Children's novels published by Lutterworth Press CWS

The Lutterworth Press

The Lutterworth Press is still in business, on the Internet at www.lutterworth.com. Lutterworth accepted and printed more than twice as many of Savery's books as all other British publishers combined. It was a long, fruitful collaboration between an author who sought to serve her Lord with the talents granted her and editors--one editor in particular--who were encouraging and sympathetic, but blunt or incisive when strong council was needed. The order of the books is chronological.

The covers of original publications are on the left, to scale. Reprints and translations, reduced a further ten percent, are on the right.

THE LUTTERWORTH PRESS

Three Houses in Beverley Road. Frontispiece by H.(?) Spence. London: Gateway Series, Lutterworth Press. 1950. 126 pp. Printed by Fletcher and Son Ltd, Norwich and The Leighton-Straker Bookbinding Co. Ltd, London. Reprinted 1952. Issued originally, Jan. through Dec. 1948, as serial in BEEHIVE. Also serialized, date uncertain, in CHRISTIAN HERALD, as Neighbours. Translated, 1959, by Elisabeth Penserot into German as Wer spielt mit Benjamin? Illus. by Gertrud Lück. Wuppertal : Verlag Sonne und Schild. 112 pp. Printed by Carl Hoffmann jr., Solingen.

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Savery's first Lutterworth publication is something rare for her: a book with a social message. It addresses anti-semitism, and it is appropriate that the message has a Christian flavor, because Christian doctrines have often been used to justify the persecution of Jews. Savery will have none of that!

Judy Lascelles means well, but she frequently rushes in where angels fear to tread and finds herself in one difficulty after another. When she searches a water butt, only to fall in, it is her Jewish neighbor, Mr. Silverman, who rescues her, and the Silvermans are the very people Mrs. Lascelles has been anxious to avoid. She has better cause than most to be unfriendly. Her son, Flip, on duty with the British army during the partition of Palestine, was seriously injured, probably crippled for life, by a Jewish land mine. Now he is bedridden, and each surgeon's report is grimmer than the previous one. Between disasters, Judy has volunteered, with her mother's permission, to help the church with their annual Missionary Fair, but, unknown to Mrs. Lascelles, Judy's group is assisting with a Palestine Court. Friends of the Lascelles forbid their children to participate and think Mrs. Lascelles broad-minded, indeed. When she finds out what Judy is doing, she is upset, but with some help from Flip she earns her broad-minded label. As we do not hear Flip's advice on the subject of tolerance, neither do we hear an anti-semitic diatribe from Aunt Eliza, but we do hear it rebuked so effectively that Aunt Eliza shakes hands with her adversary and makes a contribution to the mission project.

Book cover When Savery preaches Christianity, as she often does, she prefers actions rather than words. So, too, when she preaches tolerance. This is a book about doing, not talking, and from Judy's misadventures to Flip's endurance, her sermon is as much fun as it is instructive.

Although the original book, its reprint, and the translation are easy to find, the two serials are not. The translation is straightforward. German names have been used: e.g., Constanze for Constance, Lassells for Lascelles, Benjamin Silbermann for Solomon Silverman, Brunhilde for Bryonie, Elsa for Eliza... Some of the intolerant speech has been toned down. The translation ends on page 111, so that a full page remains to tell the reader about the upcoming Die Kampfhähne von St. Morvyns, a translation of Savery's Meg Plays Fair, below.

Redhead at School. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Crown Library, Lutterworth Press, London. 1951. 128 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis & Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester and London. Reprinted 1955.

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We first encountered Danny and Charlotte Chevenix along with their many brothers and sisters in Danny and the Alabaster Box, which was published in 1937. Now they have returned, miraculously aged only three years since our last meeting. New to the scene is the redhead, Charity Browning, who tells the story. She has been sent to stay with the Chevenix family and to attend King Arthur's School. Unfortunately, she did not want to attend public school, was duped into coming to Falchester, and is now angry at Uncle Hereward (Uncle Arthur) for not letting her run away and at the Chevenix children, because they are very much at hand and not sympathetic. When Charity chases and frightens Charlotte, Danny becomes an enemy as well. "No one can control Danny," so the two conspire to make Charity miserable. Unfortunately, Charity has so alienated the rest of the brothers and sisters, that she gets little friendship from anyone other than their foster sister, Ivory Hampton. Then Charity and Ivory do something so outrageous that the whole school is angered.

Although the story centers on Charity, Savery engages our interest by making all of the children come alive, while the adults in the background are firm and loving enough to keep things in order. According to the work diary, the original title was The Arthurians, followed later by Charity at King Arthur's. School novels were popular at the time, which probably explains the final title and why Lutterworth perhaps printed more books than usual, making this title easy to find and purchase. There was a considerable interchange between Savery and her editor over this story. The publisher asked for explicit evangelism, but Savery accepted a lower fee and a later publication date not to do so. Then she accepted a change in the title, but when the editor wanted a third-person narrative and began rewriting the story, Savery refused.

Savery's short story, Improving Inky, is the source of an incident mentioned in the last paragraph of page 50.

