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A London Girl of the 1880s

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Molly Hughes vividly evokes the small, everyday pleasures of a close family life in Victorian London: joyful Christmases, blissful holidays in Cornwall, escapades with her brothers, schooldays under the redoubtful Miss Buss. The urban counterpart to Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford, there is the same easy intimacy with the reader, the same intensity of recollection Molly Hughes vividly evokes the small, everyday pleasures of a close family life in Victorian London: joyful Christmases, blissful holidays in Cornwall, escapades with her brothers, schooldays under the redoubtful Miss Buss. The urban counterpart to Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford, there is the same easy intimacy with the reader, the same intensity of recollection. Her college life at Cambridge and her first teaching jobs provide a fascinating glimpse into another world, full of everyday period detail, vividly and humorously told.


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Molly Hughes vividly evokes the small, everyday pleasures of a close family life in Victorian London: joyful Christmases, blissful holidays in Cornwall, escapades with her brothers, schooldays under the redoubtful Miss Buss. The urban counterpart to Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford, there is the same easy intimacy with the reader, the same intensity of recollection Molly Hughes vividly evokes the small, everyday pleasures of a close family life in Victorian London: joyful Christmases, blissful holidays in Cornwall, escapades with her brothers, schooldays under the redoubtful Miss Buss. The urban counterpart to Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford, there is the same easy intimacy with the reader, the same intensity of recollection. Her college life at Cambridge and her first teaching jobs provide a fascinating glimpse into another world, full of everyday period detail, vividly and humorously told.

30 review for A London Girl of the 1880s

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    When Molly Hughes turned sixteen in 1881, her father had died some time before, and her four brothers were out making their way in the world. Her mother gave her a choice --did she want to go live in much loved Cornwall with her own horse for riding and occasional trips abroad, supported by her brothers, "or--would you rather earn your own living?". She says, "I hesitated. Rosy visions of Cornwall and its romantic villages, possession of a horse (always a passionate desire), the sea, Italy and R When Molly Hughes turned sixteen in 1881, her father had died some time before, and her four brothers were out making their way in the world. Her mother gave her a choice --did she want to go live in much loved Cornwall with her own horse for riding and occasional trips abroad, supported by her brothers, "or--would you rather earn your own living?". She says, "I hesitated. Rosy visions of Cornwall and its romantic villages, possession of a horse (always a passionate desire), the sea, Italy and Rome floated in my imagination. It must have been a bit of my father's blood that made me say, "It's awfully good of the boys to say that, and I know they mean it, but I would rather be independent.". This book recounts her experiences as she goes to school to become a teacher and takes her first teaching posts--her studies, friends, teachers, family, and amusements, including a delightfully detailed section on her first visit to Wales.

  2. 5 out of 5

    rr

    As engaging in its own way as the first volume of Hughes' memoir, A London Child of the 1870s, but for different reasons. In this installment I especially enjoyed reading about Molly's days at Cambridge as one of the first students in a new teacher-training college for women. The excitement of the newness of the endeavor still feels fresh, even at this distance of time. As engaging in its own way as the first volume of Hughes' memoir, A London Child of the 1870s, but for different reasons. In this installment I especially enjoyed reading about Molly's days at Cambridge as one of the first students in a new teacher-training college for women. The excitement of the newness of the endeavor still feels fresh, even at this distance of time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Dunsbee

    Oh goodness now I am hooked ...by Molly and her interesting life......much more detailed and vivid than the first book ,as she is older and having a lot more experiences to write about....she had me a the great critical account of how bonkers education and it's rules in school often are.... However as a bright girl she rose to higher ranks and was better treated....became rather a pioneer of teacher training in fact. Also we see the start of romance and more family news... Very engrossing to me,ma Oh goodness now I am hooked ...by Molly and her interesting life......much more detailed and vivid than the first book ,as she is older and having a lot more experiences to write about....she had me a the great critical account of how bonkers education and it's rules in school often are.... However as a bright girl she rose to higher ranks and was better treated....became rather a pioneer of teacher training in fact. Also we see the start of romance and more family news... Very engrossing to me,many will not find it so I can imagine.....my father was finding it dull at times...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karyl

