The perfect book; the developing reader. The conviction thereafter that all other books are striving to be this one. Her widowed father and aunt live unimaginative lives of quiet monotony, and actively discourage Harriet from anything more. EI is terrific at sketching character with the barest but most telling detail.
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The perfect book; the developing reader. The conviction thereafter that all other books are striving to be this one. Her widowed father and aunt live unimaginative lives of quiet monotony, and actively discourage Harriet from anything more. EI is terrific at sketching character with the barest but most telling detail. Edward Finch-Dutton was dissecting the efferent nervous system of a large and somewhat pickled dogfish. The deeply dead elasmobranch lay in a large dish with a waxed bottom, pins spearing the flaps of its rough and spotted skin.
One knows instantly that Edward Finch-Dutton is not the man to make Harriet happy. And, as with Cinderella, Harriet is offered the opportunity to dance her way out of her constricted life, when a Russian impresario visits the ballet class she attends and asks her to join his troupe, which is heading for the Amazon.
Beneath his words, as he began to describe the journey he would make, there beat the grave exotic rhythm that enables the Slavs to make poetry even of a laundry list. Ibbotson creates a whole cast of dancers - each a complete character study, such as Marie-Claude. From the age of six I had to go everywhere with a hat-pin.
For example, when I was fifteen there was an old gentleman who used to wait for me outside school and offer to give a thousand francs to the Red Cross if I would let him see me brush my hair. Obviously, simply to jab a hat-pin into such an old gentleman would not have been correct.
It is, after all, a very good cause, the Red Cross. Which is a pity, because Rom is gorgeous. They are both unashamedly romantics - "You know-- Heloise and Abelard, Tristan and Isolde--To love in moderation was all right, but when it became excessive And yet it must be right, surely, to give everything?
To hold nothing back? That must be what one wants to do? He pulled her down so that she lay against his shoulder. Even for Edward Finch-Dutton.
Desert Isle Keeper
She did not start writing adult fiction until late in life and, when she did, set a high goal for herself. My aim is to produce books that are light, humorous, even a little erudite, but secure in their happy endings. One could call it an attempt to write, in words, a good Viennese waltz! Set in , the novel opens in Cambridge, England, where the heroine, Harriet Morton, is not enjoying the elegant opulence and broadened female horizons often associated with the Edwardian era. Instead, as the daughter of an elderly and dogmatic Cambridge don — who raises her with the help of her equally repressive spinster aunt — Harriet has very little joy to her existence. But, alas, this suitor — a collector of insects — is in his own way just as stuffy as her aunt and father. Petersburg and one of the many charmingly eccentric minor characters with which Ibbotson skillfully sprinkles her novel.
Plot summary[ edit ] Harriet Morton lives in Cambridge with her widowed father, the overprotective Professor Morton who teaches Classics at the University , and her controlling Aunt Louisa, who wishes her to marry an uninteresting entomology professor named Edward Finch-Dutton. When Harriet is two years old her mother dies from pneumonia. One day, a lesson is visited by Sasha Dubrov, a famous ballet master who asks Harriet to join his company for a tour of South America, which will begin in Manaus. Professor Morton tells Harriet that going to South America is too dangerous.