Meg Plays Fair. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Gateway Series. Lutterworth Press. 1953. 126 pp. Printed by The Whitefriars Press Ltd., London and Tonbridge. Reprinted as hardback in 1958 and 1963, London: Lutterworth. The latter, at least, is Gateway Series No. 18. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London. Reprinted as paperback in 1969, 1974, and 1975, London: Lutterworth. Reprinted, 1969, with cover by John Holmes. London: Gateway Paperback, Lutterworth Press. 126 pp. Printed by Fletcher and Son, Norwich, U.K. Paperback reprinted 1974 and 1978. Reprinted, 1969, with cover by John Holmes. Ft. Washington: Gateway Paperback, Christian Literature Crusade (CLC), Ft. Washington, PA 19034. 126 pp. Printed by Fletcher and Son, Norwich, U.K. CLC paperback reprinted 1975. Translated, 1956, into Norwegian by Doro Hennum as Gro er real with cover by F. J. Gulbrandsen. Oslo: Indremisjonsforlaget A/S. 109 pp. Printed by Reistad & Sonn, Oslo. Translated, 1960, into German by Inge Knorr as Die Kampfhähne von St. Morvyns, illus. by Elfriede Fulda. Wuppertal : R. Brockhaus Verlag, printed by Carl Hoffman jr., Solingen. 96 pp. Reprinted, 1961, as Die Kampfhähne, illus. by Elfriede Fulda. Wuppertal : Kleine R. Brockhaus Verlag, printed by Manfred Siegel. 125 pp. Book cover

When Savery wrote this story she suggested something like Meg and Dandaree as a title, but school stories and fair play were much in vogue at the time, and she was overruled. The reprints are identical to the original text. Even the page breaks are the same, and the CLC editions, though they have an American publisher, were printed in England and retain the British spelling. The Norwegian translation is a faithful one, although Margaret has become Margreth, shortened to Gro rather than Meg, Dandaree is just Dan, and author Constance is Constanse.
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The German translation returns to Meg and Dandarie and the hardback, but not the paperback, spells the author's name Constanze. A person observing the hardback edition might be forgiven for thinking the title is simply Kampfhähne, since the other words do not appear on the spine and are less conspicuous on the cover.

The plot and characterization make this one of Savery's best tales, and this is confirmed by the number of reprints. Meg has lost her mother and has had to live at a boarding school while her father and his sister were prevented by circumstances from looking after her. Now, after two years, she is to return home with them. The fly in the ointment is Dandaree, a mischievous boy about two years her senior with whom she has been at odds since coming to the boarding school. Book cover

Just when Meg thought she was rid of him, her father recognizes him as the orphaned son of a boyhood friend and invites Dandaree to live with them for the summer. Meg must agree. Dandaree has kidnapped her 'pink family,' a matchbox collection of tiny cowries, and will destroy them all if Meg complains. On the other hand, if Meg lets Dandaree come, he will return the pink family at summer's end. What is more, if Dandaree falls into his old ways and is sent away early to his legal guardian, Meg will still get her cowries back.

The blurb on the back cover says "LUTTERWORTH PRESS has enlisted a team of first-class writers who give the uncompromising Christian message in really gripping modern stories." As a rule, Savery's characters teach through example, but this time there is too much preaching. Fortunately, it is a first-class story.

The 1969 and 1975 CLC reprints have an advertisement on the back cover for The Open Door by Constance Savery. This is a spurious attribution. The Open Door was published by Lutterworth and reprinted by CLC, but it was written by Eileen Heming.

Young Elizabeth Green. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Gateway Series. Lutterworth Press. 1954. 128 pp. Printed by Wyman and Sons, Ltd., London, Fakenham, and Reading. Reprinted, 1960 and 1966, Gateway No. 22, London: Lutterworth. 128 pp. Printed in 1966 by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester and London. Reprinted, 1975, with cover by Alan Roe, Guildford : London: Gateway Paperback, Lutterworth Press. 128 pp.

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This was Savery's second Gateway book for Lutterworth. The cover of the first edition, like the cover of Meg Plays Fair, above, says that the book "will be warmly welcomed by Sunday School teachers and students alike." The 1966 edition states that "THE GATEWAY SERIES is the answer to the demand for good up-to-date Sunday School Reward Books," and that is the niche for which it was written. Most of the many copies available on the used book market are still in their dust jackets and contain bookplates from Sunday Schools. The colored frontispiece in the 1966 edition is different from the black and white picture in the first edition, and the paper in the later edition is thinner, but the texts are identical.

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A piece of paper containing three verses of scripture, two verses of a hymn, and a collect from the Prayer Book is what it takes to convert two rebellious teenagers, although young Elizabeth Green sets them a good example. The rebels, Donnet Deveril and her cousin, Nelmont, lead Elizabeth on a merry chase before Elizabeth's paper brings first Nel and then Donata into line. By then Mrs. Deveril has discovered the orphanage's mistake in sending her a 15-year-old as a governess, and Elizabeth must return there to once again be "Fifteen," her institutional name since her arrival there as an infant. The pleasant story, predictably, has a happy ending.

Five Wonders for Wyn. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Pathway Series No. 4, Lutterworth Press. 1955. 95 pp. Printed by Wyman & Sons Ltd., London, Fakenham and Reading. Reprinted 1957, 1960, and 1964, Pathway Series No. 4, Lutterworth Press, London. 95 pp. Printed in 1964 by Cox & Wyman Ltd., London, Fakenham and Reading. Reprinted as paperback with cover by Richard Kennedy in 1976, London: Pathway, Lutterworth, 95 pp. Printed by Butler & Tanner Ltd, Frome and London.

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The children shown on the cover are much older than the children in the book. For more about this, read the editor's apology. I owned the paperback for five years before I noticed the misspelling on its front cover: "Wynn" for "Wyn"
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The gimmick, a 'coco-nut' with five slips of paper extending from slits, falls rather flat, but the book is rescued by a clever plot and likable children. Instead of trying to squeeze in the Christian message required by her publisher for the Sunday School market, Savery makes evangelism the center of her story. Riding a bus, twins Jane and Mark learn that a boy their age is living at The House in the Woods, great news since they have few playmates. They also learn that the boy, his parents, and his uncle at The House in the Woods are all atheists. Horrified when they find out what an atheist is, the twins are determined to teach the boy, Wyn, all about Jesus. Asked if this is all right, Wyn's uncle, 'Long Wyn,' says, "Yes, certainly," leaving the twins surprised, but pleased.

