Tag Archives: Holiday Romance

Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 4/4)

Comments in Bahasa Indonesia at the last words.

Title : Holiday Romance [Part IV. – Romance from the Pen of Miss Nettie Ashford (Aged half- past six.)]
Author : Charles Dickens (1867)
Publisher : Project Gutenberg (ebook)
Edition : February, 1997 [Etext #809]

THERE is a country, which I will show you when I get into maps, where the children have everything their own way. It is a most delightful country to live in. The grown-up people are obliged to obey the children, and are never allowed to sit up to supper, except on their birthdays. The children order them to make jam and jelly and marmalade, and tarts and pies and puddings, and all manner of pastry. If they say they won’t, they are put in the corner till they do. They are sometimes allowed to have some; but when they have some, they generally have powders given them afterwards.

This is another favourite of mine, about how children see the grown-up people. As the first paragraph has mentioned, in that country, ‘children’ means adults. So the children played roles as adults, and when the ‘children’ troubled them, they would send their ‘children’ to school.

The school was something to give the ‘children’ lessons about their wasted and useless life, like these two people:

‘Come here, White,’ said Mrs. Lemon, ‘and tell this lady what you have been doing.’
‘Betting on horses,’ said White sulkily.
‘Are you sorry for it, you naughty child?’ said Mrs. Lemon.
‘No,’ said White. ‘Sorry to lose, but shouldn’t be sorry to win.’

‘Now, here is a child, Mrs. Orange, ma’am, who is always at play. She can’t be kept at home a single day together; always gadding about and spoiling her clothes. Play, play, play, play, from morning to night, and to morning again. How can she expect to improve?’
‘Don’t expect to improve,’ sulked Mrs. Black. ‘Don’t want to.’
‘There is a specimen of her temper, ma’am,’ said Mrs. Lemon. ‘To see her when she is tearing about, neglecting everything else, you would suppose her to be at least good-humoured. But bless you! ma’am, she is as pert and flouncing a minx as ever you met with in all your days!’

In this story, the children made a party, and the host made separate place for ‘children’. The writer showed us how ridiculous adults could be. The ceremonial manners, their habits, etc, seemed silly in the eyes of children. I was driven to agree with the children, because their reasons were made sense.

‘O, it’s very hard indeed to get these vexing children to be entertained!’ said Mrs. Alicumpaine to Mrs. Orange.

This story criticized our ways of life. How we always make our problems seem so big and important, while children are just disturbers of the ‘big things’ that happened. It showed us that for children, our problems also aren’t as big as theirs. Does that make us right and children wrong? No, just think, and tolerate. Let the children grow as they should, without worrying about adults’ problems.

About the whole four parts, I would say that I enjoyed three of them. It seems that they were indeed written by children. Although, the writings were so neat and very well-written. Some themes and settings didn’t work on me, but still could deliver the meaning and the purpose of this book. Actually, I don’t know the real purpose, but for me as adult, it gave me different perception of life and as a reminder about our feelings when I was a child. And for children, it should entertain well, because that world inside represented their dreams, their fantasies, their hopes, that they are seen and heard.

Part I
Part II
Part III


Holiday Romance adalah kumpulan cerita pendek yang ‘ditulis’ oleh empat orang anak. Dipenuhi dengan sindiran untuk orang dewasa, dan hal-hal yang seringkali kita temukan dalam imajinasi anak-anak. Dickens menuliskannya sedemikian rupa, sampai-sampai saya pun bisa percaya bahwa penulis buku ini adalah anak-anak–seandainya tidak diberi tahu sebelumnya.

Banyak sekali pesan moral yang bagus dan berbobot di sini, namun diberikan melalui tangan seorang anak. Di sini, Dickens menggambarkan kesalahan orang dewasa yang dikritisi oleh anak-anak. Justru berkebalikan dengan anggapan kebanyakan orang tua bahwa dirinya jauh lebih baik dan merupakan contoh terbaik untuk anak-anak. Di antara kebijaksanaan yang ditunjukkan dalam buku ini adalah kepahlawanan dan kesetiaan yang diceritakan di Part I, nilai sebuah kerja keras dan kemandirian di Part II, petualangan dan keberanian pada Part III, serta toleransi dan menghargai orang lain pada Part IV ini.

