Evelyn is an only child; a serious little girl who lived ‘in a tall London house which you would have thought rather grand and very dull.’ Separated from her parents she is dispatched to Old Lady Tamerlane’s where she will spend Christmas with her and all of her grandchildren.
This story was written by Mary Clive, Lady Mary Katharine Pakenham. It was first published in 1955 and is a sharp and funny description of an aristocratic Edwardian family Christmas. Think Roald Dahl meets Downton Abbey with a sprinkling of Daisy Ashford’s Little Visiters.
Evelyn first encounters the Savages on the train where she is faced with the question, “Are you a Cavalier or a Roundhead?”
Evelyn is flummoxed by Lionel, Harry, Rosamund and Betty and with their noisy and wild ways. As well as the Savage children there are also the Glens and the Howliboos each with their own Nana. Each Nana is competing to rule the nursery with hilarious consequences.
Evelyn finds herself taking part in a series of adventures and misadventures.
Everyone hangs up their stocking on Christmas Eve;
‘We were all excited but in different ways, from Tommy who was so horrified and revolted by the idea of a dreadful old man coming down the chimney in the middle of the night that they had to hang his stocking outside his door, to Lionel who had put a wet sponge beside his bed with the worst intentions. I was in that state when you don’t know what to expect or whom to believe…’
This is a perfect bedtime read for the holiday season.
Published by Puffin Books
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