Constance Savery: Published Juvenilia CWS

Winifred's Juvenilia

Most of Savery's juvenilia was assembled by her over five decades later, copied out into a manuscript book, and is now in the de Grummond collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. For further information, look for Winifred's Thought Book under Manuscripts. Two of Savery's early efforts did find their way into print:

The Tricker Tricked by 'Winifred Savery.' London: SUNSHINE, A. M. Gardner and Company, 111, Shoe Lane, London. Jul. 1913. Printed by Benham and Company, Limited, Colchester, p 106.

This was Savery's first published work and the only one signed Winifred. It was printed on the pages devoted to submissions from young readers and Savery's age, fifteen, was listed after her name. The only editorial comment was in parentheses at the end of the story: "Beautifully written." Savery was flattered by this compliment to her fiction until she realized it referred to her handwriting. The work diaries list two titles separately for SUNSHINE: The Gullivers, Aug. 1913 and The Tricker Tricked, Sep. (?) 1913. I think this story was submitted under the former title, but published under the latter, and that Savery wrote the dates, erroneously, from memory. The SUNSHINE annual is pictured on the previous page.
The tricker, Nell Leslie, is accustomed to "take in" 'the Gullivers', gullible sisters Vi and Barbara Browne. On the first day of school she meets them and tells them they should go home, because they are coming to school a day too early. The sisters run off, and, laughing, Nell watches them go. As soon as they are out of sight, she runs in pursuit to tell them they have been fooled again. Unfortunately, she arrives at the railroad station too late to catch the departing train, and her friend Mysie sees Vi's red cloak in one of the carriages.
It was a very downcast, woe-begone mortal who crept into the classroom after prayers, and shiveringly awaited Miss Limerick's arrival.
By the end of the tale the chastened Nell "still plays tricks, but never on 'the Gullivers!' "

The Seaside Holiday by 'Scabious.' GIRL'S REALM. Dec. 1913. Reprinted in The Girl's Realm Annual - 1914. London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., p 155.

I had high hopes of finding this early item when I purchased the GIRL'S REALM annual for 1913, but the book might more accurately have been dated November 1912 - October 1913. To get the December 1913 issue, I had to buy the annual for 1914.
The contest was entitled "Prose: A Holiday at the Seaside from Three Different Points of View," and Savery's submission won first place in the junior division. About 300 words long, her views were those of a gentleman who found the Welsh seaside dirty and noisy, his sister who found it expensive, and his young nephew who found it 'a very decent place' when he wasn't getting hurt or lost.
Savery entered this into her work diaries with the above title and the notation "a facetious article." It would have been more accurate had she called it epistolary fiction, an old-fashioned genre to which she never returned.
The GIRL'S REALM editor, who routinely flayed his young contributors, thought her work "very good" and praised her restraint.