Although Wyn confirms that Long Wyn is a militant atheist, not everything the twins were told about Uncle Wyn is true. For example, the book he is writing is about languages, not sandwiches. The House in the Woods has other surprises, including suspicious lumps under Long Wyn's bedspread, a broken picture frame, and a statue of 'The Listening Boy' carved by the husband of Wyn's Auntie Cherry. Persons wanting to know more about Auntie Cherry, the statue, and its sculptor should read the Savery serial Rainbow Castle. The serial is very hard to find, unfortunately, but Five Wonders is not.

Tabby Kitten. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Pathway Series No. 5, Lutterworth Press. 1956. 96 pp. Printed by Wyman & Sons Ltd., London, Fakenham and Reading. Reprinted 1958, 1962, and 1966, Lutterworth Press, London. 96 pp. Printed in 1966 by Cox & Wyman, Ltd., London, Fakenham and Reading.

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My 1966 reprint is missing a dust jacket, but the frontispiece isn't changed from the first edition. An Internet seller identifies the 1958 reprint as Pathway Series No. 5, and the 1966 reprint has a list that includes the original Pathway titles, so presumably it is still part of the Pathway Series. Copies of all these editions appear regularly on the Internet at reasonable prices.

The protagonists in Savery's books, with rare exceptions, are readers, but none so emphatically as Tabitha Christopherson, the Tabby Kitten of the title. Tabby's father inherits a book store and a house full of books, so Tabby is ecstatic, but when the family settles into their new home, there is not a book to be found. What is even odder, their own books, shipped from the old house, are missing as well. Fretting over the loss of her books, Tabby breaks the handle from a cup and allows her brother to be blamed. Later, she is responsible for a more serious incident, and this time her father and an equally innocent family friend must bear the consequences. Tabby is not the only person whose confession and forgiveness round out this proper, but pleasing, Sunday School prize book.

Cat names run in the Christopherson family. Besides Tabby, her father Christopher is Kit Kitson, her brother Felix is Fely, and her sister is Pussy. This is one of three Savery books where the characters' names have something in common. The other two are All Because of Sixpence and Lavender's Tree.

There is a personal note. On page 66, bored with her doll Philip and herself,
...Tabby prowled restlessly up and down, with Philip under her arm and a ball in her hand. Sometimes, when she had no book to read, she could amuse herself as well, if not better, by telling herself a story as she tossed her ball into the air. But on this particular afternoon, none of her own stories interested her...
Elsewhere I quote Savery doing much the same thing as a young girl.

Four Lost Lambs. Illus. by Cicely Steed. London: Gateway Picture Book, Lutterworth Press. 1957. 32 pp. Printed by Alabaster, Passmore and Sons, Ltd., London and Maidstone.

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From the last page of this 6 in. by 8-3/8 in. soft cover booklet printed on glossy paper, here is the publisher's description:
This is a new series in the tradition of the Gateway and Pathway series, but for little children. Each book is illustrated with fourteen full-page colour plates, the type is large and readable; and the stories are happy ones about boys and girls who are learning to love Jesus.
It is an apt description. After returning from school where they heard the story of the Good Shepherd, Arthur and Mary Wright are sent by their mother to look about their farm for four-year-old George. He is not in the barn, not in the empty bedroom of brother David, who left home years ago, not, in fact, anywhere that Arthur and Mary look. When they follow his tracks down the lane in the snow, the boy at the end of the tracks is someone else, and before they know it, they have lost their own way in the snow on the moor. The young man who finds them there takes them to a shepherd's hut to get warm and then leads them home.

Savery wrote unhappily about Four Lost Lambs in her work diary. Not only was she asked to cut out a substantial amount of the text, the story was chopped further during the printing process to accommodate the pictures. She never wrote another picture book. The date, which does not appear in the book, is taken from the work diary and Savery's own list of her publications.

In Apple Alley. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Golden Way Series No. 1, Lutterworth Press. 1958. 79 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Limited, The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London. Reprinted, 1959, 1963, 1966 as Golden Way Series No. 1 (1959), No. 17 (1966), Highway Series No. 6 (1966 and 1969), Lutterworth Press, London. 79 pp. Printed, 1959, 1963(?), and 1966 by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Limited, The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London.

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I have not seen the 1963 reprint and have relied upon Internet advertisements. It is quite possible that the 1966 reprint was issued with two different dust jackets, one for the Golden Way Series and one for the Highway Series. The 1969 reprint has the dust jacket shown to the right. The text of every edition is the same, as are the frontispieces, i.e., the same as the original dust wrapper.

On the first page, Punch, Richard Westerby, mentions six adventures that he has had involving clocks. It is likely that all six were broadcast by the BBC during 1935 and 1936, and several were printed later in the AMERICAN JUNIOR RED CROSS NEWS in 1942 and 1943. Cf. British Broadcasting Corporation.

Although a clock plays a part in the story, and Punch is a major character, this is really a tale about his selfish cousin Poppet, who makes herself and everyone around her unhappy. Despite the title, much of the story takes place at Fennel Farm in Suffolk, where twins Toby and Terry Croft, also Punch's cousins, are trying to make some money running a Holiday House with fifteen young children as paying guests. The twins, who are only seventeen, have antagonized the adults who used to work on the farm and are trying, not always successfully, to cope by themselves. For preaching, we have Uncle Paul in Apple Alley, Punch, by example, at the farm, and a mysterious voice in the night that puzzles Punch and frightens Poppet. This isn't the Lord of the Flies, but it does carry the message that children don't do well without supervision.