    Not nearly as jolly as the first book in the series, but then it covers a period of one's life that is generally not as carefree as one's childhood. In this volume, Molly has lost her father, her brothers are dispersed to make their living as they can, and her mother has had to find a new place to live, as the home in which the children grew up is too large and expensive for a widow living alone to keep. Yet there is always something at which to laugh and some way of having fun and enjoying ones Not nearly as jolly as the first book in the series, but then it covers a period of one's life that is generally not as carefree as one's childhood. In this volume, Molly has lost her father, her brothers are dispersed to make their living as they can, and her mother has had to find a new place to live, as the home in which the children grew up is too large and expensive for a widow living alone to keep. Yet there is always something at which to laugh and some way of having fun and enjoying oneself. Throughout the book, Molly pursues her education at a time in which most women had hardly any schooling at all. She also meets the man who will later become her husband. The book is written in a more chronological way than the first volume, which read more like a series of memories that had come to Molly as she wrote. At the same time, it's more detailed, so you get an even better idea of her life from day-to-day. What surprised me is the deaths of so many of her loved ones. First, her father was hit and killed at the end of the first volume (though Wikipedia says he committed suicide), then one of her brothers takes sick and dies, and at the end her mother passes away. I suppose that was normal for Victorian England, or perhaps even somewhat lucky since health and hygiene was just beginning to be on the rise, but it's such a contrast to modern times. Now on to book #3!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    A very interesting look at life in the 1880s. I wouldn't normally have read a book like this but I picked it up on the bookshelf at the hotel I was staying in Malta. I love reading books that I find, as it a opportunity to try something different. The book itself doesn't cover an great events on history, but just the humdrum life of one particular girl. However it still manages to be engaging and you can't help but grow attached to Molly and she makes her way through life. I would like to read t A very interesting look at life in the 1880s. I wouldn't normally have read a book like this but I picked it up on the bookshelf at the hotel I was staying in Malta. I love reading books that I find, as it a opportunity to try something different. The book itself doesn't cover an great events on history, but just the humdrum life of one particular girl. However it still manages to be engaging and you can't help but grow attached to Molly and she makes her way through life. I would like to read the first and the third in the series if I can find them. The only reason it took so long to finish is that I lost the book for a bit and thought I'd left it in a waiting, only to find it under the bed a month later!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joe B

    This was an enchanting book. From the very first page when she mentions doing some Euclidean proofs with her brother in the sitting room ('drawing room' as she probably wrote), it is quite clear that to be a Victorian kid ('child' back then), was a whole lot of fun! (or maybe that was 'A London Girl of the 1870s'?). She had her own views on everything, even commenting on the professor who could actually see 4-D space at Cambridge (sounds a bit like 'Hawking' back now). This was an enchanting book. From the very first page when she mentions doing some Euclidean proofs with her brother in the sitting room ('drawing room' as she probably wrote), it is quite clear that to be a Victorian kid ('child' back then), was a whole lot of fun! (or maybe that was 'A London Girl of the 1870s'?). She had her own views on everything, even commenting on the professor who could actually see 4-D space at Cambridge (sounds a bit like 'Hawking' back now).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    This second memoir covers Molly Hughes's life from the age of 12 to 22. She goes to the North London Collegiate School under the famous headmistress Miss Buss and then trains as a teacher. We hear about her first two teaching jobs and there's a romance. I didn't enjoy this quite as much as her first memoir, A London Child of the 1870s. The first half when she's at school is interesting but slow. There's more going on in the second half. This second memoir covers Molly Hughes's life from the age of 12 to 22. She goes to the North London Collegiate School under the famous headmistress Miss Buss and then trains as a teacher. We hear about her first two teaching jobs and there's a romance. I didn't enjoy this quite as much as her first memoir, A London Child of the 1870s. The first half when she's at school is interesting but slow. There's more going on in the second half.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susanna - Censored by GoodReads

  9. 4 out of 5

    Norman Vivian

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sally

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jane E

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

  16. 5 out of 5

    amaliabalash

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mille Libri

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shona

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna Samphier

  20. 4 out of 5

    Catriona

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy Masonis

  23. 4 out of 5

    S. L.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Margarete

  27. 4 out of 5

    Yordanka

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jorge Zanoletty Larrea

  29. 5 out of 5

    Donna Compton

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alison

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