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Daddy-Long-Legs (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Jean Webster
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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"Blue Wednesday"

The first Wednesday in every month was a Perfectly Awful Day--a day to be awaited with dread, endured with courage and forgotten with haste. Every floor must be spotless, every chair dustless, and every bed without a wrinkle. Ninety-seven squirming little orphans must be scrubbed and combed and buttoned into freshly starched ginghams; and all ninety-seven reminded of their manners, and told to say, "Yes, sir," "No, sir," whenever a Trustee spoke.

It was a distressing time; and poor Jerusha Abbott, being the oldest orphan, had to bear the brunt of it. But this particular first Wednesday, like its predecessors, finally dragged itself to a close. Jerusha escaped from the pantry where she had been making sandwiches for the asylum's guests, and turned upstairs to accomplish her regular work. Her special care was room F, where eleven little tots, from four to seven, occupied eleven little cots set in a row. Jerusha assembled her charges, straightened their rumpled frocks, wiped their noses, and started them in an orderly and willing line toward the dining-room to engage themselves for a blessed half hour with bread and milk and prune pudding.

Then she dropped down on the window seat and leaned throbbing temples against the cool glass. She had been on her feet since five that morning, doing everybody's bidding, scolded and hurried by a nervous matron. Mrs. Lippett, behind the scenes, did not always maintain that calm and pompous dignity with which she faced an audience of Trustees and lady visitors. Jerusha gazed out across a broad stretch of frozen lawn, beyond the tall iron paling that marked the confines of the asylum, down undulating ridges sprinkled with country estates, to the spires of the village rising from the midst of bare trees.

The day was ended--quite successfully, so far as she knew. The Trustees and the visiting committee had made their rounds, and read their reports, and drunk their tea, and now were hurrying home to their own cheerful firesides, to forget their bothersome little charges for another month. Jerusha leaned forward watching with curiosity--and a touch of wistfulness--the stream of carriages and automobiles that rolled out of the asylum gates. In imagination she followed first one equipage, then another, to the big houses dotted along the hillside. She pictured herself in a fur coat and a velvet hat trimmed with feathers leaning back in the seat and nonchalantly murmuring "Home" to the driver. But on the door-sill of her home the picture grew blurred.

Jerusha had an imagination--an imagination, Mrs. Lippett told her, that would get her into trouble if she didn't take care--but keen as it was, it could not carry her beyond the front porch of the houses she would enter. Poor, eager, adventurous little Jerusha, in all her seventeen years, had never stepped inside an ordinary house; she could not picture the daily routine of those other human beings who carried on their lives undiscommoded by orphans.

Je-ru-sha Ab-bott You are wan-ted In the of-fice, And I think you'd Better hurry up!

Tommy Dillon, who had joined the choir, came singing up the stairs and down the corridor, his chant growing louder as he approached room F. Jerusha wrenched herself from the window and refaced the troubles of life.

"Who wants me?" she cut into Tommy's chant with a note of sharp anxiety.

Mrs. Lippett in the office, And I think she's mad. Ah-a-men!

Tommy piously intoned, but his accent was not entirely malicious. Even the most hardened little orphan felt sympathy for an erring sister who was summoned to the office to face an annoyed matron; and Tommy liked Jerusha even if she did sometimes jerk him by the arm and nearly scrub his nose off.

Jerusha went without comment, but with two parallel lines on her brow. What could have gone wrong, she wondered. Were the sandwiches not thin enough? Were there shells in the nut cakes? Had a lady visitor seen the hole in Susie Hawthorn's stocking? Had--O horrors!--one of the cherubic little babes in her own room F "sassed" a Trustee?

The long lower hall had not been lighted, and as she came downstairs, a last Trustee stood, on the point of departure, in the open door that led to the porte-cochere. Jerusha caught only a fleeting impression of the man--and the impression consisted entirely of tallness. He was waving his arm toward an automobile waiting in the curved drive. As it sprang into motion and approached, head on for an instant, the glaring headlights threw his shadow sharply against the wall inside. The shadow pictured grotesquely elongated legs and arms that ran along the floor and up the wall of the corridor. It looked, for all the world, like a huge, wavering daddy-long-legs.

