now, with her exalted status,
she is qualified to be the protagonist in her own history.

This kind of fabulous exalted princess thing
has its place, and yet it really has been done to death.
With the changing times and mores,
the young lady who need not be exalted in order to make a difference
is more forward-looking, more promising for the future.


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