4/5 bintang untuk kisah lucu dan menawan.

Review #4 for Books in English Reading Challenge 2013

FYE buttonAgak sulit menentukan kelayakan baca untuk buku ini, karena buku ini selain menghibur untuk anak, juga dapat menjadi sindiran bagi orang dewasa. Beberapa kontennya mungkin dapat dimaknai secara salah, misalnya saat anak melawan orang tua. Jadi menurut saya, buku ini sebaiknya dibacakan untuk anak usia berapa pun, karena bahasa klasiknya juga relatif sulit dipahami. Kemungkinan untuk anak usia 10 tahun dapat membacanya sendiri.

Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 3/4)

"Captain Boldheart's Lady Begged For Him And He Was Spared."Title : Captain Boldheart & the Latin-Grammar Master; A Holiday Romance from the Pen of Lieut-Col. Robin Redforth, aged 9
Author : Charles Dickens (1867)
Illustrator : S. Beatrice Pearse
Publisher : Project Gutenberg (ebook)
Release Date : December 7, 2007 [EBook #23765]

I found a difficulty to review this one. I didn’t quite get the point and didn’t really enjoy it also. It was a story about a little ‘pirate’ named Captain Boldheart who was sailing and found so many things. Fought a whale, saved a friend, kept other boys from Latin-Grammar Master, met some Savages, reunion with the Family, and took his bride.

"His lovely Bride came forth"It has to be something adventurous that Dickens wrote. In the hands of a boy, that should have a simple thoughts about life. He was just going through one place to another, with the bravery that he thought he had, and the power of his authority as a captain.

I think I still need more enlightments about this story. Not because it was bad, I still love Dickens’ uses of words and language, but this Captain haven’t worked on me, yet.

"Dost Know The Name Of Yon Ship, Mayor?"

<– Part II                                                                                    Part IV –>

Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 2/4)

Title: The Magic Fishbone; A Holiday Romance from the Pen of Miss Alice Rainbird, Aged 7
Author: Charles Dickens (1867)
Illustrator: S. Beatrice Pearse
Publisher : Project Gutenberg (ebook)
Release Date: November 5, 2007 [eBook #23344]

Once, there was a King and a Queen who had nineteen children. The eldest, Alicia took care them all. One day, the Queen asked the King to bring a fish when he got home from his office. Then he met Good Fairy Granmarina that told him to give the Princess some of the salmon, then he should tell her to polish the fish-bone, till it shines like mother-of-pearl, and to take care of it as a present from the fairy.

“Is that all?” asked the King.
“Don’t be impatient, sir,” returned the Fairy Grandmarina, scolding him severely. “Don’t catch people short, before they have done speaking. Just the way with you grown-up persons. You are always doing it.
The King again hung his head, and said he wouldn’t do so any more.
“Be good then,” said the Fairy Grandmarina, “and don’t! Tell the Princess Alicia, with my love, that the fish-bone is a magic present which can only be used once; but that it will bring her, that once, whatever she wishes for, provided she wishes for it at the right time. That is the message. Take care of it.”
The King was beginning, “Might I ask the reason—?” when the Fairy became absolutely furious.
“Will you be good, sir?” she exclaimed, stamping her foot on the ground. “The reason for this, and the reason for that, indeed! You are always wanting the reason. No reason. There! Hoity toity me! I am sick of your grown-up reasons.”

illSo, the Princess had her magic fish-bone. Then suddenly the Queen began to ill. Princess Alicia took care of her. The King expected Alicia to use the magic fish-bone, but she didn’t. The next day, one of the Prince injured his hand. Alicia snipped and stitched and cut and contrived, and made a bandage. His father looked at them and asked about the magic fish-bone. But the Princess said that it was in her pocket, she didn’t forget, nor losing it. The truth is, Alicia had her own secret.

