The Young Visiters
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The Young Visiters

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  73 reviews
A short “society novel” written by Miss Daisy Ashford at the age of nine. The notebook containing the novel was rediscovered by her in adult life and sent by a friend to Frank Swinnerton, the English novelist, critic, editor and essayist. Published in 1919 by Chatto and Windus, with its original misspellings and an arch introduction by “Peter Pan” author J. M. Barrie, it w...more
Hardcover, 105 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1919)
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The Young Visiters by Daisy AshfordThe Magic of Oz by L. Frank BaumMy Man Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseThe Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset MaughamStrange News from Another Star by Hermann Hesse
Best Books of 1919
1st out of 21 books — 10 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Young Visiters by Daisy AshfordBrisingr by Christopher Paolini
Books Written By Children
4th out of 14 books — 14 voters

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This Victorian curiosity is a novella written by a girl who was just nine years old, and it has two storylines: a love triangle story and a rise-in-fortunes story in which the titular Mr. Salteena pursues his worthy goal of becoming an authentic English gentleman. There’s a good chuckle on nearly every page here--all provided by young Ms. Ashford’s distinctive phrasing, creative spelling and grammar, and Cormac McCarthy-like, almost non-existent punctuation. But maybe the primary value of this h...more
Dec 22, 2008 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a completely charming and funny story written by an English girl named Daisy Ashford in 1890, when she was only nine years old. The story goes that every morning after breakfast and before her bath, Daisy would sit down and write one chapter of her story, finishing the whole thing in 12 days. The story, which Daisy wrote in an exercise book, fell into the hands of a publisher and was published in 1919 with all her spelling mistakes intact (which explains the misspelled title of the book)...more
Catherine Robertson
"I shall put some red ruge on my face said Ethel because I am very pale owing to the drains in this house."
I laughed so hard I snorted. There may also have been cackling.
I've read all of Jane Austen's juvenilia and enjoyed them very much. The Young Visitors also is a peace of juvenilia. Daisy Ashford wrote it when she was nine and re-discovered it several years later. It was then published almost exactly as it had been written.
It should better have stayed hidden in the drawer. It is fairly obvious why Ms Austen became a famous writer and we didn't hear anything from Ms Ashford again.
Hilarious! Written by a 9-year-old who is clearly influenced by the Victorian era and literature she had been reading. I read it for my Classic Juvenile Fantasy Literature class which mostly looks at literature written "for children," by adults, but this book seems to do the opposite. Or at least, it is the only book we cover that is written by a child. It can be read in less than an hour and is kind of cute, since it keeps her punctuation and spelling. At times I was amazed by words she chose t...more
Hilarious, unintentionally so, for the most part, but one suspects that some of the humour was utterly intended; and that the young authoress (only nine years when she penned this story) might have gone on to become a successful and perhaps even renowned novelist had she persisted with her hobby of writing fiction.

The opening line is a classic. "Mr. Salteena was an elderly man of 42..."

Everything about this book is funny, charming, strange, incredible, but also accomplished to an extraordinary d...more
Jun 10, 2011 Melee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melee by: Kimberly Karalius
Shelves: read-online, wishlist
Thanks to my friend Kim and Project Gutenberg I was able to read The Young Visiters this afternoon. I chuckled my way through it, impressed at the young Daisy's humour and wide range of vocabulary. I thought her spelling errors were rarther darling.
I wish I had been that awesome as a nine year old.
I was going to say I just "liked it," since it rushed through a lot of things. To be expected, I suppose, from a very young writer. But it did make me laugh heartily in several portions. Such as during the proposal chapter--a lot of passionate exclamations of love, a fainting, and resulting pouring of river water on the lady's forehead, and packing of viands. And towards the end, with this: "The Earl soon got tired of his sickly daughters and his wife had a savage temper so he thourght [sic] he...more
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch

Available online, in many editions. Among them this:

There is so much I loved about The Young Visiters. Mainly, I think, because it was written by a nine year-old. Young Daisy had such an imagination and adorable perception of the world around her. I loved that the editor and publisher kept the original spelling and format of the book--it really helped create the voice of the young author and made it so much fun to read. While a nine year-old can't be expected to create a masterpiece in character and plot, I so thoroughly enjoyed every minute of t...more
I'd never heard of this book until a friend at work told me about it. She couldn't remember the name of it, or who it was written by — all she could recall was that the author was a nine-year-old British girl and that the BBC made a movie about it several years ago. She thought it would be the kind of book I'd enjoy. So after some Googling and research on IMDb, we learned that the book is The Young Visiters.

The original manuscript was written in the late nineteenth century, in an exercise book,...more
Syn Yan
What were you like when you were 9?

I stumbled upon this book online one day and fell in love immediately. Very adorable short novel from nine year Miss Ashford. Ignore the spelling and punctuation errors to really enjoy the book, focus instead on a young girl ideals of the adult world of romance, fashion and society. I admire her mature yet innocent style of writing as well as her wide range of vocabulary in writing a romance novel involving high society.

Miss Ashford is indeed a child prodigy an...more
This was a fun little read! A nine-year-old girl in Victorian England wrote a story about the romantic misadventures of several nobles and commoners in her notebook, forgot about it for several years, and then redisovered it as a grown-up. It got passed around among friends for teh lulz until it fell into a publisher's hands, was released to the general public and sold tremendously well. The descriptions of the housing and fashions and desserts of the very posh are particularly vivid, and the ve...more
The Young Visiters is a charming book. Written by Daisy Ashford when she was 9 years old in 1890 and full of spelling mistakes, this book is destined to be one of the charming books ever written. For 9 years old girl, the plot in the book is quite surprising and I wonder, how could she write like that? To me, the spelling mistakes add the charm of this book.

