Foto de l'autor

Helen Dawes Brown

Autor/a de Two College Girls

6 obres 16 Membres 1 crítiques


Obres de Helen Dawes Brown

Two College Girls (1914) 10 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Her Sixteenth Year 1 exemplars
The Petrie Estate 1 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
brown, Helen Dawes
Data de naixement



When serious and sober Edna Eliza Howe, the daughter of modest New Englanders who value learning and education, and who have used a small inheritance to fund her college career, and Rosamond Mills, the boisterious "party-girl" child of a wealthy Chicago lumber-baron, find themselves roommates, the two young women at first seem unlikely to become close companions. Slowly coming to know each other better, however, a friendship forms between them, encouraged in no small part by Rosamond's anonymous act of generosity, when circumstances threaten Edna's ability to stay in college, and by Edna's growing understanding that there is more to her talkative roommate than meets the eye. Challenges lie ahead for these "two college girls," however, as a misunderstanding their junior year drives a temporary wedge between them, and Edna's growing feelings for Rosamond's brother, Jack, cause confusion their senior year.

First published in 1886 (my edition is a reprint, from 1914), this early college novel is apparently based upon Helen Dawes Brown's own alma mater of Vassar, and is notable less for its believable story-line - the circumstances leading to Edna and Rosamond falling into and out of schoolgirl friendship seem a little strained at times - than for its pervasive sense of celebrating the new educational opportunities open to women, and its engagement with the "woman question" (or "questions," as the case may be). That said, after my initial feeling of detachment, reading through the first third of the book, I did eventually find myself sufficiently involved in Two College Girls, to care about what happened to the characters, in the end. I was struck, when reading, by the great love and affection that the students all had, for their college - as someone who is fiercely loyal to my own alma mater, this appealed to me! - and by the opportunities afforded, by the college novel genre in general, for exploring regional, as well as personal differences. Since colleges would have provided one of the few venues in which people from all areas of the country would have mingled, and become acquainted with one another, stories about them offer an insight, I think, into the regionalist perceptions of the time. Western girl being rather "free and easy," for instance, in comparison to their eastern peers.

Chosen as one of our selections for the girls' school story book-club I run, Two College Girls was an engaging book - one I am glad to have picked up, and which I would recommend to any reader with an interest in the genre.
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Apr 1, 2013 |