“They think we children never have a reason or a meaning!” (Princess Alicia)

papaSeveral times, Alicia settled the household problems while her mother still needed some rest. And one day, she saw his father sat down so miserably and low-spirited. She asked the King, and he said that they were terribly poor then. Even the King had done everything, it couldn’t be enough for their living.

“Papa,” said she, “when we have tried very hard, and tried all ways, we must have done our very very best?”
“No doubt, Alicia.”
“When we have done our very very best, Papa, and that is not enough, then I think the right time must have come for asking help of others.”

So, that became a time for Alicia to use the magic fish-bone.

peelIt’s a beautiful story, about hard work and independence. We should do our best for everything, we should settled every mess by ourselves as long as we can do that, and to be responsible to our duties. We may ask for help, only if it is needed. Dickens showed this value in the hands of a child. Love it!

This second part was ‘written’ by a girl, so the story became more feminine. With the peculiar theme of a kingdom–though it was a little bit unreasonable setting for this kind of story. But, come on! this is Dickens and his children’s story. I’m going forward to the next part sooner.

<– Part I                                                                                    Part III –>

Holiday Romance – Charles Dickens (Part 1/4)

Title : The Trial of William Tinkling; Written by Himself at the Age of 8 Years
Author: Charles Dickens (1867)
Illustrator: S. Beatrice Pearse
Publisher : Project Gutenberg (ebook)
Release Date: November 12, 2007 [EBook #23452]

This beginning-part is not made out of anybody’s head, you know. It’s real. You must believe this beginning-part more than what comes after, else you won’t understand how what comes after came to be written. You must believe it all, but you must believe this most, please.

That’s how Dickens began this children’s story. At first, I didn’t understand, why. But when I’ve reached half of the first part, I knew that this book need a wild-children’s-imagination. Adults will roll their eyes when they read the adventure of these children. But William Tinkling was serious! I mean, yes, he wrote his story (with Dickens as his editor, it said), to tell his feelings. And that is important. Children’s problems, however small for us (adults), are important.


William Tinkling had a bride, named Nettie Ashford. The next day, Lieutenant-Colonel Robin Redforth was married also, with Alice Rainbird. These four childrens will write different part in this book. The first part is belongs to William Tinkling.

Waving his black flag, the Colonel attacked.William said those two girls were in captivity at Miss Grimmer’s. I think they lived at some kind of boarding school (cmiiw), so they wanted to set their brides free. They planned an attack, which was not going very well. The Colonel was captured, and William hadn’t had a chance to appear because he was waiting for an order from the Colonel.
The court was held on the grass by the pond.Nettie thought that her husband was a coward. William felt that he should clear his honour, so he brought himselt to be tried by a Court-Martial. He wanted to prove himself “No Coward and Not Guilty”.

The main problem of these children were that they won’t be ‘seen’ nor ‘heard’ by the grown-up people. They had ideas, but they couldn’t make grown-up people do whatever they thought it should be done.

Let us in these next Holidays, now going to begin, throw our thoughts into something educational for the grown-up people, hinting to them how things ought to be. Let us veil our meaning under a mask of romance; (The Colonel)

"THE PIRATE-COLONEL WITH HIS BRIDE, AND YESTERDAY'S GALLANT PRISONER WITH HIS BRIDE."I enjoyed reading it. I almost believed that this book was written by a children. Their plain and simple thoughts, sounds silly, but their seriousness made me re-think; this is how children should be, active, clever, and creative. (Though, I don’t know whether ‘marriage game’ good or not). The best things about these children are, they know the importance of bravery, obedience and loyalty.

“we will wait—ever constant and true—till the times have got so changed as that everything helps us out, and nothing makes us ridiculous, and the fairies have come back. We will wait—ever constant and true—till we are eighty, ninety, or one hundred. And then the fairies will send us children, and we will help them out, poor pretty little creatures, if they pretend ever so much.” (Alice)

There was a most tremendous lot of cherries.

Part II –>