Imatge de l'autor

Josephine Elder (1895–1988)

Autor/a de Cherry Tree Perch

18+ obres 424 Membres 6 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Inclou el nom: Josephine Elder

Inclou també: scarlettsusan-2 (2)

Nota de desambiguació:

(eng) Pseudonym of Dr Olive Gwendoline Potter

Crèdit de la imatge: Olive Gwendoline Potter, c1919. Courtesy of Royal London Hospital Archives.


Obres de Josephine Elder

Cherry Tree Perch (1939) 62 exemplars
Exile for Annis (1938) 58 exemplars
Evelyn Finds Herself (1929) 55 exemplars
Strangers at the Farm School (1940) 52 exemplars
The Scholarship Girl (1925) 31 exemplars
Erica Wins Through (1924) 30 exemplars
Doctor's Children (1954) 20 exemplars
Lady of Letters (1949) 20 exemplars
Barbara at School (1930) 19 exemplars
The Encircled Heart (2009) 15 exemplars
Sister Anne Resigns (2012) 9 exemplars
The Redheads (1931) 6 exemplars
Thomasina Toddy (1927) 2 exemplars

Obres associades

The Oxford Annual For Girls 13th Year — Col·laborador — 1 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Potter, Olive Gwendoline
Altres noms
Potter, Margaret
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Lloc de naixement
Croydon, London, England, UK
Llocs de residència
Sutton, Surrey, England, UK
London Hospital Medical College
University of Cambridge(Girton College ∙ medicine)
Croydon High School
children's story writer
girls' school story author
Biografia breu
Olive Gwendoline Potter studied medicine at The London Hospital Medical College just after World War I.

She was among the first women students admitted to the medical school because of the shortage of male doctors caused by the war. She went on to practice general medicine in Surrey, and also to become one of the best and most prolific writers of the girls' school story under the pen name of Josephine Elder. Her best-known work was Evelyn Finds Herself (1929). In addition to her children's books, Josephine Elder also wrote six novels for adults.
Nota de desambiguació
Pseudonym of Dr Olive Gwendoline Potter



Josephine Elder follows the interconnected stories of five redheads—four pupils and one teacher—at the Addington High School in this engaging girls' school story from 1931. Fourth Remove girls Eleanor and Cecily (with copper and "carrot" hair, respectively), are soon joined in their form by school newcomer Nancy Outram, whose hair is even more violently orange than Cecily's. An instant dislike on Cecily's part leads to a hostile situation between the new student and the pair of established Addington High girls, and it takes most of the book (and many misadventures) before everyone realizes they are meant to be friends. In the Lower Sixth form, in the meantime, auburn-haired Vivien McMorran, another newcomer at the school, is puzzled and hurt to discover that she is not as popular as she was at her old school, where she was always the center of attention. Her attempts to regain her sense of self, which relies on that sense of being special and outstanding, leads her for a time into somewhat unworthy behavior, until she has a moment of truth during the school's Guide trip to Belgium. Finally, the new games mistress, Miss Bright, a sort of strawberry blond, must fit into her new job, and figure out who all of the staff and students are...

I enjoyed The Readheads immensely, and am most grateful to my friend Emily for loaning me her copy, as it is quite difficult to obtain. Josephine Elder is particularly noted for her sensitive appreciation for and skilled depiction of the nuanced experiences of girlhood friendship, and that is quite evident here. I liked the way in which she slowly built up the relationship between Eleanor and Cecily on the one hand, and Nancy on the other, and that there were no sudden, melodramatic events (such as a rescue, or something of the sort) that eventually led to the three becoming friends. Rather, it was a gradual sense of fellow feeling, and a recognition of Nancy's good qualities, on the part of the stubborn Cecily. I also liked that Elder so astutely captured Vivien's weaknesses, without making her into some sort of caricature or villain, and that she was given a chance to reflect and reform. The Guiding trip to Belgium was my favorite part of the story, I think, as it allowed all of the characters to step away from the artificial constraints of school, and be (or find) their true selves. This is one I heartily recommend to all girls' school story fans, or readers who enjoy vintage girls' fare. For my part, I would love to own a copy myself, and am hoping that Girls Gone By Publishers eventually reprint it, as they have done with other Elder titles.
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Aug 22, 2022 |
Nicknamed "Tom (or Thomasina) Toddy" by her friends, thirteen-year-old Veronica Blacker was small in stature, but not in mind or in heart. Entering the Fourth Remove with her long-time friends Susan and Miggs (Margaret), Veronica was now a part of the Senior division of the High School. Despite this fact, she found that her size worked against her, particularly when gym mistress Miss Henderson, with whom she was not on good terms, put her in the much-despised Third Remove hockey team. In the process of getting herself out of this ignominious position—Veronica was known for "getting things done"—she made a friend of Stella Davidson, another girl whose hockey ambitions had been unjustly suppressed. It was a friendship that was to cause Veronica some heartache, temporarily undermining her friendship with Susan and Miggs, and causing no little confusion, when it came to the idea of friendship itself, and of being oneself. Eventually however, thanks to her own honest nature, and a few helpful nudges from much-admired prefect Anne, Veronica discovered what was what, and who was who...