To the City of Gold. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Gateway Series No. 28, Lutterworth Press. 1958. 128 pp. Printed by Western Printing Services Ltd., Bristol. Reprinted, 1964, as Gateway Series No. 28, Lutterworth Press, London. 128 pp. Printed by Western Printing Services Ltd., Bristol. Serialized beginning July, 1959, in CHRISTIAN HERALD. Translated, 1959, into Norwegian by Elisabeth Hallen as Vi Rømmer. Oslo: Indremisjonsforl. 100 pp. Translation reprinted (as paperback?), 1966. Oslo: Lutherstiftelsen. 108 pp. Translated, 1960, into German by Elisabeth Penserot as Ein Schiff fährt nach Antiochien. Illus. by Walter Rieck. Wuppertal: Verlag Sonne und Schild. 122 pp. Printed by Herm. Weck Sohn, Solingen. Translation reprinted, 1970, as paperback. Wuppertal: Kleine R. Brockhaus-Bücherei Bd. 80, R. Brockhaus Verlag. 124 pp. Printed by Walter Rieck, Heilbronn, and Ebner, Ulm. Translated, November 2006, into French by Alfred Kuen and Nelly Sinclair-Kuen as Vers la Cité Dorée. Illustrated by Camille Durst. Charois: éd. Excelsis, 139 pp.

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Despite being reprinted and translated, To the City of Gold lacks the feeling of time and place that made most of the Longmans publications so successful. The children, Rufus, Ruth, and Myron, are drawn with the same insight and empathy that Savery always brings to her young protagonists, but they come across as English children in foreign dress acting a part, rather than living in their own right.
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Perhaps this was intentional, an effort on the author's part to draw her readers into a foreign culture. The same approach has already been encountered in Welcome, Santza, and will be seen again in Please Buy my Pearls and The City of Flowers.

The story is sufficiently interesting and exciting. Only after they reach Antioch, the wrong Antioch, do Rufus and Ruth discover that Syphax, the fast-talking stranger who helped them out of their difficulties, is actually a slave dealer with plans to sell them. Assisted by Myron, another kidnapped slave child, they escape into the Syrian countryside. Having heard from Christian slaves how Jesus of Nazareth loves children, they hope to get his help in returning to their parents. Alas, Jesus has been killed by the authorities, and yet...

When Savery received her copy of the German translation she was pleased by the font, but displeased to find that additions had been made to her story.
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Here's her text when Rufus wishes to talk about Jesus:
"Let's hear it then," said Myron.
He did not speak again until Rufus had laid down the sheets of papyrus.
After Myron begins to listen, and before Rufus lays down his papyrus, the German text has two pages of stories about Jesus. There is nothing wrong with these paragraphs, but I agree with Savery that they were unnecessary. There is a similar addition in the last chapter, where Savery has only "...she was so much interested in reciting the parable of the Good Samaritan..." but the German text takes two pages to retell the parable.
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The German paperback has a different layout than the hardback, but the text appears to be the same. The English reprint has the same text as the first edition, but its frontispiece and dust jacket are different. Two dust jackets are available for the 1958 edition, one with a price of 4s. 6d. and a later one priced 5s. The books themselves are identical.

The Norwegian translation does not have the interpolations that appear in the German. The French translation appears in a well-illustrated attractive paperback, but Savery would be displeased once again, because the interpolations recur. This suggests that they originated at Lutterworth Press, which owns the copyright, rather than with the translators or the foreign publishers.

An Islandic organization, Timarit, is preparing digital copies of old newspapers, one of which published a radio schedule in which a Constance Savery story, Flóttinn, was read in Icelandic from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on March 2, 1966. An Icelandic librarian, Stefanía Arnórsdóttir, looked this up for me and reported that the story was read, but never published. It is possible that the Icelandic reader simply translated the Norwegian version, Vi Rømmer, into Icelandic by sight. The Norwegian title means "We run away" and the Icelandic means "The Flight."

The Sea Urchins. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Golden Way Series No. 6, Lutterworth Press. 1959. 80 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London. Reprinted, 1962, as Golden Way Series No. 6, Lutterworth Press, London, 80 pp. Printed by Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London.

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After Redhead at School was published, this was the first book from Lutterworth in which the original edition had a dust jacket and frontispiece in full color. The others had frontispieces in black and white, while the dust jackets often had the same drawing with the addition of a single color. Perhaps because it was reprinted fewer times, The Sea Urchins is one of the rarer Lutterworth titles on the used book market. The first edition and the 1959 reprint are virtually identical except for the dates on the copyright page.

The story is straightforward. Homeless Simon is taken from an orphanage by a newly discovered halfbrother, Merman. It is a dream come true for Simon to have a loving relative. In addition, Simon is an expert swimmer, and he is to be taken to the coast of France where he will be in the sea every day. A fly in the ointment is the presence at the seashore of a niece and two nephews who are jealous of Simon's swimming skills and the attention he receives from Merman. The older two children are undisciplined and in constant trouble, while the younger boy is unkind and mean-spirited. There is not much preaching in the book at first, because the principal adults are, at best, nominal Christians, but Merman has promised to be responsible for Simon's religious instruction, and as he learns, so do all the children, who decide that listening to Merman is preferable to giving Simon time to be alone with him.

On pages 9 and 10 is one of Savery's longer poems, Silver Starlight and on pages 26 and 27 is the only passage in all her books that might be construed as racist. The older nephew is showing Simon around the research facility:
   "And that's Monsieur Aulard's door. He's another scientist, and the ugliest man on earth! Awful to look at, M. Aulard is! Would you like to see M. Aulard?"
   "Yes," said Simon.
   Adrien picked up a stone and whizzed it with all his might at M. Aulard's door. As suddenly as if there had been a jack-in-the-box behind it, the door flew open and out looked a golliwog head with huge round glasses on its bulgy nose.
The use of the word 'golliwog' today, especially in America, would be racist, although some doll collectors disagree. When the word originated in 1908, as Gollywogg, it was the name of a grotesque black doll, and many thousands were sold, especially in England and the European continent. Savery uses the word 'golliwog' (or 'gollywog') a half dozen times in about 250 publications. A person wishing to know if Savery was a racist should read The Royal Caravan, below, rather than base their opinion on this passage. M. Aulard, incidentally, has a bark that is worse than his bite, and he is altogether a nicer person than Adrien. We are not given any further description, and Savery does not tell us M. Aulard's race.

