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Daddy-Long-Legs & Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs #1-2)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,379 ratings  ·  123 reviews
One of the great novels of American girlhood, Jean Webster's Daddy-Long- Legs (1912) follows the adventures of an orphan named Judy Abbott, whose letters to her anonymous male benefactor trace her development as an independent thinker and writer. Its sequel, Dear Enemy (1915), also told in letters, follows the progress of Judy's former orphanage now run by her friend Salli ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published January 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,061)
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Dearest Judy---can I call you Judy?

Forgive me for jumping ahead of myself but in my imagination we are already the best of friends. I've already let Anne, Jo and Sarah know to make room for you at our lunch table. I feel like I know you so well! Reading your letters to Daddy Long Legs (DLL) was like reading your diary and I bet it felt like that to you too, with him stubbornly refusing to reply and all. (I knew he'd cave in eventually. I mean, how could he resist? You are awesome.)

Your letters
Absolutely charming!
Where has Jerusha Abbott been all my life? As a devotee of plucky heroines like Anne Shirley and Jo March, I am so surprised that I never discovered this book when I was younger. I'm happy to run across it as an adult, though. I have the two-book collection and have only read 'Daddy-Long-Legs' so far, but 'Dear Enemy' is waiting on my bedside table, so I may edit this review.

'Daddy-Long-Legs' is in epistolary novel told from the perspective of the letters between a young orph
Jun 17, 2009 Wirepuppy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Wirepuppy by: My mom
I just remembered "Daddy Long-Legs", a book that I really loved as a young teen. My mother gave this to me when I was something between 12 and 14 because she had read it when she was younger and she thought I might like it. I read this book quite a few times when I was younger (I read it in German back then and I've never actually read the original). I just really liked the character of Judy Abott and the way she had this whole new world to explore after spending her whole life in an orphanage, ...more
Even though Daddy-Long-Legs is the superior book of the two, this is the best format to read Webster's two classic tales of Jerusha "Judy" Abbott and her experiences growing up in an orphanage from which she departs for college and the wider world, thanks to the funding of an anonymous Trustee of the John Grier Home - who doesn't like girls. The two conditions of his grant are that his identity remain anonymous, and that Jerusha will write a monthly letter to him with a report of her performance ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Kivrin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sarah
How is it that I'm 32 years old and just discovering Daddy-Long-Legs? Such a delicious book: girlish and feminist, secretive and frank, old-fashioned and progressive, all at the same time. How exciting to know that there are still so many wonderful books waiting to be discovered. (And so many of them freely available via Project Gutenberg!)

I feel as happy as the delightful Judy Abbott felt at the end of Daddy-Long-Legs.

