Posted by Bill Dashfield on August 24, 2020 at 15:52:01 user BillD.
Some of the reasons I love the S&A canon is the realism, partly due to levels of depth he puts in. In first reading (at about 5 or 6) a lot of it would have gone straight over my head and I still find new things on each re-reading. Some of this also adds to the often subtle humour, but it seems not put in with an eye to adults reading it, but as a result of him thinking himself into the characters so completely.
But he doesn't slow the action down with explanations.
A couple of examples from BS:
Chapter XXII p258: 'plenty of herons and kingfishers, and no harriers but buzzards flying round the crags. “Crags?” said Joe, and Dorothea explained.'
- Norfolk being flat and fenny, Joe hadn't come across cliffs and crags. Tom, or the twins, would have.
Chapter XXV p284: Tom: '"Dad’s pretty upset about it too. He called you Portia by mistake, instead of Dorothea.”
Dorothea blushed. She understood, but she did not explain.'
- bookish Dot knows Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice'; Tom misses the allusion.
SW has quite a bit of this, especially with Bridget and Roger: '“Don’t forget to wash behind your ears,” said Roger.
“Used they to say that to you?” said Bridget earnestly, and wondered why Roger grinned a little sheepishly and Susan laughed.'
The 'earnestly' and 'sheepishly' makes this a favourite for me.
What's you favourite hidden AR gem?
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