Rebel Jacqueline. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Senior Gateway Series No. 2, Lutterworth Press. 1960. 157 pp. Printed by Richard Clay and Company, Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.

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I am not aware that this title was ever reprinted, and the book is listed for sale infrequently. Intended for older girls who may have earned fewer Sunday School prizes, it has, in my opinion, the least attractive of all the Lutterworth covers for Savery's books.

Jacqueline, the fourth of seven daughters in a Huguenot family, discovers that her Aunt Agathe, a nun, has arranged without their parents' knowledge for the three oldest daughters to be taken as "King's girls" across the ocean to be married to Catholic husbands in New France. While setting her sisters free, Jacqueline is herself kidnapped, though she is, at fifteen, technically too young to be a King's girl. When she avoids being married instantly on arrival in Quebec, she finds herself taken in by her brother Guy, who had left the Huguenots to become a Catholic and married an older woman with three children: her heir, coxcomb Hippolyte, and twins, Henriette and Ignace. Guy shows some family feeling, and Ignace becomes Jacqueline's friend, but the others remain hostile. Always a rebel, but trying to see where God is leading her, Jacquelin has one adventure after another, some less plausible than others, before the story draws to a ragged conclusion.

The work diary for the end of 1959 indicates the book was lengthened by 12,000 words in December to satisfy the publisher's requirements and further extended in February. When Savery wrote the first draft of her story, she intended it as a serial. This, together with the additional material, may explain its episodic character.

All Because of Sixpence. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Golden Way Series No. 10, Lutterworth Press. 1961. 80 pp. Printed by Richard Clay and Company, Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Reprinted, 1965, Lutterworth Press, London. 80 pp.

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There are plenty of copies of this book available, mostly of the first edition. The text of the reprint, as usual, is identical to that of the original. Although my reprint does not have a dust jacket, it carries a list of titles "In the same series," and the first nine of these match those of the Golden Way Series on the first edition dust jacket.

This story is about money. Even the names of the children are about money: Bob and Penny Copperfield, Sholto (Sixpence) Silverthorne, Averil (Twopence) Golding, and Nicky Pound. The babysitting twins are named Minto. When Sixpence finds out that everyone under seventeen has been excluded from the church's stewardship campaign, he persuades his friends to organize their own. There is an ample discussion of Christian giving of time, talents, and money, and the children donate all three, with inexpert enthusiasm.

Bob and Penny's father have a friend named Simon Armadale, who is a steward for Lord Rustannard. Neither Simon nor his employer appear in the story, but Savery readers will remember Spider and Rusty from Up a Winding Stair.

The White Kitling. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Crown Library No. 23, Lutterworth Press. Printed by Cox and Wyman Ltd., London, Reading and Fakenham. 1962. 126 pp.

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No one could say that The White Kitling is dull or without incident. Cousin Ivor arrives at the house of Thomas and Anne Maynard with an angry mob in pursuit and the white kitling, no longer kitten, but not yet cat, in a pack on his back. Thereafter, Anne is in one trouble after another. From her London home, to the Plymouth-bound ship, and on to Plymouth itself, Dreadful Things happen around her and she is blamed for every one. The whirlwind story ends, appropriately enough, with the Great Storm of 1703 that sweeps away the famous Eddystone Lighthouse, but manages to spare those dear to Anne for an obligatory, if improbable, happy ending.

Copies of the book are available cheaply on the Internet, although a little patience may be required. Most of the preaching comes in the last chapter in the form of a thanksgiving hymn by Joseph Addison. In my opinion, the Anne on the unattractive cover appears much older than the Anne in the book.

The Royal Caravan. Illus. by T. R. Freeman. London: Junior Gateway No. 1, Lutterworth Press. 1963. 61 pp. Printed by Richard Clay and Company, Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Reprinted, 1966 and 1969, Lutterworth Press, London. 61 pp. Reprinted, 1972, with cover by John Jarvies and illus. by T. R. Freeman, Junior Golden Way Paperback, distributed in the U.K. by Lutterworth Press, London, and in the U.S.A. by Christian Literature Crusade (CLC), Inc., Ft. Washington, PA 19034. Both paperbacks printed by Fletcher & Son Ltd. Norwich. 61 pp. Translated into Swedish by Barbro Wingård as Husvagnen som fick stanna hemma. Illus. by T.R. Freeman. Den kristna bokringen : Bromma : Norman. 1975, 57 pp. Translated into Norwegian by Selma Lerberg as Campingvognen, illus. by T. R. Freeman. Oslo: Barneringen, Filadelfiaforlaget, paperback. 1975, 61 pp.

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This is a pleasant, straightforward tale with a Christian theme. Book cover After reading the Palm Sunday story with his mother and his sister Josie, Andrew Brown expresses regret that modern Christians cannot lend something to Jesus. Lending, he explains, is different from giving. Shortly thereafter, the Browns are asked to lend something very special: a newly acquired camping trailer that they had planned to use for their vacation trip. Having managed to make the loan with a smile, Andrew and Josie find that Jesus is lending them something even better in return.

Not simply a story about Christian discipleship, The Royal Caravan is also a story about racial prejudice. The Browns practice tolerance in the best Savery tradition without preaching.

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The Lutterworth and CLC editions are inexpensive and easy to find. The Swedish and Norwegian translations have virtually the same interior illustrations, but their covers are a reproduction of one of the interior drawings. There are appropriate differences in the translation. Wingård translates freely, rather than literally, and the English names and places become Swedish, as do the games and foods. 'Toad-in-the-hole,' for example, becomes 'macaroni.' It is possible to determine that the Swedish edition preceded the Norwegian one, and that Lerberg followed Wingård's translation nearly word for word. Both were working for the same publisher at the same time, and nothing improper is suggested by this observation. The only significant change between the English and the Scandinavian texts, a reasonable one, is that the Palm Sunday message and the distinction between lending and giving have been moved from the first chapter to the third.

