The Peterkin Papers

The Peterkin Papers

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by Lucretia P. Hale
     
 

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Meet the Peterkins, a lovable crew with a notable lack of common sense. These comic tales chronicle their roundabout attempts to solve simple, everyday problems. Cheerful and energetic, the close-knit family of eight resides in a village near Boston. They play their piano from the front porch because the movers left it with the keyboard facing the parlor

Overview


Meet the Peterkins, a lovable crew with a notable lack of common sense. These comic tales chronicle their roundabout attempts to solve simple, everyday problems. Cheerful and energetic, the close-knit family of eight resides in a village near Boston. They play their piano from the front porch because the movers left it with the keyboard facing the parlor window, and they're ready to raise the ceiling to make way for a towering Christmas tree. Only the timely intervention of "the wise old lady from Philadelphia" keeps them from acting on their more elaborate madcap schemes.
Author Lucretia Hale, sister to writer and cleric Edward Everett Hale, helped break new ground in children's literature by writing stories to amuse young people rather than instruct or uplift them. These tales first appeared in 1867 in a popular children's magazine of the era, and in the course of a decade, the Peterkins became a household word. "The years pass them along to every new generation," noted Harper's Bazaar, "with the hint that human nature is about the same everywhere and all the time." Hailed by The New York Times as "a masterpiece" and graced with 153 delightful black-and-white illustrations, this book offers a glimpse of nineteenth-century New England life that charms readers of all ages

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Leslie Wolfson
It's no wonder that this book reads like a series of short stories since that's essentially what it is. The author began writing stories about the eccentric and dim-witted Peterkin family in 1860; the first story was so popular that she ended up writing many more over the next nine years, which have now reissued in novel format. Having been written more than a hundred and forty years ago, the stories have lost something in translation. Basically, every chapter begins with the Peterkins having some sort of dilemma, which they are unable to solve until the wise Lady from Philadelphia intervenes. One example is when Mrs. Peterkin accidentally puts salt instead of sugar in her coffee. She calls her family together to find a solution. The whole family takes the cup of coffee to the local chemist, and then to an herbal woman who lives in the woods. Neither can improve the taste of the coffee. Finally, the Lady from Philadelphia suggests that Mrs. Peterkin dump it out and make a new cup, and the family is amazed at the simple solution. Most of the episodes are in a similar vein, and there is no central story line or three-dimensional characters. It's difficult to predict whether modern youth will appreciate the silly and old-fashioned humor of the 1800s; they may simply find the Peterkins unbelievably stupid.
From the Publisher
“How sorry we have felt for those who knew not Lucretia Hale and the Peterkins…a masterpiece.”
The New York Times

“Lucretia P. Hale’s Peterkin family and ‘the lady from Philadelphia’ are standard characters in American fiction, and surely that is much to say of an author in these book-crowded days…Few writers leave behind them such a tribute to their greatness as the Peterkins are to Lucretia P. Hale, for the years pass them along to every new generation with the hint that human nature is about the same everywhere and all the time.”–Harper’s Bazaar

“People young and old, solemn and gay, rich and poor, will be glad to welcome a new edition of the Peterkin Papers. It is pleasant to meet the Peterkin family again…”–The Chicago Tribune

“[Lucretia Hale is] among the best of American women writers.” —Harper’s Bazaar

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781117890036
Publisher:
BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research)
Publication date:
03/11/2010
Pages:
226
Product dimensions:
7.44(w) x 9.69(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range:
9 Years

Meet the Author

LUCRETIA P. HALE (1820-1900) is best known as the author of a series of stories about a family named Peterkin, the first of which appeared in 1867 in the magazine Our Young Folks (later St. Nicholas Magazine). The series continued for nine years, and made the Peterkins a household name. In addition to writing, Hale helped her brother Edward edit the Old and New Magazine from 1870 to 1875. She was concerned with education and in 1874 was one of the first six women elected to the Boston School Committee, where she served two terms. Her last book, The New Harry and Lucy, appeared in 1892.

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The Peterkin Papers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Bad publishing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very funny book of absurd stories. Children twelve and under seem to enjoy it very much. I keep it on my desk and read one of the stories to my middle school English classes when I have a few minutes. They are always eager for the next one.