ETA: Good heavens, I do believe that I enjoyed the second volume even more th
I thought this was a fun book, light and charming--I loved reading the protagonist's letters (they made me want to write better letters!) and her bubbly descriptions of college life were delightful. I had skimmed this book years before, so much of its content wasn't new to me, but I'd forgotten many of the details, and it was fun to revisit.
Janice (Janicu)
A really charming classic; this is the story of Jerusha who grew up in a charity home and has just been given a scholarship to go to university. Her mysterious benefactor (who wants to be known only as Mr. John Smith) asks only one thing: that Jerusha write him every month with an update on what she is learning, but not to expect any reply. Because Jerusha saw him walking away once in the fading light and had an impression of a tall man with a long shadow like a spider, she nicknames him Daddy L ...more
Monica Fastenau
These two books, packaged together, are so cute! Written in the early 1900s, both books have a charm and a life about them. Both are epistolary novels, seen only through the letters of one person. Daddy-Long-Legs is composed of letters from an orphan girl named Judy who has been sent to college by a mysterious benefactor, whom she nicknames Daddy-Long-Legs. Judy learns and experiences new things, both through her classes and through her exposure to new friends, and eventually, through meeting Da ...more
Well, I had read Daddy Long Legs as a teenager and knew the story (also from the adorable movie with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron.) I had not read Dear Enemy which is published in this volume with DLL. They are light and charming with inevitable plots but the writing is such fun to read. Highly recommend them for someone looking for a sweet, frothy diversion. They were perfect for me for this crazy summer. Just had another thought. They were written 100 years ago (1912 and 1914) and yet, togeth ...more
Roghayeh Mahmoudi
ﺍﺯ ﻧﺎﻣﻪ ﻫﺎﻱ ﺑﺎﺑﺎ ﻟﻨﮓ ﺩﺭﺍﺯ ﺑﻪ ﺟﻮﺩﻱ ﺍﺑﻮﺕ
ﺟﻮﺩﻱ! ﮐﺎﻣﻼ ﺑﺎ ﺗﻮ ﻣﻮﺍﻓﻖ ﻫﺴﺘﻢ ﮐﻪ ﻋﺪﻩ ﺍﻱ ﺍﺯ
ﻣﺮﺩﻡ ﻫﺮﮔﺰ ﺯﻧﺪﮔﻲ ﻧﻤﻲ ﮐﻨﻨﺪ
ﻭ ﺯﻧﺪﮔﻲ ﺭﺍ ﻳﮏ ﻣﺴﺎﺑﻘﻪ ﺩﻭ ﻣﻲ ﺩﺍﻧﻨﺪ ﻭ ﻣﻲ
ﺧﻮﺍﻫﻨﺪ ﻫﺮﭼﻪ ﺯﻭﺩﺗﺮ ﺑﻪ ﻫﺪﻓﻲ ﮐﻪ ﺩﺭ ﺍﻓﻖ
ﺩﻭﺭﺩﺳﺖ ﺍﺳﺖ ﺩﺳﺖ ﻳﺎﺑﻨﺪ
ﻭ ﻣﺘﻮﺟﻪ ﻧﻤﻲ ﺷﻮﻧﺪ ﮐﻪ ﺁﻥ ﻗﺪﺭﺧﺴﺘﻪ ﺷﺪﻩ ﺍﻧﺪ
ﮐﻪ ﺷﺎﻳﺪ ﻧﺘﻮﺍﻧﻨﺪ ﺑﻪ ﻣﻘﺼﺪ ﺑﺮﺳﻨﺪ
ﻭ ﺍﮔﺮﻫﻢ ﺑﺮﺳﻨﺪ ﻧﺎﮔﻬﺎﻥ ﺧﻮﺩ ﺭﺍ ﺩﺭ ﭘﺎﻳﺎﻥ ﺧﻂ
ﻣﻲ ﺑﻴﻨﻨﺪ.
ﺩﺭﺣﺎﻟﻲ ﮐﻪ ﻧﻪ ﺑﻪ ﻣﺴﻴﺮ ﺗﻮﺟﻪ ﺩﺍﺷﺘﻪ ﺍﻧﺪ ﻭ ﻧﻪ
ﻟﺬﺗﻲ ﺍﺯ ﺁﻥ ﺑﺮﺩﻩ ﺍﻧﺪ .
ﺩﻳﺮ ﻳﺎ ﺯﻭﺩ ﺁﺩﻡ ﭘﻴﺮ ﻭ ﺧﺴﺘﻪ ﻣﻲ ﺷﻮﺩ ﺩﺭﺣﺎﻟﻲ ﮐﻪ
ﺍﺯ ﺍﻃﺮﺍﻑ ﺧﻮﺩ ﻏﺎﻓﻞ ﺑﻮﺩﻩ ﺍﺳﺖ.
ﺁﻥ ﻭﻗﺖ ﺩﻳﮕﺮ ﺭﺳﻴﺪﻥ ﺑﻪ ﺁﺭﺯﻭﻫﺎ ﻭ ﺍﻫﺪﺍﻑ ﻫﻢ
ﺑﺮﺍﻳﺶ ﺑﻲ ﺗﻔﺎﻭﺕ ﻣﻲ ﺷﻮﺩ ﻭ
Najibah Abu Bakar
Have been craving to read this book since watching the cartoon series on TV like 20 years back. Then 2 years ago got the book during weeding and became part of my collection. But only at the end of 2008 managed to read it from cover to cover. So refreshing and bringing me back the childhood memories.
I felt like something a bit lighter hearted after a rather bleak excursion through one of Dostoievski’s less hopeful works and decided upon Daddy Long Legs as a suitable candidate for a few smiles. Like several reviewers here, I came in contact with Judy Abbott and her story through the 90s Japanese animated version My Daddy Long Legs which was part of the World Masterpiece Theatre container that presented several Western classical young adult/children’s books in series format. And while there w ...more
Mayday Maddie
This was recommended to me by a fellow teen center advisor -- an avid bookreader -- as her favorite book...