Breton Holiday. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Gateway Series No. 35, Lutterworth Press. 1963. 128 pp. Printed by Northumberland Press Limited, Gateshead on Tyne. Reprinted, 1973, Guildford : London: Lutterworth Press. 128 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Limited, The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London.

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This is an excellent story for teachers who enjoy assignments beginning "Compare and contrast...," because here are two very different cousins. Jean Maynard is long-suffering, studious, restrained, rather ordinary in appearance, and a sincere Christian. Marjorie Leslie is self-centered, careless, ebullient, attractive, and willing to attend church if there are boys there or nothing better to do. As the girls travel to and through Brittany with their schoolmates, Marjorie is perpetually in disgrace with the teachers for her madcap behavior, but very popular with other teenagers. Jean finds it much harder to make friends and is unjustly blamed for not keeping her cousin in line. Eventually Marjorie goes too far, and she is carefully watched on to the ship back to England, while Jean remains in Brittany; however, it doesn't work out that way.

Marjorie is so egregiously wrong and so blissfully unaware of it that we find it as hard as Jean does to forgive her. That, I think, is what Savery intended, and when Jean is faced with hard decisions, the reader must make them, too.

Both the original and the reprint are easy to find.

Joric and the Dragon. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Golden Way Series No. 12, Lutterworth Press. 1964. 79 pp. Printed by Richard Clay and Company, Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.

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Joric appears for sale regularly on the Internet. Horse stories are popular, which may be the reason that children are shown in a paddock on the dust jacket, but only two sentences in the book mention horses.

'Oh, what a tangled web we weave...' Twins Roderick John Tempest and John Roderick Tempest call each other Joric, but to everyone else they are Roddy and John. John loved his teacher, Peggy Bentham, because she taught him about Jesus, but Roddy hated Peggy, because now John puts Jesus ahead of Roddy. So Roddy made life miserable for Peggy, and Peggy's friend Kitty let Peggy's family know how mean Roddy had been. That scared Roddy when he found he would be staying with Peggy's mom and all those resentful brothers and sisters. So he cooked up a scheme: he would pretend to be John and ask everyone who knew he was Roddy to call him Joric. There were two problems with that. The Dragon knew that he was Roddy, and Roddy didn't know how to behave like John. There are few surprises, but you find that you care about Roddy, and the story carries you along to its happy ending.

Please Buy My Pearls. Frontispiece unsigned. London : Golden Way Series No. 13, Lutterworth Press. 1965. 79 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Undated reprint. London: Highway Series No. 12, Lutterworth Press. 79 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.

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The Highway Series reprint advertises The City Of Flowers, which was published in 1970 and uses as its frontispiece the one from the 1965 edition. The texts are the same.

My principal criticism of this book is that the children, Roman and British alike, sound too much like their 20th century English counterparts. This may have been intentional. Books such as Moonshine in Candle Street, demonstrate that Savery has the skill and knowledge to evoke bygone times and places. In her essay, The Attic Bookshelf: In the Golden Dawn, Savery describes how vividly--and how badly--novelists have written about the early Christian era. Book cover In spite of the fact that some of these books are "...ostentatiously pedantic and others inexcusably ill-informed, their characters wooden, their sentiments mawkish" she finds that they are redeemed by "...the golden glow that illuminates the picture of Christianity's dawn." It is appropriate to offer the same charity to her.

Elfan and Nonn, young Britons, have been told by Claudia, a spoiled Roman brat, that she will buy any pearls that they find in the river mussels. When tax collectors confiscate most of their family's possessions, and their brother, Valerius, is carried off to work in the lead mines, the Britons do not lose hope. Their father travels north to look for pearls beyond Hadrian's Wall, while the children remain at home to help their mother. Claudia's brother, Servius, is a Christian and has built a room at the villa where several Christians, Roman and Briton, worship on the Lord's Day. Elfan, Nonn, and their mother find comfort there, and even Claudia comes with her brother. Alas, when Father returns with a cache of pearls, Claudia will have none of them, not even the single huge pearl found by Nonn herself. Then, while the adults have gone to try to sell the pearls in the city, the savage Picts cross the Wall to pillage and burn. It is a sufficiently exciting story!

The Sea Queen. Illus. by Cicely Steed. London: Junior Gateway Series, Lutterworth Press. 1965. 63 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Reprinted, 1968, in an identical edition. Reprinted as paperback, 1973, 1978, 1981, and 1987, with cover by Colin Rispin. Cambridge: Junior Gateway, Lutterworth Press, 7 All Saints' Passage, Cambridge CB2 3LS. 63 pp. Reprinted, Oct. 2000, in hardcover by Sagebrush Education Resources. Translated, 1975, into Swedish by Barbro Wingård as Båten är min. Illus. by Cicely Steed. Den kristna barnbokringen : Bromma : Norman. 63 pp. Translated, 1975, into Norwegian by Selma Lerberg as Sjøløven. Illus. by Cicely Steed. Oslo: Barne Ringen, Filadelfiaforlaget. 64 pp.

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"Out of the sunset sea came the little ship..." Book cover and Mike Inge was there on the shore to find and claim it. Mike never doubted that the ship was his. Didn't it come to him with his own initials, M.I., painted on the hull? Even so, Daddy made Mike take the Sea Queen to the police station where it sat unclaimed for three weary months despite the advertisement that Daddy had placed in two newspapers. "Now she's yours for good," said the policeman when he handed the ship to Mike, but the next afternoon, up ran young Maurice Ireton shouting "She's mine! She's mine!" Maurice knew the ship's name, and he knew about the initials. Then he told a story that began with a baby sister untying the ship and ended with a three-month hospital stay following an auto accident.
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"It's all a made-up story," cried Mike and ran away. Although he reached home safely with the Sea Queen, and it was 'his for good,' he didn't feel like confiding what had happened to his parents. But is there any doubt what happened that evening when Mike found he couldn't say his prayers?

