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Daisy Ashford (1) (1881–1972)

Autor(a) de The Young Visiters

Para outros autores com o nome Daisy Ashford, ver a página de desambiguação.

5+ Works 604 Membros 20 Críticas

About the Author

Image credit: George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Reproduction Number  LC-DIG-ggbain-30073

Obras por Daisy Ashford

The Young Visiters (1919) 536 exemplares
Daisy Ashford: Her Book (1920) 23 exemplares
Love and Marriage: Three Stories (1965) 21 exemplares
Where Love Lies Deepest (1966) 11 exemplares

Associated Works

Love Stories (1997) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Devlin, Margaret Mary Julia Ashford
Outros nomes
Devlin, Daisy
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Petersham, Surrey, England, UK
Local de falecimento
Norwich, Norfolk, England, UK
Locais de residência
Petersham, Surrey, England, UK
Reepham, Norfolk, UK
Lewes, Sussex, England, UK
Bexhill, Sussex, England, UK
London, England, UK
at home
short story writer
hotel proprietor

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Daisy Ashford was the pen name of Margaret Ashford Devlin, the daughter of a government official. She was educated largely at home with her sisters. A child prodigy, she began writing or dictating stories as a very young child though she was not published until years later. In 1920, she married James Devlin and settled in Norfolk, at one time running the King's Arms Hotel in Reepham. She was best known for The Young Visitors, or Mr. Salteena’s Plan, a novella about upper-class society of late 19th-century England. It was published in 1919 and is said to have been written when she was only 9 years old. The Young Visitors was adapted for the stage several times, including as a musical comedy.



Evidently the first attempt of a 9-year-old Victorian child at novel-writing, forgotten about for several years, then rediscovered when she was grown up and circulated amongst her friends to provide some amusement. A charming amount of misspelling. It has a few giggles in it, like when Bernard Clark "always had a few prayers in the hall and some whiskey afterwards as he was rarther pious" or when he decides that he must not propose marriage in the city, but in a country setting, where they can be surrounded by "the gay twittering of the birds and the smell of the cows."
Or when Ethel announces that she's almost ready to go out, since she had her bath last night and doesn't need to wash much this morning and Bernard replies, "No dont... you are fresher than the rose my dear no soap could make you fairer."
But, all things told, it really provides no more than a few minutes' amusement, and it is about as short as it should be.
… (mais)
Alishadt | 18 outras críticas | Feb 25, 2023 |
This short book is rather a novelty, having been written by the author as a 9 year old in 1890, though not published until 1919. While obviously displaying the inexperienced in life approach one might expect, it shows an understanding of narrative and plot, and an eye for descriptive detail unusual for one so young, The author wrote other stories at a young age, including one when even younger than when she wrote this one, some of which have been lost. Don't expect great drama, obviously, but this shows some familiarity with, and ability to laugh at, some of the habits of the time.… (mais)
john257hopper | 18 outras críticas | Mar 4, 2022 |
I'm extremely fond of literary curiosities, books whose very existence we owe to a set of extraordinary events, texts that are quirky and special without particularly trying.

"Mr Salteena was an elderly man of 42 and was fond of asking peaple [sic] to stay with him." So begins this charming piece of juvenilia, the work of an unusually perceptive and persistent nine-year-old girl. We have to admire the young author's perseverance - how many manuscripts drafted at such a tender age actually see completion? Admittedly, we are talking about nothing more than twelve rather short chapters, but our authoress still manages to weave an entertaining narrative, and even takes the time to carefully describe the clothes worn by each character in each scene. Her characters are portrayed in enough detail so as to be fairly distinct from each other and to inspire enough interest in their fate to keep the reader curious enough to follow through to the end. J. M. Barrie, in his preface to the book, even remarks on the writer's knack for knowing just when to end a chapter, both in the sense of separating the text into coherent logical units, and especially in that there is always a little suspense before she returns to either Ethel or Mr. Salteena.

The many spelling mistakes, far from rendering the text unreadable, actually serve as a constant reminder of who the author is, form her own peculiar idiolect and even, one might argue, style, and are, quite simply, hilarious. It is evident that our wordsmith has done her research, albeit subconsciously - the influence of popular novels of her day has apparently been significant enough for her to memorise the formulae of her chosen form and genre. Her writing is never dry, because adjectives and adverbs are used liberally throughout, often in the most fantastic constructions and combinations. What I personally find most remarkable about the entire piece is the almost awe-inspiring sense that this girl is fully aware that she is god to her characters and their fates, that she indubitably values her own work and is ready to assume the responsibility of standing behind her tale and to address those on the other side as "my readers".

How lucky we are that Ms. Ashford opened a particular drawer containing a particular exercise book (now seventeen years old!) on a particular day, how lucky that her friend was recovering from an illness and wanted to be entertained, how lucky that it finally reached a publishing house willing to print a text that wasn't even divided into paragraphs!

If you have a little time to spare, seek out this singular read (you can find it for free on Project Gutenberg). It's a tiny, but bright gem of semi-obscure literature that is well worth anyone's time.

So I will end my review.
… (mais)
ViktorijaB93 | 18 outras críticas | Apr 10, 2020 |
The young visiters or, Mr. Salteena’s plan is a novella-length story written in 1890 by then-9-year-old Daisy Ashford. It wasn’t published until 1919, when the then-adult author could be convinced to make this particular piece of juvenilia available to the public.

This was such enormous fun to read. It’s a romantic story about social climbers; Ashford at nine was clearly familiar with Victorian literature. The main characters, Ethel Monticue and Mr. Salteena, would very much like to be part of the upper class, though they take different pathways there.

To start with, the story is obviously written by a child. The characters read like petulant children that talk in a mixture of child-speak and phrases the author has picked up from books and from adults around her, all of it presented in its original clumsy spelling. Their behaviour is erratic: the logic behind their behaviour is that of children who don’t quite understand why adults do and say the things they do. Also, the author thinks it is of the utmost importance that every character has their name mentioned (even the extras), and that all of their clothes are described in detail, to the point where several characters change outfits multiple times per day. Taken together, that means the story is a great example of unintentional hilarity. On the other hand, the whole thing exudes such confidence and such seriousness -- it demands to be considered on its own terms. And in some ways the writing is pretty competent, too: there’s a narrative arc with higher stakes and increased tension, and there are two separate storylines whose interplay is handled just fine. And while the story may be told clumsily and naively, the romance and the social climbing are most definitely grown-up book material.

And that is why I loved this book so much: awkwardly spelled, clumsily imagined and naively characterised it may be, but it’s done with with such earnestness and, frankly, skill that I cannot but call it extremely charming. It’s a genuinely endearing booklet that cannot but command goodwill. It works because the discrepancy is only obvious to adult readers: the author simply does their best.

My e-copy was free, from Project Gutenberg, and came with an introduction by J. M. Barrie. Yes, him. I gather it’s been turned into a stage play and a musical, as well as a a 2003 BBC movie. The latter features Hugh Laurie, Lyndsey Marshal, Jim Broadbent, and Bill Nighy, and it looks like it’s a genuinely funny flick.

Go read it. It’ll take less than an hour and I guarantee you’ll feel enriched after.
… (mais)
3 vote
Petroglyph | 18 outras críticas | May 5, 2019 |



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Associated Authors

Angela Ashford Contributor
J. M. Barrie Preface
Heather Corlass Illustrator
Poul Malmkjær Translator
Posy Simmonds Illustrator


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