How Nell Scored.
By Bessie Marchant.
Thomas Nelson & Sons, London, nd. (circa 1930?)
Attentive readers will realise that this is my second copy of Nell.
Last time she scored up a tree, this time it’s with fish!
On our second grapple with Nell, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Bessie Marchant (1862-1941) wrote proper adventure stories for girls.
That is — the sort of adventure stories usually written exclusively for boys. Complete rubbish, quite often, but not the relentlessly Improving kind of rubbish that girls usually had to put up with.
Her protagonists did more than caring for the sick or poor (but virtuous), or Random Babies, or learning not be so headstrong (or ambitious, high-spirited, messy, disobedient or whatever fault she needed to overcome to be a Good Girl). Instead, they got to climb trees and dig up treasure and go exploring and rescue people from shipwrecks. That alone deserves to be celebrated just a wee bit, I think.