I can't say a lot about The Young Visiters but I can say that I love this book and enjoy it very much!
Evidently the first attempt of a 9-year-old Victorian child at novel-writing, forgotten about for several years, then rediscovered when she was grown up and circulated amongst her friends to provide some amusement. A charming amount of misspelling. It has a few giggles in it, like when Bernard Clark "always had a few prayers in the hall and some whiskey afterwards as he was rarther pious" or when he decides that he must not propose marriage in the city, but in a country setting, where they can b...more
Absolutely delightful and laugh-out-loud funny in many, many places! I was convinced this could not possibly have been written by a nine year-old and had my suspicions that it was really written by J.M. Barrie, who wrote the preface to the first edition of The Young Visitors. But Wikipedia supports the young Miss Ashford, so I will too. Whatever. Just read this book and don't bother to stifle your giggles.
A charming and brief novella written by nine year old Daisy Ashford in 1919. Sort of a cross between your grade school creative writing project, an Austen novel, and The Importance of Being Earnest, the plot is frequently baffling but often hilarious. An excellent quick read when you feel the need to take things less seriously, the Young Visiters may be downloaded as a kindle e-book for free on Amazon.
Now, why couldn't Jane Eyre be even half so entertaining as this? This hilarious look at high society, as seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old author, follows Mr. Salteena and his ill fated attempt to become a gentleman so that he might woo over the lovely Ethel Monticue. Unsurprisingly, this is a very fast and delightful read.

The whole thing is, of course, absurd, but in the very best of ways. Ashford's poor spelling and grammar don't hurt, but the real amusement comes in seeing the cast in...more
I saw this rather (or "rarther") eccentric-looking book on my travels last year, and only glanced at the inner panels of the dust jacket, thinking it was cute, but that the story of it being written by a nine-year-old girl born in 1881 was just a gimmick (y'know, like Lemony Snickett). It's not.

It really is a tale of Victorian romance as cooked up by little Victorian girl. They've retained most of her creative spelling and lack of dialogue punctuation. As such, it felt like a true glimpse into t...more
9-year old Daisy Ashford wrote this in 1890, it was published in 1919 spelling errors kept. Called an "inadvertent spoof" of Victorian society, it is amazing that a 9-year old would keep interest enough to write this. Mr. Salteena is an old man of 42 who visits a friend Bernard, with his young 17-year old friend Ethel. Salteena goes on to London to try to get into society, while Bernard falls in love with Ethel and has the great idear to take her to London where they eventually marry. Her parent...more
I did not think I would enjoy this, but it is an amusing distillation of Edwardian (more so than Victorian, in my mind) novels -- written by a nine year old who had read Dodo I am sure, amongst many others, and then wrote her own story. I think my favourite part of it is how things she overheard adults in her life speak of work into the story, so there is a Crystale Palace which, being a Palace, of course nobility resides there, and so forth. It charms me just as medieval arthurian stories do, w...more
The Young Visiters is hilarious and cute! It was written by a nine year old girl in 1890 with the original spelling and punctuation included. A totally unique book and it only takes a couple of hours to read.
Aug 19, 2012 V rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: funny
A surprisingly amusing (accidental?) parody of high society from a 9-year-old in 1890 England.

I have the sense that if the author hadn't ended her "career" at 14 she could have been a talented adult writer, as the dialogue is quite snappy - at least considering her age - and her vocabulary is impressive, despite her creative spelling.

Overall, it's a quick and silly read from a rather adorable point of view.

(view spoiler)...more
Oh what fun! This little gem was penned (ahem, penciled) by a nine-year old girl and served up here with her original spelling and dearth of punctuation. Delightful! Oh, would that today's children (or even adults) had the vocabulary and imagination that Daisy Ashford exhibits herein. Paragraphs have been added for the comfort of the reader.

I'm looking forward to viewing the movie that was inspired by this little book of barely 100 pages.

About the author:
An adorable story from a 9 year old's point of view. Even with all the misspelling you can tell that she was an unbelievably intelligent child with a remarkable understanding of adult life. The bits where her age shows through are the most charming though, to me. Too, too cute!! --The BBC did an adaption of the book with Hugh Laurie as Bernard and some other notable actors. Mr. Salteena's character was so well portrayed, I wish I could remember the name of who played his part (the father in Brid...more
This was brilliant, considering it was written by a 9 years old. But - WHERE WAS THE CHAPERONE
One of the most amusing parodies of society I've read in a while. Written by an extremely sagacious nine-year-old, this book performs the dual function of highlighting the adult's ceaseless attempts to conform and find acceptance, always longing for happiness and fun. Through the eyes of a child, the frequent scene-changes and elaborate costuming of the three main characters seem as ludicrous and pathetic as their goals, but young Miss Ashford's genuine appreciation for the good things of life a...more
Delightful! I haven't laughed this much from a book in a long time.
Charming, short story accompanied with a well written introduction and illustrations. Very juvenile story and whilst charming, is lacking in story, yet, it is a nice short read.
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Daisy Ashford, full name Margaret Mary Julia Ashford (later Devlin) was an English writer who is most famous for writing The Young Visiters, a novella concerning the upper class society of late 19th century England, when she was just nine years old. The novella was published in 1919, preserving her juvenile spelling and punctuation. She wrote the title as "Viseters" in her manuscript, but it was p...more
More about Daisy Ashford...
Love and Marriage Daisy Ashford: Her Book Where Love Lies Deepest The Hangman's Daughter and Other Stories The Young Visitors

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“This is agony cried Mr Salteena clutching hold of a table my life will be sour grapes and ashes without you.” 8 likes
“We must go for a day in the country and when surrounded by the gay twittering of the birds and the smell of the cows I will lay my suit at her feet and he waved his arm wildly at the gay thought.” 3 likes
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