The paperback edition of The Sea Queen is still in print and deservedly so. Used copies of the hardback editions are not hard to find, either. The Swedish edition is freely translated, follows the story line closely and is in the spirit of the original. The Norwegian translation adheres so closely to the Swedish that Lerberg certainly consulted Wingård's translation. Cf. The Royal Caravan, above. The unnamed illustrator of the Scandinavian covers printed "Sea Queen" in bold letters on the boat, but the Swedish boat's name is Pärlan, the Pearl, and the Norwegian craft is named Sjøløven, the Sea-Lion, the same as the title of the book.

The Golden Cap. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Gateway Series No. 38, Lutterworth Press. 1966. 128 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis and Son, Ltd., The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London.

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It is not hard to find copies of this book. Savery wrote only three school stories. Of these, The Golden Cap comes the closest to fitting the traditional school story model, although it does not follow the description of an evangelistic school story in The Encyclopædia of Girls' School Stories by Sims and Claire, which criticized the genre for "...its stilted, artificial writing, its lack of characterisation and its repetitive plots -- the nadir of a noble ambition." The Encyclopædia is kinder to Savery herself, praising her humor, her narrative style, and her dialogue.

Ellice Warren, a newcomer to Mrs. Durrant's school, is responsible, well-intentioned, and eager to make friends, but she is newly resolved that she will not "follow a multitude to do evil," and her good intentions get her into immediate difficulties. The school's leading spirit, Sybilla Huntington, is in rebellion against her teacher, Mr. Laurence, and expects her classmates to follow her example. No one with any sense makes an enemy of Sybilla, but Ellice isn't sensible and finds herself isolated. The only new friend she makes is a blind seventeen-year-old neighbor, Crispin Turley, who lives with his father, a surly recluse. If Crispin is more interested in becoming a Christian than is entirely probable, Sybilla's response to the gospel is as original as she is.

An entry for Feb. 1965 in the work diaries is illuminating:
Alas! The Lutterworth "expert" desires that in the Christian teaching of The Golden Cap more emphasis should be placed on conservative evangelical teaching and less on "the social gospel." I am to rectify this in April.
I do not find that the "social gospel" occupies a conspicuous place in Savery's books, but the original typescript for the story was not preserved.

The Strawberry Feast. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Golden Way Series No. 15, Lutterworth Press. 1967. 80 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Reprinted, 1972 or later, with the original frontispiece, but a new cover illustration and bearing the label Highway Series No. 14.

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It is unlike Lutterworth to issue a reprint without indicating the new date, but that appears to be what happened. Advertised on the back cover is The Waterfall, a book by Stella Nowell that was not issued until 1972.

Book cover The book is a sequel to The Golden Cap, above, and the principal characters are Sybilla Huntingdon's younger siblings. Although titled The Strawberry Feast for the out-of-control party with which the story ends, it might well have been called "The Sea-Shell Grotto," because Savery has written us an allegory about secret sin. Headstrong Julia and compliant Phoebe discover the grotto at the foot of a rickety staircase on a neighbor's property. The grotto is all that the girls want in a playhouse, attractive, secluded, and theirs, but the attractions of the grotto lead to their neglect of pouty Laura and 'babies' Debbie and Charlie. The older Julia is not troubled by the staircase or the fact they are trespassing, but they learn that the grotto has its disadvantages. There are mosquitoes, and the attractive pool is bordered with sticky yellow clay, which isn't suitable after all for making pottery and dirties the water in which they wash their dolls' clothes. When their older brother Gerald discovers the grotto and takes possession, Julia is angry and rebellious, but Phoebe is relieved and finds things to do with Tim, who resists Gerald's bad example.When Gerald has antagonized everyone else, he brings the babies to the grotto to show off, and then trembles at what they may babble to Cousin Mitty, who is in nominal charge, but cannot handle nine children. Harry and Sybilla, the oldest, have natural authority, but Cousin Mitty forces them to study and forbids them to supervise the younger children.

Another allegory, The Jewel Children, is read by the children, who learn about duty to God and duty to neighbor. Savery doesn't mention that she wrote The Jewel Children, but never got it published. It is among her manuscripts.

The Silver Angel. Illus. by Desmond Knight. London: Robin Series, Lutterworth Press. 1968. 45 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.

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The Silver Angel appears regularly on the used book market. Copies without title pages are not uncommon.

The Robin Series was intended for quite young children, and the books are suitable for reading aloud. The religious message is straightforward, lightly handled, and directed at Christian behavior rather than evangelism. There are two children, and "they were not always friends." Their squabbles are amusing, rather than irritating, and they don't do badly considering that Rupert, the son of absent missionaries, has recently arrived, and Dorothy is no longer the only child in her home. The family goes on a day trip to see the Queen's gardens, the Queen's church, and to visit an old neighbor on the way home. About this slender framework Savery has woven a simple satisfying story.

Lavender's Tree. Frontispiece unsigned. London: Pathway Series No. 17, Lutterworth Press. 1969. 91 pp. Printed by Northumberland Press Limited, Gateshead. Translated, 1972, into German by Marianne Pietsch as Der Himmelsbaum. Cover by Hans Dieter Bittner. Wuppertal: Oncken jugendbücher, Oncken Verlag. 85 pp.

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Once again Savery has amused herself and the reader by giving family members names with something in common, in this case, flowers. The principal character is Lavender Rose. Her little sisters are Violet and Lily, and, though it puzzles Lavender, the naughty toddler is Sweet William. Book cover Lavender's mother's maiden name was Moss, so she is a Moss Rose. The names survive in the translation, but a line has been added to explain Lavender (Lavendel), Violet (Veilchen), and Sweet William (Klein-William) to German readers. On her last day at school before moving, Lavender hears a classmate say that he has a Tree of Heaven in his garden, but her family is on the way before she can find out more. A mention of this at her grandparents' house starts a good-natured argument between the old folk, with Grandfather Rose saying that the Bible talks about the Tree of Life, while Grandmother and Rose think it is the Tree of Heaven. Dragging out an old dusty Bible, Grandfather finds the Tree of Life in Genesis, but the others say that doesn't prove that the Tree of Heaven isn't mentioned elsewhere. Grandfather will show them! He will read the whole Bible just to prove them wrong. The book spans two years, principally because it takes Grandfather almost that long to reach Revelation. There is a lot of religion in the book, but it comes mostly from Grandfather, a salt of the earth retired miner, and no one minds. These are all nice people, by the way, except for Sweet William.

