Jeremy (Hugh Walpole, 1919)

A coming of age story about a boy named Jeremy and the growing independence he feels during his last year at home in the nursery before he starts to school — a life that, to an adult, would seem terribly monotonous and dotted only by the most trifling events, but events that in the eyes of a child loom great and important.

Written as a memory of 30 years ago, the author simultaneously seems to condemn the stifled emotional atmosphere and detached parenting style of Victorian England while also wistfully recalling it.

Nearly all of the books I read are quite old, and most have inscriptions on the front or end papers that can sometimes be as interesting as the books themselves. I think I’ll start a new tradition: from now on, I’ll quote a bit of whatever is scribbled or stamped in the books I read. This copy of Jeremy came from a lending library in Skowhegan, Maine. The first loan stamp dates from 1927, but it was last borrowed by Katherine Robertson on May 15th, 1962 — a rather young girl, I should guess, based on her handwriting.

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