Back in 1910, this was how children’s books rolled. It’s one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite series as a child – the famous Billabong books by Mary Grant Bruce.
I can just imagine turning up to my critique group with a sentence like this in a middle-grade manuscript… I don’t think they’d laugh me out of the house, but only because they have excellent self-control. And yet I spent hours dreaming of riding horses on a cattle farm in outback Australia because of these books!
The power of words, be they strange or familiar…
Recently someone was telling me how historical kidlit fiction should use modern language to avoid alienating the readership. I’m not so sure. There was something about Bruce’s writing that immersed me in her time.
However, I draw the line at anything like the quote above…!
2 thoughts on “How times have changed…”
Many sentences have fine homes and travel poorly. I have longed like this quotation from the Bible: “And everything shall live whithersoever the river cometh.” I grew up in Sacramento, California, at the confluence of two rivers. Some lucky architect got to engrave those words in granite at the downtown water treatment plant. As for me, I’d have to solicit an article on rivers before I ever got the chance to use those words. Their sweep and majesty leaves me enthralled and wanting.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thanks Thomas! They are beautiful words!