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The Complete Bostock and Harris

Leon Garfield ð 1 REVIEW

AdelaideWith Bostock s always eager help they smuggle the baby out of Harris house and take her up To A Nearby Hill Where a nearby hill where deposit her on the grass in a declivity surrounded by bramble bushes Then they conceal themselves to watch and await the arrival of some wild creature a vixen perhaps who will come and suckle the childAlas for their plans the baby is stumbled upon instead by Tizzy Alexander on her way to a tryst with Ralph Bunnion the son of the school s headmaster Tizzy herself is the daughter of the school s Arithmetic master What follows is a mounting series of very funny conseuences literally a comedy of errorsTizzy spurns her young man and ushes back to the school with the baby in her arms Her hot blooded father demands to know what she was doing going to the trysting place with Ralph He demands a duel and to his horror is accepted The baby Adelaide is despatched to a foundling home and Bostock and Harris make increasingly desperate attempts to etrieve her while chaos eigns at Harris home once Adelaide s disappearance is discovered Needless to say Harris does not confess to his part in any of these proceedings We are introduced to the brooding club footed inuiry agent Mr Raven who sets out to discover the truth of what has happened an inuiry which draws in and of the people "surrounding these eventsAll of this is literally laugh out loud funny and hugely enjoyableThe Night of the "these eventsAll of this is literally laugh out loud funny and hugely enjoyableThe Night of the the seuel has a less involved plot but is still very amusing Harris intrigues this time centre around acuiring Bostock s father s telescope the better to see the upcoming passage of a comet In eturn Harris promises to secure the a ections of his sister Mary with whom Bostock has become hopelessly enamoured Needless to say that Mary herself has not been consulted about this Tangled into all of this is a pair of Irish oof menders one of whom is himself pursuing a omantic interest of his own which appears eually hopeless As usual many unintended conseuences ensueIf you enjoy a light hearted ead and if you e not put o by the label of children s literature as I eally don t think you should be I can heartily ecommend this volume And you should chase up Gar eld s other novels all of which epay eading Not since Rudyard Kipling s Stalky Co have I come across two such delightful adolescent anti heroes Throw in some silly teenage girls obsessed with beaux a pair of Irish ogues and a kidnapped baby and you have a fine broth of a book. Ill pass over their town Harris’s and Bostock’s thoughts turn to love Bostock swoons over Harris’s sister Mary; Harris longs for Captain Bostock’s telescope The boys strike a deal Bostock will make off with the telescope in exchange for Harris’s “expert” wooing advice Unfortunately that expertise is not uite what Bostock would have hope. Ryone knows *that in spring love is in the air and as it happens Bostock is smitten by *in spring love is in the air and as it happens Bostock is smitten by s sister Mary Harris has his eyes fixed on a beautiful brass telescope belonging to Bostock s ailing dad so the two make a bargain a swap eally sister Mary for the coveted telescope In theory it sounds wonderful in eality not so much The story weaves in and out with elational issues that are on and off mishaps that will make you laugh out loud and doses of wit and charm that will have you asking for With Garfield s ability to spin a tale in his creative and uniue style he has the eader in the palm of his hand all the way through The characters are loveable believable and drive this playful comedy ight up to the last paragraph I know it is a story you will truly enjoy and I highly ecommend it It s very funny but tedious at the same time I enjoyed the language tremendously but the story itself uite a bit less There was nothing to be achieved by panic he told himself over and over again Nor on the other hand was anything achieved by the lack of itIt was uncommonly noisy and he ecognized the matron of the poorhouse exchanging loud unpleasantries with everyone present Very very funny Having only ecently e ead The Strange A air of Adelaide Harris in an ancient falling apart paperback I was than delighted to discover that there was a seuel I had never heard of and that they had been "published together in this beautiful hardcover editionLeon Gar eld is a British writer whose books were st published in the "together in this beautiful hardcover editionLeon Gar eld is a British writer whose books were st published in the and 1980s What makes his books uniue is their well ealised historical setting They are mostly set in England in the late 1700s and very early 1800s It s delightful to see them eissued in handsome new illustrated editions by the New York Review of BooksAlthough all of Gar eld s stories have splendid touches of humour in the two novels collected here his intent is speci cally a humorous one Both of these stories feature the oguish pair of schoolboy friends Bostock and Harris who are around 12 to 13 years old Harris is the leader of the two unscrupulous curious and clever Bostock his slightly dim witted follower and admirerIn The Strange A air of Adelaide Harris young Harris becomes fascinated by the stories he learns in his Ancient History class about the Spartans exposing their babies on mountainsides and the legend of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she wolf He decides to test this out by exposing his own baby sister. S” the wily pair put their classical education to the test when they adopt the Spartan custom of exposing infants to the wild leaving Harris’s infant sister Adelaide to the elements The boys imagine a wolf will come to nourish her but their plan backfires  It is springtime in “The Night of the Comet” and in the days before Pigott’s comet Two charming tales in one package Harris and Bostock are best friends Bostock is an only child and ather dim but loyal "Harris has four sisters and is a genius at least to himself and Bostock In "has four sisters and is a genius at least to himself and Bostock In first story Harris has been studying the Spartans *AT SCHOOL AND HOW THEY TOOK BABIES THAT WERE *school and how they took babies that were into the woods and left them some to be aised by wolves He decides to try this experiment with his own infant sister and hijinx ensue In the second story Harris wants Bostock s father s spyglass to watch a comet that will soon be visible and again hijinx ensue These stories are delightful for adults and children A Reader s Corner Highly Recommended Read The New York Review Children s Collection is such a wonderful and special grouping They are einstating classic books from the past that a whole new generation now can enjoy I have loved every one of the books that I have eviewed from them Most of the books I did not have the pleasure of eading so it is a treat for me to be able to discover these hidden treasures and at my age who would have thought and in turn pass them along to you The Complete Bostock and Harris book is a combination of two stories in one book The setting is in eighteenth century England and the main characters are two boys one with brawn and one with brains Harris is the brainy one a doctor s son who cooks up adventure and gets it olling His ather dull friend Bostock idolizes his friend s genius and helps carry out the schemes that Harris conocts They are steady best friends and compliment each other in a very strange way The first story The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris has the two boys put their classical education to the TEST WHEN THEY DECIDE TO TEST when they decide to test Spartan theory that if an infant is left in the wild a wolf will appear adopt her and be instrumental in her survival Well it worked in the text but in eality things went a little awry Harris decides to use his baby sister in the experiment and learns very uickly it was not going to work out well Will that sweet baby survive Will she be brought safety to her family What are the conseuences for the two boys Garfield s tale is full of humour and wit with many twists and turns to keep you turning the pages to find out what s next in this saga It is a story begging to be ead again and againIn the second story The Night of the Comet the two friends team one time It is springtime just days before Pigott s comet will pay a visit high over their town Eve. A New York Review Children's Collection Original The Complete Bostock and Harris combines two delightful suspenseful and madly funny tales about two boys in eighteenth century England clever and mischievous Harris and sweet but not so bright Bostock who in spite of their differences are the best of friends  In “The Strange Affair of Adelaide Harri.