Neither the original book nor the translation are particularly expensive nor hard to find. The translation is a straightforward one.

Gilly's Tower. Illus. by J. E. Niewenhuis. London: Junior Gateway Series, Lutterworth Press. 1969. 63 pp. Reprinted, 1976, with cover by Mandy Doyle as Junior Gateway Paperback, Lutterworth Press, Cambridge. 63 pp. Printed by Cox & Wyman Ltd., Reading.

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A tower has been abandoned near their island home off the Welsh coast, Gilly and Jane have taken possession, and they are the envy of their classmates. Then old, dour Mrs. Daunt appears on the scene with a claim to the tower, a claim that had lost in court years before. Book cover Gilly's father is a very important man, and Gilly knows exactly what to do about Mrs. Daunt. A very nice book, only recently out-of-print, and worth finding and reading. There is a sermon in Chapter 4, but Gilly and Jane enjoy it, so why shouldn't we?

In 1937 and in 1956, Savery wrote sympathetic essays about Little Charlie's Life by Himself, an illustrated autobiography written around 1830 by a precocious six-year-old. She surely had Charlie in mind when Gilly sits down at the beginning of the book to write My Life and gets through four helpful and exciting pages before stopping to paint an illustration of the explosion that nearly cost him his life. Gilly's explosion, incidentally, is at the conclusion of an unpublished Savery manuscript, Meet Me at the Anchor.

The Sapphire Ring. Illus. by Lorna Paull. London: Robin Series, Lutterworth Press. 1969. 44 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk.

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Little Anne has a problem. When she tried on Mrs. Jellaby's tiny ring, it stayed on her little finger so firmly that now her finger hurts, she cannot get the ring off, and she is afraid she will be accused of stealing it. She hardly knows Mrs. Jellaby, Auntie May is still almost a stranger, and Miriam Saramma, who lives next door, is "different." Mrs. Jellaby's portrait is nicely drawn, and the story ends happily for Anne and for Miriam.

When Anne first arrives at Mrs. Jellaby's, she is defeated in her attempts to entertain herself:
She could not even make up--as she was fond of doing--a story in her head; for she had grown tired of her old story and did not like her new one.
I believe Savery is reliving a bit of her own childhood here. It is one reason to acquire the book, which is comparatively rare.

The City of Flowers. London: Highway Series No. 1, Lutterworth Press. 1970. 80 pp. Printed by Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press), Ltd., Bungay, Suffolk. Previously published, 1968, as a serial entitled Savonarola's Children in FIVE : SIX by the American Methodist Church Board of Education.

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Used copies of The City of Flowers are easy to find on the Internet. It was published with a pictorial dust jacket, but without a frontispiece. It was the last and the longest of nine biographical pieces written for Methodist Sunday School publications and the only one published as a book. When the Florentine fanatic, Girolamo Savonarola, was challenged to a trial by fire in 1498, a young boy was one of those who volunteered to take his place. Nothing is known about the boy, not even his name, but Savery has provided us with a story of what he may have been like and how he was motivated. His offer to Savonarola was declined. The trial by fire was first delayed and then cancelled, causing a riot for which Savonarola and his followers were arrested.

To some Protestants, Savonarola's fervent sermons in support of a Puritanical life style, together with his denunciation of the Pope and Curia, cast him in the role of a forerunner of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Whatever the legitimacy of that claim, which the Catholic Encyclopedia labels unwarranted, it is not likely that his followers quoted Waldensian heretics or sounded quite so much like Methodists. The story ends on a low note with the boy's family fleeing Florence into the countryside, but the alternative, a 15th century execution scene, would not have been appropriate reading for the Sunday School audience.

The Drifting Sands. London: Gateway Series No. 44, Lutterworth Press. 1971. 126 pp. Printed by Ebenezer Baylis & Son Limited, The Trinity Press, Worchester, and London.

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Easily available, this is one of those "post-war evangelistic books" of which the Sims and Claire Encyclopædia of Girls' School Stories spoke disparagingly: "...likely to be 'Fine in Dustwrapper' when one finds them second-hand -- the recipients have clearly not read them to bits." Why not?

I think there are three reasons why The Drifting Sands was less successful than many of its predecessors. The Encyclopædia cites one of them. Television was in, books were out, and religious books, especially, were only sold for adults to give away for children's improvement. Secondly, the book isn't pleasant reading. Both Crystal Garth, the heroine, and her mother are sweet and try hard, but Crystal's younger sister has been badly spoiled, and the older brothers and sisters are too self-centered to engage our sympathy. The sad truth is that they sound like the real children we know rather than the more likable children who appear in popular fiction. The social issues of the sixties and seventies did not engage the sympathies of either Savery or her publishers, so the teenagers caught up in them are not portrayed to engage us either. Finally, a Lutterworth book must end happily, preferably with a mass conversion, and given the nature of these children, that would take a miracle. We are given the conversions, but not the miracle, and even in an age of skepticism, a miracle would have been more plausible.

NOTE: Savery's last book for Lutterworth, God's Arctic Adventurer, is described in the section devoted to biographies.

Text of this web site ©2010-2014 by Eric Schonblom. The unpublished works of Constance Savery are reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner, J.D. Hummerstone. Book and magazine covers are reproduced with low resolution out of respect for their copyright owners, the publishers and their artists.