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The Rag Nymph

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  790 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Set in the northern countryside of Victorian-era England, this spellbinding novel of good and evil, wealth and want, and the profound power of love is another major achievement in the career of one of the world's most widely read and beloved authors.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1991)
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May 08, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: high school and up
Shelves: 2013
Catherine Cookson doesn't shy away from the good, bad, or ugly; especially in this novel. The plot is based on a girl who barely escapes the life of a child sex slave where pimps are powerful and untouchable in a poor, industrial English community. In this dark world, those who succeed at guarding the innocent shine, but most are either beaten or exhausted by the fight. Most choose to ignore the atrocities happening under their noses while putting on pious appearances.

I was riveted to this story
Lynne weir
I came across this through the series thats played on the channel 'Yesterday' and was determained to read the book. I had it read in a few days and have enjoyed it greatly. Its a book based not on the grand side of society but of that class which is little talked about, the class that lived in the dirty shifty parts of society. This was interesting to read on as most of the historic books I have read are based on the fancy side of society. The ending was one I loved and I'm glad I read it and pl ...more
Whitney Oaks
Oct 31, 2011 Whitney Oaks rated it really liked it
Pretty good read. Took me awhile to get used to the dialect of the characters. Hard to read such improper language. lol. I really loved the characters and how simple the plot was.

Raggie Aggie takes in an abandoned Millie Forester after her mother leaves her on the street while running from the law. Millie is a beautiful and already well-learned child and Aggie knows that no good can come from her being left to her own vices, so she becomes her guardian until the mother is released from jail. B
Dec 22, 2008 Barbra rated it really liked it
This book was very good - one of her best. It was made into a TV series as well.

Back Cover Blurb:
Aggie Winkowski has endured the Industrial Revolution that brought with it the factories and slums, and turned her talents into a thriving business, trading rags and old clothes. Then, in the summer of 1854, seventeen year old Millie exploded into her life and gave it a new meaning.
Katie Q
Mar 19, 2012 Katie Q rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
What a nice story. The only real annoyance is how the characters do a lot of repeating of phrases. It gets rather annoying, almost like a filler with the book. Maybe it reflects the time period the book was written?
The Rag Nymph is a historical novel set in the 1840s and 50s in England. Millie is the daughter of two shady people: her mother was forced to turn to prostitution, and her father murdered somebody (he claims in her mother's defense, which is revealed to be a falsehood.) She is adopted by Aggie, the rag woman and grows up with her and Ben, a friend of Aggie's. This is her story. Millie loves Aggie a lot, but unfortunately for her, Millie is very pretty. Too pretty. And a lot of people are interes ...more
J Thorne
Dec 24, 2014 J Thorne rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was about 8-10, slightly more serious material than most 8 year olds would read! - but there was a nice picture on the cover so I picked it off the shelf at the library.
It is such a good story, filled with good people and baddies, and a love story. It showed me another period of time and what it was like for the people living then.
I still enjoy re-reading it every now and then.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it liked it
Story of trials and tribulations of an orphan with unusual looks as she is prey to men around, and has to grow up from a little girl to a young woman with fragile dreams and a grown up with romantic illusions gone before she finds love and security.

As usual Cookson excells in the atmosphere of times and place and people coming alive.
Mar 16, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wanda
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A TV series Rag Nymph (1997) was made based on this masterpiece written by Catherine Cookson.

This movie is available at YouTube.

Thanks Bettie to find this little gem.

4* Feathers in the Fire
5* Katie Mulholland
4* The Mallen Streak
5* The Black Velvet Gown
4* Tilly Trotter
5* Tilly Trotter Wed
4* Our Kate
5* The Rag Nymph
TR Tilly Trotter Widowed
TR Tilly Alone
TR The Mallen Girl
TR The Mallen Litter
TR The Fifteen Streets
TR The Maltese Angel
TR The Wingless Bird
Apr 23, 2012 Annie rated it liked it
I enjoyed The Rag Nymph even though it had some disturbing bits. I liked the main character, the rag nymph, Millie, but I didn't love her she was too perfect in every way. She was beautiful, smart, ladylike, pure and very moral. I did love her hero Ben, he wasn't perfect in every single way. Physically he was flawed, plus he had a bit of a temper and a jealous streak but he was loyal and intelligent and believed in improving himself through education, plus a sarcastic sense of humor. Ben is prob ...more
Good historical fiction, mid-1800s. Lower class with a dip into the upper. Interesting, not amazingly well written.
Carolyn  C.
Nov 07, 2010 Carolyn C. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older teen on up
This historical novel is set in the slums of Northern England around 1854. In all honesty, I wasn't crazy about the author however this quick read carries with it a great message of unconditional love and being able to look beyond a person's outward appearance and circumstances.