And I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! It don't know if it is my "favorite" book, but it certainly ranks up there. The novel is completely epistolary (written in letters) making it double the awesome.

It follows the correspondance of a grateful orphan to the anonymous benefactor who paid in full for her to attend Princeton University and become a professional writer. The requirement for her allowance wa
Reading is a pleasure, ain't it! And it is more interesting when you discover a book out of the blue and it turns out to be a masterpiece!

One of the many reasons why I LOVE the blogging world, is because " you find books everyday, out of the blue".

So there I was hopping around my Google Reader from blog to blog, reading what had been going on in each of my friends reading lives, when I chanced upon a review of a book named Daddy-Long-Legs (and Dear Enemy) by Jean Webster on Nymeth's Blog! Now, w
When I first heard of Daddy Long Legs it was during my Secondary School days. I hate to admit it, but at that time I was not really interested in reading the book. I read the book title and that was it; I never made it a point of reading the blurb until I read Nymeth's lovely review she posted in January this year. Though I know it is never too late to read it (or any other things for that matter), imagine what I have missed during all these years!

Anyway, Daddy Long Legs centers the life of an o
This book made me want to live in the early 1900 and be packing my bags for college. I enjoyed watching Jerusha grow from a naive girl into a confident and independent young woman. It was very interesting how the author showed her grow intellectually throughout her four years of college.

The one thing that this book really made me think about is am I grateful for my blessings. I kept asking myself: Do people need to have such great hardships to be truly grateful for all God has given us? Jerusha
What a FABULOUS book! I loved every page! I thought that Judy was so clever. I loved her dear letters to daddy-long-legs and was very inspired by some of the things she said (see below). What a pleasant surprise the ending was! Delightful book written in letter form with pictures too!


"It isn't the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh-- I reall
Sep 03, 2010 Alicia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alicia by: Lori W.
I just reread this for our book club... very fun, quick read!

Fun quotes from an orphan girl writing letters from college:
"Did you ever hear of such a discouraging series of events? It isn't
the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a
crisis and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty
hazards of the day with a laugh--I really think that requires SPIRIT." (p. 51)

"I don't agree with the theory that adversity and sorrow and disappointment develop moral str
Carlyn Brody
I love classic school themed books. The books are usually about some kid going to boarding school and how their life is during the school year. What I love about them is the freedom that young people use to have in those days and how they use to entertain themselves.

Doesn’t Daddy Long Legs sound like a book about spiders? The book is about an orphaned girl named Judy Abbott who goes to college. To be honest, I don’t like the title of the book at all. I think it’s too juvenile a title for a girl
Suzanne Stephens
Somehow I completely missed this book when growing up. Just read about it recently on the yarnstorm blog. The blog's author--("blogress"?)is working on a book about the foods from famous children's literature. What a fun project and how jealous am I that I didn't think of that!! Anyway--if you missed Daddy-Long-Legs and the sequel, Dear Enemy, when growing up, it's not too late! What delightful books! Improbable? Yes--but suspend that disbelief and just enjoy!

(If you get the Penguin Edition--whi
The classic story of orphaned Jerusha Abbot, rescued from a bleak future by one of the trustees of the orphanage which she's now outgrown. Convinced by the Home's Superintendant that Jerusha is a worthy cause, the trustee agrees to put her through college, on two conditions: one, that he remain anonymous and two, that Jerusha who very quickly rechristens herself Judy write him a letter every month. Judy, with nobody else with whom to share her wonder as she gradually discovers the world outside ...more
Very sweet story, told in the form of letters. Jerusha Abbott, the oldest orphan at the John Grier Home, is sponsored by an anonymous trustee to receive a college education. In payment she has to write to him about her time at college. Her nickname for her benefactor is Daddy-long-legs, as she has only seen him in silhouette and he seemed very tall and long-legged.

