Jun. 23rd, 2009

trouble: Two women clutching each other from an old pulp novel.  "Rebel Woman" (rebel woman (now with bonus lesbians))
[personal profile] trouble
I'm not certain if folks here are aware of the pure awesomeness that can be found at Girlebooks.

"Much more than a simple free ebook resource, Girlebooks aims to make classic and lesser-known works by female writers available to a large audience through the ebook medium."

I suspect that many a Girls' Adventure Book from one's youth, and many a new fun adventure, can be found here for your Girlycon Needs.
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I remember Ruth Fielding as being bold, thoughtful, creative, brave, and somewhat of a no-nonsense personality, who works hard on achieving financial independence. She was an orphaned teenager who comes to a small town to live with her mean, crusty old uncle Jabez Potter who runs the local mill on the banks of the Lumano River. His arthritic, hunchbacked, ancient, warm-hearted housekeeper "Aunt Alviry" is not actually Ruth's aunt but is a servant and for a long time is the only person who loves Ruth. Uncle Jabez doesn't believe in educating girls. But Ruth manages to win him over somehow. Anyway, Ruth goes off to boarding school at Briarwood Hall with her rich, beautiful motor-car-driving friend Helen Cameron, makes friends with everyone, and ends a terrible schoolgirl rivalry by creating just one big sorority, the Sweetbriars. I seem to recall their moonlight and candlelight ceremony where they're hanging out in togas by a graceful statue, with a harp. Ruth goes on to have a lot of adventures that center around her solving mysteries, helping poor girls get an education. Her companions include the jolly and popular plump girl, Jennie; and the slightly bitter lame girl, Mercy, as well as a rich friend with a cute brother and a motorcar. Nothing new there, right? But...

Ruth Fielding book cover

The cool thing about Ruth Fielding is that she's a scriptwriter for moving pictures! She saves her school when a building burns down by writing a moving picture scenario for Mr. Hamilton from the Aelectron Corporation! And goes on to become a successful writer, even transitioning from silent film to the talkies.

Note the fashion in the cover picture. It reminds me of the book from the Betsy-Tacy series where Betsy and the other girls try to look like Gibson Girls, with their dresses gracefully draped instead of being tightly fitted, and a "droop" to their figure, slouching rather than standing up straight.

I believe this might be the series where all the girls make graduation dresses from simple white cheesecloth so that the poor girls won't feel outshone by rich girl satin and lace. Or is that Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm? There was an amazingly cunning plan for their class valedictorian, Mercy the lame girl, to be able to graduate on stage by the clever and unprecedented use of a podium or a sort of Grecian drapery on a dais. Because it would be impossible for her to graduate on crutches despite her being the damn valedictorian on crutches! Mercy had a sharp temper because of her pain and illness and difference, and all the other girls take that into stride. She wasn't cured magically like Katy and Pollyanna and she didn't develop perfect patience; she stays crippled and a little bit bitchy. She's my hero!

Alice B. Emerson was a pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Known authors who wrote Ruth Fielding books include Mildred Wirt Benson, W. Bert Foster, and Elizabeth M. Duffield Ward. Thanks to Jennifer at Series Books for Girls blog, which I've only just now found while searching for anyone... anyone... on the net who is also obsessed with this stuff!

Click through for my re-read and chapter by chapter summary of Ruth Fielding of the Red Mill in all its glorious faily goodness. Or, you can read the full text here from Project Gutenberg. Summary: The miser has a heart of gold; the crippled girl walks again; Ruth wins the spelling bee and gets a new dress; there is a lone page where a Mammy and a young black girl make cameo appearances. The young black girl does not get to go to school or make any friends or get any dresses...

Read more... )
badgerbag: Young Ada Lovelace with a book called Advanced Calculus. (fierce)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I just realized that Jennifer from Series Books for Girls blog has a web site with summaries of a lot of books: http://www.series-books.com/ . Her overviews of series like Ruth Fielding, Trixie Belden, and Cherry Ames.

Here's a bit more about her site, which is totally amazing! I love the cover art archive, the summaries, and her analysis and summary of the way the stories and characters develop over time.

This site was designed with three goals: to provide information about many of the more obscure series books; to display cover art galleries not readily available on other sites; and to present information in an easy to find fashion. It is my hope that I have succeeded on all three points.

When I first began collecting series books during the early 1990s, I focused on the more common series such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Dana Girls, Judy Bolton, Connie Blair, and Kay Tracey. When I first used the internet during the late 1990s, I was able to easily obtain information concerning these series by searching the web. After 2000, I gradually branched out into the more obscure series such as Peggy Lane, and my search for Peggy Lane information was the catalyst for the creation of this site. I could only find one site on the internet with the information I was seeking, and it was difficult to find.

Y'all, I'm so happy that other people share my weird, embarrassing fandom!
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima
I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the two goldmines for information on the horse book genre. Jane Badger in the UK is a wonderfully opinionated resource, offering intelligent critique as well as bibliographic info. Ponydom bases its ratings on user reviews and is, I think, less interesting as a result, but very strong on the US material.

I rediscovered some childhood favourites and read some great new-to-me books based on these recs, most notably Caroline Akrill's Eventing Trilogy - very funny and with some effective class critique, but icky sexual politics - and Jean Slaughter Doty's The Monday Horses and The Crumb, both brilliant on corruption in hunter/jumpers.

I've started riding seriously again after seven years out of it, and the temptation to write YA horse books is making my typing fingers itch. Jane Badger, of course, has a good overview of what's going on with pony books today...


girlycon: A white girl in a school uniform with her horse, from the cover of Leader of the Lower School by Angela Brazil. (Default)

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