Jerusha's anxious frown gave place to quick laughter. She was by nature a sunny soul, and had always snatched the tiniest excuse to be amused. If one could derive any sort of entertainment out of the oppressive fact of a Trustee, it was something unexpected to the good. She advanced to the office quite cheered by the tiny episode, and presented a smiling face to Mrs. Lippett. To her surprise the matron was also, if not exactly smiling, at least appreciably affable; she wore an expression almost as pleasant as the one she donned for visitors.

"Sit down, Jerusha, I have something to say to you."

Jerusha dropped into the nearest chair and waited with a touch of breathlessness. An automobile flashed past the window; Mrs. Lippett glanced after it.

"Did you notice the gentleman who has just gone?"

"I saw his back."

"He is one of our most affluential Trustees, and has given large sums of money toward the asylum's support. I am not at liberty to mention his name; he expressly stipulated that he was to remain unknown."

Jerusha's eyes widened slightly; she was not accustomed to being summoned to the office to discuss the eccentricities of Trustees with the matron.

"This gentleman has taken an interest in several of our boys. You remember Charles Benton and Henry Freize? They were both sent through college by Mr.--er--this Trustee, and both have repaid with hard work and success the money that was so generously expended. Other payment the gentleman does not wish. Heretofore his philanthropies have been directed solely toward the boys; I have never been able to interest him in the slightest degree in any of the girls in the institution, no matter how deserving. He does not, I may tell you, care for girls."

"No, ma'am," Jerusha murmured, since some reply seemed to be expected at this point.

"To-day at the regular meeting, the question of your future was brought up."

Revue de presse

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Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 355 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 156 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004UJD63K
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Seraphina
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Que voilà un joli petit roman !

C'est en fait un roman tout à fait respectable par son âge (un bon siècle d'existence, il a été publié en 1912), mais son ton frais et léger ne trahit pas cette ancienneté. Quelques notations tout au plus pourraient surprendre ou gêner le lecteur contemporain (le terme de "negro" qualifiant des serveurs, par exemple), mais tout le reste est parfaitement accessible, sans rappeler l'époque d'écriture.

A l'exception du prologue, qui va mettre en scène et en situation le personnage principal, il s'agit d'un roman épistolaire. Eh oui, espèce dangereusement menacée d’extinction aujourd'hui...
La jeune Jerusha Abbott (18 ans) a passé toute sa vie dans un orphelinat, dont elle doit s'occuper à présent des plus jeunes. Un jour, elle apprend qu'un mécène qui souhaite rester anonyme lui offre les frais de scolarité et une petite pension mensuelle qui lui permettront d'accéder à l'université (on est quand même en 1912 !). En échange, il n'exige qu'une seule chose : une lettre mensuelle qui raconte la vie quotidienne de la jeune fille. Le roman est constitué des lettres de Jerusha (prénom à coucher dehors, qu'elle s'empressera d'abandonner, heureusement pour elle !) exclusivement, le mécène en question se refusant catégoriquement à répondre.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Délicieux 14 juin 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Ce roman à la fois désuet (publié en 1912) et moderne (pour l'émancipation des femmes et pour les avancées sociales) fait moins de 200 pages. L'écriture est merveilleuse, l'histoire simple mais accrocheuse (entre le roman d'apprentissage, la chronique sociale et une touche de romance), le personnage principal enthousiasmant et le roman est gratuit en Kindle. Bref, si vous êtes une fervente admiratrice de Jane Austen/des 4 Filles du Docteur March/des Enid Blyton etc., cliquez et lisez, vous ne pourrez qu'adorer! J'avoue regretter de ne pas avoir eu la possibilité d'étudier ce roman à l'école, j'aurais alors adoré l'anglais.

