The Runaway, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 232 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781903155264



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This Persephone book is essentially a children's story, but it's so delightful and bizarre that it's equally suitable for adult readers. Fans of Alice in Wonderland might well enjoy this story (the author was related to Lewis Carroll).Originally published in 1872, the book was reissued in 1936, illustrated with dozens of wood engravings by Gwen Raverat. Raverat loved the book as a child and pushed to have the book reprinted. In her preface to the 1936 edition, she stressed the qualities of the book - 'Nor is it ever pious, or proper, or sentimental; no prayers or death-beds can be found in it'.The story is about a Victorian girl, Clarice Clavering, who lives with her widowed father and her governess. One day, Clarice finds a girl hiding in the bushes of her garden. Olga has run away from her hated boarding school, and asks Clarice to hide her in the house. Intent on causing mischief, Olga causes Clarice all sorts of problems. Clarice begins to wonder if she is doing the right thing in hiding Olga, and her doubts grow with regard to who Olga really is and where she's come from. [January 2008]