Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Treasures: Petticoats West To Jane Eyre!

 Tuesday Treasures is a recurrent feature in which I share the bookish distractions that catch my eye in the school library I work in on Tuesday. I'm not the librarian; I am the speech pathologist. You will hear no complaints from me about sharing a workspace-- this little old school library collection is chock full of wonderful treasures. Plus, I get to release my inner-librarian. The students who wander in looking for books assume I am the Tuesday Librarian.

Today's lunch and break pages are brought to you by:

The title on the spine of this 1967 edition caught my eye and what a fun retro cover. I had to read the first chapter. 

The setting is post Civil War Boston and times are very difficult for orphaned girls and widows. Seventeen year old best friends Addie and Sybil run into each other after two years of separation.

Addie never left Boston but illness, losing both parents and becoming poor left her disconnected (self-imposed) from her old life. Running into Sybil makes her realize that hardtimes have affected everyone and there is no shame in shabbiness. 

Sybil and her mother are planning to join a movement led by a charismatic but ugly man to take orphaned girls and widows by ship to the Pacific Northwest. Addie wants to join to but has no hope of raising the $300 fee-- with luck she may get to go as a charity case but, of course, work off her debt.

Quite the engrossing tale and a lot of story for one chapter;  maybe I actually read two chapters... I do lose track of time.

Do you know the author Olive Burt? The most information I found is here in a write up (including photos) by the president of the League of Utah Writers. Olive Burt was a very prolific author who mainly wrote juvenile western historical fiction. Click  here to see a  list of her books.  She was also  a member of  many writing/press societies and won many awards/honors. Interesting lady!

This edition of Jane Eyre is from the 80s. Did book covers typically look like this in the 80s?  I can't remember! 

I do remember last reading Jane Eyre in the late 80s while in my gothic phase.  Really didn't plan to ever reread it but Enbrethiliel at Shredded Cheddar will not stop writing about this book! If you don't believe me, follow the link to her millions of fascinating Jane Eyre  related posts! And on the first day at school, what book just happened to be on the library cart-- yep, Jane Eyre!

So after spotting it again today, I gave in and read the first chapter. Wow! What a great beginning and I didn't remember Jane being a bookworm or being bullied and abused by her relations. Her mean obnoxious cousin throws   a book at her head resulting in a cut! Good on Jane for finally defending herself-- I wanted to clobber him too!!

Guess I will be rereading this book sooner rather than later.

That is it for this edition of Tuesday Treasures. May you also have the joy of discovering a gem of a book. Happy reading, ya'll!


  1. +JMJ+

    "Millions of fascinating Jane Eyre posts," aye? ;-) I think I could write a blog entirely about Jane Eyre if I wanted to, but I decided to give my long-suffering readers some reprieves.

    I was also surprised anew when I reread the beginning a few months ago. Jane Eyre is a novel I already knew really, really well--so that reading experience was wonderful, a blend of the thrill of discovering a new book and the familiarity of a conversation with an old friend.

    One of my professors said that one reason Jane has endured as a beloved character is that she loves books the way the novel's readers do. He went as far as to say that if he were in a totalitarian state and in charge of the banning of books, Jane Eyre would be the first to go: for readers are dangerous to anyone who demands conformity of thought and action, and no reader in literature shows that better than Jane!

  2. Wow. What a post and comment to wake up to. I know. I ended on a preposition. I'm sticking my tongue out at you.
    I think I need to chug back some coffee and reread this!
    Pretty fascinating. I had not remembered that about Jane Eyre. I need to pick it up. I think I will request it from my library!
    And yes, that IS what covers looked like.
    I had never heard of Olive Burt, but I may look her up as well. I like those kind of stories.
    Great post!

  3. E: That is what I love about rereading too-- even more frequent rereads like LoTR-- comfortingly familiar but always something new to discover. Bookworm characters are very appealing-- gives a reader a feeling of instant kinship. I'd love to take that professor's class!

    Leslie: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it-- hope it didn't tax your pre-coffee brain! hahah

    I like those kind of stories too and read a lot of them as a kid-- maybe I even read an Olive Burt book as a kid. To me it is more interesting to learn about a forgotten author than a current popular one. Sad when books/authors are forgotten.

  4. +JMJ+

    Even current authors are great when they are overlooked. I find that many popular books have mass appeal because of some lowest common denominator (not all, just many!), while "niche" novels that don't do as well actually have so much more going for them.

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  6. I loved the book "Petticoats West" in early elementary school! When we moved from Pennsylvania I was never able to find it in my new town's school or public library. It made such an impact on my developing sense of romance that I have occasionally searched the internet for it over the past few years. Imagine my delight when I tried again today and found it on your blog. And now I have an author's name as well!
    Thank you,
    A fellow SLP,

  7. Speechmom: Oh, thank you so much for sharing! Favorite childhood books are unforgettable, aren't they. I'm so pleased that our little bookish blog was of help in your search and I sure hope you find a copy of the book for your library.

    And what a coinkydink that you are an SLP too! Come back and chat anytime! If you have a blog, please leave the url, I'd like to come visit.



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