Jerusha's - who soon renames herself as Judy - letters are rarely confined to educational matters, as "Daddy-long-legs" is the closes
Avid Reader
There's something about an epistolary novel. I think I'd have been nine or ten the first time I read this book. I know I got it from the library, and read it in one night. Thirty years later, this was another one-night book. Charming, and sweet, it's as good as I remember.

This is a fairy tale, an orphan made good story. She gets her education and her man. What's not to love?

There's some proto feminism in here too. I loved this thought, tucked away in Judy's description of college learning:
Elisha Condie
I'm somewhere between "liked" and "really liked" this book. The heroine Jerusha Abbott has a great narrative voice, but I found myself getting a little weary of what I felt like was her complete clulessness (is that a word?) about the love interest in the story. It was so obvious that by the time the big reveal came I didn't feel surprised or happy just glad that they finally got it out.
Jerusha did remind me of Cassandra Mortmain or even Juliet in the "Guernsey Literary.." book and I liked he
Two books, same author, same epistolary style, but different tones. I loved them both so much. Just a little effort was needed to overlook some bits of disturbing antiquated ideas from a century ago, and instead appreciate the then- avant-garde feminist principles smattered throughout both books. And I love a happy ending and a good romance.
A delightful young adult read. I am fond of books writen at the turn of the century. The writing is lyrical, the descriptions imaginative, and the grammar beautiful. Jean Webster has written a captivating book about an orphan from The John Grier Home. A mysterious benefactor offers to put her through college who she nick-names Daddy Long Legs. Jerusha (Judy) Abbot must write a monthly letter to the unknown benefactor, and will receive no answers. I enjoyed listening to her letters without expect ...more
Jun 10, 2008 Alicia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: It's a chick book!
Recommended to Alicia by: I don't remember -- maybe Mom
I read this book when I was first about 12 years old. (It was another edition bcs. I wasn't 12 in '82.) It's about an orphan girl who is sponsored by someone to go to university. She gets a glimpse of his shadow when he comes to the orphanage, and he appears as a spider, tall and thin, so she calls him Daddy Long Legs, because he wants to remain anonymous. Since he wants absolutely no contact with her, though she desperately wants someone to love, she writes him letters to tell him of her four y ...more
My love for epistolary form of writing started with Jean Webster's Daddy Long Legs.I have savoured Judy's literary style of writing for the second time. The whirlwind of emotions that both Judy and Sallie undergo, is so well portrayed, that the reader starts to sympathize with plight of orphans in the John Grier Home.The reader is taken on this journey with Judy's development into a strong independent lady and Sallie's transition from feeling the post of superintendent of an orphanage as a burde ...more
Daddy-Long-Legs & Dear Enemy are sweet, old-fashioned books that I am sad to say I never knew about when I was young. Very glad to have read them now.
May 28, 2008 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes "Anne" (you know which one) or old movies.
Recommended to Emily by: Carrie Meeks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jean Webster (pseudonym for Alice Jane Chandler Webster) was born July 24, 1876 and died June 11, 1916. She was an American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. (The books are available online in the etext collection, A Celebration of Women Writers,and in downloadable form at Project Gutenberg.) Her most well-known books feature lively and likeable young female ...more
More about Jean Webster...

Other Books in the Series

Daddy-Long-Legs (2 books)
  • Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
  • Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs, #2)
Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1) Dear Enemy (Daddy-Long-Legs, #2) When Patty Went to College Just Patty Jerry Junior

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“It isn't the big troubles in life that require character. Anybody can rise to a crises and face a crushing tragedy with courage, but to meet the petty hazards of the day with a laugh--I really think that requires SPIRIT.” 5 likes
“It makes me almost hope I'm not a genius; they must be very wearying to have about - and awfully destructive to the furniture.” 3 likes
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