The entire action of this book takes place in a small English village. The local doctor, having retired childless, decides he would like to adopt a boy. Being a
Governor of the local Institute for the Poor he goes there and selects a boy who at the age of two had been a foundling, and who is now eleven or twelve. Everyone is keen to make this work, but there is a big difference in social manners between a boy brought up in an Institute, and the boy the doctor would like to have. So a certain amount of retraining has to take place. Of course this is successful in the end, but there are a lot of blips long the way. Our hero makes friends with a local boy who is definitely "non-U". They run away together in a boat they have nicked for the purpose. For a few days they have various adventures, some enjoyable, but most of them not. On being brought back our hero is sent to a small private school run by a clergyman, who beats the boy mercilessly, so that he runs away from the school, back to the doctor's, but remains hidden in an out-house. He is found, but becomes very ill, so the whole household is taken to a rented house in the Isle of Wight, where he eventually recovers. At which point it is discovered who his real parents are, and he is "U" after all, so everyone feels good about it.According to Wikipedia: "George Manville Fenn (January 3, 1831, Pimlico - August 26, 1909, Isleworth) was a British writer. He worked as a teacher in Lincolnshire, until he became printer, editor and publisher of various magazines. He had eight children with his wife Susanna Leake, whom he had married in 1855. Most of hist work consists of adventure stories for young readers, featuring Explorers, Smugglers, young Adventurers and Seamen. His adult novels offer critical social commentary on Victorian England, especially reconsidering economic questions."
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B&R Samizdat Express
January 01, 2009
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