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The Young Visiters, or, Mr Salteena's Plan

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  559 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Excerpt from The Young Visiters or Mr.: Salteena's Plan

The lady she had grown into, the owner of the copyright already referred to, gives me a few particulars of this child she used to be, and is evidently a little scared by her. We should probably all be a little scared (though proud) if that portrait was dumped down in front of us as ours, and we were asked to explain wh
Hardcover, 105 pages
Published 1919 by Chatto & Windus
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Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really pretty hilarious, but I don't think, contrary to some shelving I see, that it would be very interesting for children. It is BY a child, but clearly modeled on adult conversation and novels. That these were not entirely understood by the author is a gap from which much of the entertainment arises. We have characters who were "sinister" or born "on the wrong side of the blanket" and little Daisy knew that meant a fellow was "not quite a gentleman". She apparently missed entirely the ...more
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
3.5 stars

This book was written by a 9-year-old so of course it's not the most brilliantly-written thing in the world––but Daisy Ashford's prose and attention to detail is certainly impressive considering her age. It's kind of unclear whether the story was meant to be satirical or whether Ashford intended readers to take it seriously, but either way it's cute and funny and I found it very entertaining.

I'll probably edit this review later and add in some quotes that I found particularly funny. :)
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."
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a charming little a nine year old...for adults.

The story, in addition to charming, is also funny at times...along with the spelling. I mean she was nine years old.

This is not a book for children even though it was written by one. It is a romance / society book.

I'm very glad I took the time to read these 77 pages.
Ksenia Anske
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh, what a queer little delight I just read. To all of you whining writers, this book was written by a nine-year-old and stood the test of time. You know why? It's pure story, from start to finish. Read it to study it and have a good laugh and a grin on your face when you're finished. (It will take you about an hour.)
Perry Whitford
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'The Young Visitors' is an impossibly charming story written by a nine year old about Mr. Salteena, who love Ethel and wants to learn how to become a gentleman. A friend they go to visit, Mr. Bernard Clark, can help Mr. Salteena to get in with an earl, but he also takes a shine to the pretty Ethel.

What a delight the whole thing is! At nigh on a hundred pages the young author has virtually composed an equivalent of 'Anna Karenina' (though the chapters do get noticeably shorter near the end!), ful
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nine-year-old with published book is the stuff of legend. But Daisy Ashford did it in the 1890s. The Young Visiters is very funny and very mature and well done for such a young child. She was clearly advanced for her age and had read many books herself. Everyone should read it at least once.
Beth Bonini
There is no way to get around the novelty factor of this book: a huge part of the pleasure is the fact that this 'society novel' about romance and manners was written by the 9 year old Miss Daisy Ashford. Clearly a very precocious girl, whose parents let her have the (often) inappropriate run of their library, Miss Ashford displays a wonderful sense of the upper echelons of Edwardian society and the courtship dance. Two of her main characters - Alfred Salteena (who wants to be a gentleman, but i ...more
Jul 01, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not knowing what to expect from a book written by a nine year old English girl in 1890, I found myself chuckling and then searching the internet to learn more about the book and the author. Daisy Ashford's take on society and romance makes for a fun read. I am impressed that she actually finished the book.

I didn't know where to shelve this. It's value to me is as an example of a book by a young author, which is a contestable decision. I may change my mind.
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.
I laughed so hard I snorted. There may also have been cackling.
Clara Ellen
Here is another book I was able to read at Open Library. I loved this so much and found myself laughing many times are the young author's way of writing in this light love story. I also read some parts to my daughter and she enjoyed it, too. I loved reading a story of grown-up society people finding romance, all from a nine-year-old perspective!
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenges
This is so FRICKING cute. I didn't even highlight all my favorite lines in the Kindle version but I did get some good ones. This is literature as only a precocious 9-yo can write it. I just found out that Daisy Ashford wrote more books and I can't wait to have money so I can buy her entire library. I will become a Daisy Ashford scholar, you WATCH me.
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
2016: This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I was trying to read bits of it out loud and I couldn't because I was laughing so hard.

Miss Daisy Ashford wrote this book at the age of nine (in 1890), and it was published in 1919. I love the nine-year-old's picture of high society: nobility living in the Crystal Palace, purple and red satin, posh hotels, and lots of fancy food.

You can get this book free from Amazon or Project Gutenberg.
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Susanna's Grandmother
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Rae
A hilarious and utterly delightful bit of late-Victorian kitsch, direct from the mind of a nine-year-old with designs on being a writer. The Young Visiters is the distillation of hundreds of pages of then-modern novels into 18,000 words of society, love triangles, and pots of rouge. The result is might be best described as "accidental burlesque"; Daisy Ashford's understanding of the grownup entanglements of books by the likes of Thackeray and Hardy is incisive and guileless in equal measure.

I've just re-read this. The Posy Simmonds illustrated edition with a different version of the text and explanatory notes. I just love it. I love it more than I did the first time I read it. Maybe because I now have children aged 10 and 11 and have a better idea of how astonishing a feat it was for a nine year old to write it. It's not just Daisy's ability to craft a story and describe a party scene, dialogue, a love scene, and so on; it's her acute observations of the culture and class structure ...more
Sep 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bethany 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.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
hoax or not (see description on goodreads), this was hilarious. A good, quick, short "novel" written by a 9-year-old girl who was heavily influenced by the adults speaking around her and her own reading of Victorian literature. Best of all, the illustrator has taken some of her funniest (unintentionally funny, of course) descriptions and brought them to life.
Sarah (Presto agitato)
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This Victorian novella, written by a nine year old girl, follows the adventures of Mr. Salteena, "an elderly man of 42 . . . fond of asking peaple to stay with him." Simultaneously sweet and hilarious, part of the story's charm lies in its spelling and punctuation, but the precocious author also had an eye for personalities and social situations.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britain, c20th
This enchanting little book was on my mothers' shelves and I read it when I was in primary school.

Daisy Ashford's precocious powers of observation trained me to enjoy Jane Austen and Dickens and the Brontes, while her anarchic spelling prepared me for coping with Shakespeare.

I suppose today's young readers of Dolly and Who Weekly would think it was twee...that's their loss!
Christina Packard
This was on the 1001 Children's Book List, but does not seem like anything a child would want to read.
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch

Available online, in many editions. Among them this:

Ashley Lambert-Maberly
That rare creature, the truly hilarious book. Young authoress Daisy Ashford has apparently been reading quite a bit above her age level and attempted to create her own novel without quite understanding the way the world works. It's a delight from start to finish ... slightly wearing nearer the end, but it's awfully short, so it's fine. It's the only thing like it (I'm sure lots of other young writers have turned out something similar, but without being quite so charming, and without getting publ ...more
Stephen Bigger
Some juvenilia should remain in the attic. This 9 year old's novella is quaint and its publication patronising - a best seller because of its arrr factor. I am nor against 9 year olds writing books if they have something to write about. Sounds mean, but Daisy has been dead a long time. I am reading alongside it the story of the abject poverty of alum workers in North Yorkshire, fighting for subsistence against the press gang in the 18th century. Never popular to be a Marxist!
This is a really odd little book. Written by the author when she was 9, it packs in a great deal of amusing social commentary and a tremendous fondness for rouge. It manages to be both funny and disturbing, phonetic spellings and all. Excellent illustrations in this edition. Solid 3.5 stars from me
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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

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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.” 4 likes
More quotes…