Trying to survive as a young girl, adolescent or women at that time without being from a family of "means" was as tragic as it was frightening. Sorry...but I'll stick with the challenges of living in America 2010 thank yo
Alison Chastain
Love all her books
Dec 29, 2011 Valerie rated it liked it
Another good book from Cookson. The characters don't exactly speak well but once you get into the dialect, speaking out loud helps, you get the feel for the characters. I had hoped she ended up with who she did in the end, the added villain and bad father was a good move for the book. This one seems to have the worst villain of any of the ones I've read of hers. I think the thing I don't like about her books that keeps me from giving her a 4th star is the all too happily ever after endings.
Melissa Martin
Nov 04, 2012 Melissa Martin rated it really liked it
This was a good story and I thought it was worth 3.5 stars. It was interesting to have so much more details of the 'actual state' of affairs of the time, during the height of the industrial progress and the failings it brought with it.

The characters were very believable and had just the right amount of depth and detail without going overboard.

A worthy read.
Jun 30, 2013 Maudie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a "Husband Read-Aloud" book. As of late, he has become enchanted with Catherine Cookson film currently on tap at Netflix and asked me to choose one of her works and read it to him so he could hear her writing style...which I have done.

Next week, he will have settled on a new interest. Wonder what Netflix has in its vaults for July??
Jan 25, 2008 Sue rated it it was ok
The story of Millie, a child whose mother has been forced into prostitution. When her mother gets arrested, Millie ends up with Aggie, a large rag trader. The book is about their changing lives over the years.

Rather too much gritty realism for my tastes, and not terribly exciting, but well-written and quite readable.
May 18, 2012 Lili rated it liked it
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Naomi Wood
Jan 01, 2014 Naomi Wood rated it really liked it
Love this story - This is my first CC novel i've read. I was put off as i always though CC books were for the older generation however i really enjoyed this story and was so pleasently surprise. Will surely be reading this one again as its such a great story with lovable characters and a sweet love story.
Jun 22, 2010 Susan rated it it was amazing
As in most of Cookson's books she writes with strong female characters overcoming some miserable circumstance or misfortune. I also love the English accents given her characters. If you like books set in old England and well developed characters, you will enjoy books by Catherine Cookson!
Aug 21, 2008 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dreamy girls
I discovered Catherine Cookson rummaging through my Grandma's bookshelves when I was 11. It's no secret that these are somewhat maudlin and romantic books, but they have a heart underneath which accounts for their popularity. This was my favourite and is fairly representative.
Karleene Morrow
Jun 05, 2012 Karleene Morrow rated it really liked it
What a fun story, not only well plotted and well told, but Cookson is just excellent at giving us characters that are real and full of life, ones we can root for, hate or love. Totally enjoyed this one, even if the ending was a bit predictable. Recommend.
Mar 29, 2009 Mookimook rated it it was amazing
Late comer to Catherine Cookson now a hardcore fan her works hold you into this word movie she was an awesome arthur and if you are looking for mystery, along with romance hint of sadness then read on you too will become an avid fan
Ann Laskowski
Feb 05, 2014 Ann Laskowski rated it really liked it
It was good. Hard to understand the way they talk though.
Jun 28, 2010 Natasha added it
Recommends it for: everey one
Recommended to Natasha by: catherine cookson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
One of her best, Cookson's usual themes of poverty, hardship and a wee heroine who is treated terribly and somehow overcomes.
Aug 01, 2011 Juanita rated it it was amazing
Ending a bit predictable, but not until nearly the end.
Oct 12, 2013 Beverly rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. An easy read.
Aug 04, 2015 Pol rated it really liked it
a lovely read
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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, who Catherine believed was her older sister. Catherine began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master.

Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby
More about Catherine Cookson...

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