“Robina Starling will arrive at the school this evening,” said Mrs Burton. “She is twelve years old, and has never been at school before. I want you girls of the third form to take her under your charge. Frederica and Patience Chetwold, do you hear? Harriet Lane and Jane Bush, I expect great tact and consideration; don’t forget. And as to you, dear Rose, and you. Cecil and Vivian Amberley, I know beforehand that you are always sweet and considerate to those a little younger and a little more ignorant than yourselves. Robina has been sent from home because of her mother’s illness. She is quite a little home bird, and I have no doubt will be sorry for herself. I have given her people to understand that she will be very happy at school, and I expect you girls of the third form to help me to carry out my prognostications. Now then, I think that is all. We will begin our usual lessons. Miss Sparke, will you take the third form girls for their history? Miss Devigny, the sixth form are waiting for you in the blue parlour.”
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About the Author
She began writing at 17 and produced over 300 books in her lifetime, being so prolific that not less than eleven new titles under her byline appeared in the first few years after her death. She was primarily known for her books for young people, of which the most famous was A World of Girls, published in 1886. However, she also wrote "sentimental" and "sensational" stories, religious stories, historical novels, adventure, romances, and mysteries, including several with male co-authors. The first of these was Dr. Clifford Halifax, with whom she first collaborated in 1893; their books numbered six. A year later she first teamed with Robert Eustace, and turned out eleven volumes with him. Her last co-author was Sir Robert Kennaway Douglas (her daughter's father-in-law); they produced only one book, in 1897. The Eustace partnerships are notable for two female villains, Madame Sara (in The Sorceress of the Strand) and Madame Koluchy (the mastermind of a band of gangsters, in The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings). One of her most unusual titles is Dumps; A Plain Girl (1905). She was also the editor of a popular girls' magazine, Atalanta. She was a feminist and a member of the Pioneer Club.