Published in 1927, Thomasina Toddy was one of ten girls' school stories written by Josephine Elder—real name: Olive Gwendoline Potter—a British physician and author of novels for both young people and adults. It is the third book I have read from Elder, following upon her first two Farm School books—Exile for Annis and Cherry Tree Perch—and is one of the most difficult to obtain. I was very fortunate indeed that a friend agreed to loan me her copy—thank you, Emily!—giving me the opportunity to read it. It's been some years since I read the aforementioned Farm School titles, so I am unable to compare them to this one, in terms of style and storytelling. That being said, this is in fact the first part of a Josephine Elder retrospective I am undertaking, at least as far as it concerns her children's books, so I should be able to make such comparisons at some point in the future. In any case, I found this one enjoyable, and thought it had some perceptive moments, but somehow I didn't quite take to it as much as I had expected to. Somehow, I found Veronica less sympathetic of a protagonist than I would have liked, and I struggled to really become involved in her story. It's a (very) minor point, but I also found it rather odd that the heroine was nicknamed "Tom Toddy,"** but was always referred to in the narrative as Veronica, rather than Tom.

This is supposed to be a forerunner of the author's masterpiece, Evelyn Finds Herself, which is often cited by scholars as one of the best girls' school stories ever written. I look forward to reading that one, and being able to draw some comparisons of my own.

**Apparently "Tom Toddy" is an archaic English phrase for a tadpole or young frog. There is a little rhyme, quoted at the beginning of this book—"Little Tom Toddy, All head and no body"—that also appears in the 1870 Spider Spinnings; or, Adventures in Insectland, although I'm not entirely sure this is its original source. I would be very interested in the complete etymology of the term.
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Apr 28, 2022 |
Spectacularly good. This is a very in-depth description of what happens when two girls grow up together and then grow into themselves. It's a brilliant school story with appropriate school drama and goings-on and the characterization is beautiful. A really outstanding novel, which I expected, but also a very important novel that's got a lot to say about becoming who you are. I was a little nervous when I found out this spanned 4 years but the continuity is perfect and the characters superbly fleshed out (my favourite was The Gypsy).… (més)
RubyScarlett | Nov 11, 2013 |
The second book in Josephine Elder's Farm School series, Cherry Tree Perch returns to the story of British schoolgirls Annis Best and Kitty Forrester, who both attend the small, rather unconventional school run by Kitty's family. Annis is happy to be returning to Sutton Malherbe for her second year, but her peace of mind is soon disrupted by her first major disagreement with Kitty. How is it possible that the two friends could have such different reactions to the same person? Was Annis' dislike of Miss de Vipon - the Farm School's eccentric new neighbor - based on nothing but jealousy?

I enjoyed this sequel to Exile for Annis, although I understand that my edition, printed in the 1950s, was significantly revised from the original version of 1939. Just as Annis learns that unconventionality is not necessarily something to condemn in the first volume of the series, so in this book she comes to understand that different kinds of friendship are not mutually exclusive. Her gradual maturation is a pleasure to witness, as are her daily activities, from horseback riding to chemistry experiments.

Like Exile for Annis, the one discordant note is Elder's characterization of Kenneth Forrester, and the general secrecy that the Forresters maintain around his existence. I understand that this reflects the sensibilities of the time, but it is still a disappointment in a family that is meant to be so "enlightened." Despite that caveat, I continue to enjoy the series, and must now look about for the final volume...
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Jul 11, 2013 |


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