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The dolls' house by Rumer Godden ; with pictures by Dana Saintsbury.

The dolls' house by Rumer Godden ; with pictures by Dana Saintsbury.


New York : Viking Press, 1958. Seventh printing. Hardcover. 125 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm. $2.50 dust jacket, lots of rips and tears to dust jacket, with one nickel size piece of the dust jacket front side are missing. Binding are firm, pages are unmarked.

The Dolls House
Illustrated in full color

The Dolls' House, Rumer Godden's first book for children, will also be a delight to their parents. It is a novel about dolls in a renovated early Victorian dolls' house, written so beautifully that it is not easy to determine which are the more real characters—the heroine, Tot-ie, who is a hundred-year-old Dutch farthing doll, unblinking Mr. and Mrs. Plantaganet and their plush boy Apple and their dog Darner, or Emily and Charlotte Dane, the little girls who gave life to the dolls.

It is an anxious, sometimes a dangerous thing to be a doll, for dolls cannot choose, they can only be chosen, they cannot "do," they can only be done by. It seems that the only way they can influence human behavior or their own fate is by wishing hard.

Tottie, who was well made of good hard wood, could wish very well. Because of this, she managed to steer her small companions through domestic perils and pleasures in a story which, we believe, will charm readers of all ages for many years to come.


"It is Tottie, the little farthing doll, who is the real heroine of this enchanting novel in miniature in which two real children, Emily and Charlotte Dane, and their understanding friend, Mrs. Innisfree, appear and disappear during the removal of the Plantaganet family from the old shoe box to a real house of their own—the very house Tottie had lived in with Marchpane a hundred years before." —ANNE CARROLL MOORE, The Hornbook

' 'Fascinating reading. Rumer Godden draws Emily and Charlotte with the same understanding she has used to portray the children in The River and her other books. With consummate skill she has kept the dolls' world and the children's world separate; they overlap but each retains its identity and dolls and children remain unforgettably real when the book is closed. Charming illustrations in soft colors by Dana Saintsbury catch the quality of the present and delicately suggest the Victorian past."—ANNE THAXTER EATON, The Christian Science Monitor

"It's the most enchanting book for children we have seen in a long time." —Worcester Telegram

"This book is for little girls who love dolls, women who remember doll-house days, and literary critics who can recognize a masterpiece. The first find the warm, secret life they suspect is going on beneath these mute lips and cheeks so strangely cold. The second discover, perhaps for the first time, what a doll's house has been to them. For the third are the delicate balances of art by Which a master of fiction can tell—as Katherine Mansfield did in her story of the child who 'seen the little lamp'—a story about dolls and children that involves them both in the mystery of human life." —MAY LAMBERTON BECKER, The New York Herald Tribune

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