January 17th, 2011

reading

What Countess Kate Did



I’ve been wanting to read Countess Kate by Charlotte M Yonge for ages. I first met her in The Pillars of the House (wonderful book!) where she makes a brief appearance, but I didn’t understand who she was. I have a long shelf filled with books by CMY but as they are all the same edition and I hadn’t found a matching Kate, I missed out. Now I’ve been able to download the book to my Kindle, which has the added advantage of making the print a more suitable size for reading in bed. As CMY readers know, the small print in most volumes can be a drawback to enjoyment.

The first thing that struck me about Kate was how much like Katy Carr she is. Kate is tall and thin, impetuous; loves to read but is unhandy with needlework and other ladylike accomplishments. She likes to romp and to invent games and can’t keep a dress on for five minutes without getting it dirty or ripping it. Countess Kate was published in 1862, What Katy Did in 1872, so it is possible that Susan Coolidge had read the earlier book.
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