It is already a long time since I was a little girl. Sometimes, when I look out upon the world and see how many changes have come about, how different many things are from what I can remember them, I could believe that a still longer time had passed since my childhood than is really the case. Sometimes, on the contrary, the remembrance of things that then happened comes over me so very vividly, so very _real_-ly, that I can scarcely believe myself to be as old as I am.
I can remember things in my little girlhood more clearly than many in later years. This makes me hope that the story of some part of it may interest children of to-day, for I know I have not forgotten the feelings I had as a child. And after all, I believe that in a great many ways children are very like each other in their hearts and minds, even though their lives may seem very different and very far apart.
The first years of my childhood were very happy, though there were some things in my life which many children would not like at all. My parents were not rich, and the place where we lived was not pretty or pleasant. It was a rather large town in an ugly part of the country, where great tall chimneys giving out black smoke, and streams–once clear sparkling brooks, no doubt–whose water was nearly as black as the smoke, made it often difficult to believe in bright blue sky or green grass, or any of the sweet pure country scenes that children love, though perhaps children that have them do not love them as much as those who have not got them do.
I think that was the way with me. The country was almost the same as fairyland to me–the peeps I had of it now and then were a delight I could not find words to express.
Mrs Molesworth, ‘The Carved Lions’ (1895)
I downloaded a copy of this free e-book from manybooks.net some weeks ago without any knowledge of who Mrs Molesworth was, nor what the book was about. It was these opening lines that made me want to read more. Somehow, I’m reminded of L.P Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’. But unlike Hartley’s book, this one was written for children.
Anyone here who are on more familiar terms with Mrs Molesworth?