C'est l'histoire d'une orpheline élevée dans un institut de charité, et qui se distingue de ses condisciples par son intelligence, sa vivacité, son imagination et son impertinence. Et physiquement, elle est tout à fait charmante. Elle se démarque et un mystérieux donateur, qui jusque là n'aidait que de jeunes garçons, lui octroie une bourse pour étudier à l'université. La seule contrepartie: qu'elle lui écrive une lettre par mois pour lui raconter son quotidien.

Ne connaissant pas son généreux bienfaiteur sinon par une silhouette aperçue de loin, elle va le surnommer "Daddy-long-leg", en référence aux seuls éléments qu'elle connaît/imagine de lui:
"There are just three things that I know:
I. You are tall,
II. You are rich,
III. You hate girls,
I suppose I might call you dear Mr. Girl-Hater. Only that's rather insulting to me. Or Dear Mr Rich-Man, but that's insulting to you, as though money was the only important thing about you.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  184 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic 4 janvier 2013
Par LVilla - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Something about this book just pulled me in and wouldn't let me out; I couldn't wait for Jerusha to figure out what I knew. I loved her spunk, her honesty, her voice. That I would be so enamored of a book that's no more than a set of one-way letters was an utter surprise to me; I guess I feared that it would be boring. Instead, I found it to be exciting and interesting....and a little voyeuristic, actually, because I felt like I really was reading someone's letters.

What was especially interesting to me, though, was the difference between the world in which this book was written, and the world in which I live. Women's rights were still uncertain, yet here is a heroine who finds he independence, who dares to defy her benefactor and dreams of all of the things she might be one day.

I've read that there are some who criticize the fairy-tale ending; I'm a grown woman - married, with a career - and I loved it. I don't read romances or wish on stars, but a little happy ending never hurt anyone.

Read it. You won't be sorry.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Delightful Daddy-Long-Legs!! 24 juin 2013
Par Lesly Finn - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Somehow I'd managed to reach my sixth decade of life without having read this book, although I had intended to from my early years. Now, having read it, I can only say that I loved the story from beginning to end, and can find no fault! My daughters are horrified to learn that I have only just read it, and my grand-daughters have already enjoyed the book at 14 and 11 years of age. Yet we are all agreed, despite the wide disparity in our ages, that it ticks all the boxes for those of the female gender!!

Largely written in the form of letters from a lonely orphaned girl to her male benefactor, and reflecting times past, the heroine's trials, tribulations, hopes and fears seem as relevant today as when it was written. Her thoughts and feelings are revealed as she makes her journey through school and college towards employment and love. But, fear not, this story is no 'sloppy' romance - our heroine shows herself to be both feisty and funny!

A truly delightful read.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A wholesome, coming-of-age story, set in early 1900s America. 7 mai 2014
Par @realjaninenoble - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book is set mostly in the form of letters written by Jerusha (Judy) Abbott to her unknown benefactor, a trustee of the orphan asylum where she was brought up. We follow Judy’s introduction to the world outside the orphanage where she spent the first seventeen years of her life, when she is offered the opportunity to attend college for four years, at the expense of this anonymous, philanthropic trustee.

Apart from Judy herself, a lovable character with a tendency to react impulsively, the strength of this book lies in the delightful descriptions of the joys and trials of everyday life from the perspective of a young woman experiencing for the first time the kind of life most people take for granted.

If you liked books like Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, Little Women, and A Girl of the Limberlost, you should enjoy this book.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Daddy Long Legs 17 novembre 2012
Par Nancy Gordon - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I thought this was a gentle, charming read. Reading letters from this girl was a great way to see her grow up. I loved her appreciation of the ordinary.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Favorite from teenage years 30 avril 2014
Par Patricia McSweeney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Set in early 1900s. Story of an orphan girl who is sponsored by an anonymous benefactor to go to college. Only requirement is that she send him monthly status reports. Feel good book that is well worth a re-read. Good book for any age.
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