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Like previous reviewers, I too read this as a child, and the name Marchpane still sends shivers down my spine! I bought a copy recently for my 8 year old daughter, and now she's fallen in love with it too. Be warned, though, it's a bit of a tear jerker. As you get towards the final chapters, you might want to schedule a half hour or so to console your child afterwards!

First published shortly after the second World War, The Dolls' House is a beautifully-written tale about Tottie Plantaganet, a small Dutch doll 'made a long time ago', and the other members of the Plantaganet 'family': Mr Plantaganet, who was cruelly abused by his previous owners, his wife Birdie, who isn't quite 'right in the head', and their mischievous son, Apple, with his darning-wool hair. Darner, the dog, has a darning needle backbone that makes him awkward to handle. More awkward for modern day parents is the fact that Darner says 'Prick' whenever danger is present... Old-fashioned terms such as 'rickrack braid', meanwhile, provide a more innocent reminder of just how ancient this book is. But, conversely, that's part of its charm. This particular edition is riddled with typos, but Godden's text shows enormous attention to detail. Words are lovingly chosen, and sentences beautifully crafted with an elegance that's rare in children's literature today. My daughter loved the slightly archaic nature of it, all the unfamiliar words like 'stay-bones' and 'quilling'. It's a joy to read aloud as well.

I think one element that children particularly relate to is the fact that the dolls can't 'do', they can only be 'done by'; equally they can't choose, but can only 'be chosen'. Children, who get to make so few decisions themselves, can't help but relate to them. And the portrait of a post-war childhood (or dollhood perhaps!) is strangely fascinating for today's kids, reared on a diet of TV and video games. Ideal for little girls... and grown-up ones as well!
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on 27 March 2010
This book was one that I had read in my childhood - It arrived in very good condition at an excellent price. I was still as enthralled with it as before. It arrived shortly after ordering which was good as I was waiting in anticipation for it. It is a book that I can read over and over again without getting bored with it. even though it is a childrens book and I am 56yrs old!!!
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on 8 July 2000
I read this book when I was 7 and watched the accompanying TV series. What can I say, its enchanting and its unlike any book I had read. It's the book I want to read to my kids when I have them ! There are morals in the book (vanity is bad, family love is good) but its not "in your face". Truly magical :)
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on 19 November 1997
Fortunate to have read this book at the age of ten, I never forgot it. Having recently read some of Rumer Godden's adult books, I decided to purchase a copy. The money I paid was well worth it. The book is still a wonderful read. If you are an adult who read it as a child, re-read it. If you've never read it, you will enjoy the drama about a family whose home and happiness are threatened and how they dealt with it. This is a must-read for all Godden fans. All her storytelling skills are used, deft foreshadowing, proper use of detail and strong dramatic scenes. It was written for children but it can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys fine writing.
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on 8 October 2013
The story of a family of dolls, living in a shoe box, who wish for a dolls house of their own but get more than they bargained for when their wish comes true.

I remember the '80's TV series and wish I'd read the book at the time. It's set in 1948 I think but I am sure that children now would enjoy it if given the chance. The story is so well written and has one of the best (worst?) villains in children's literature. Marchpane is truly without conscience and even now I got very involved with the Plantagenets and their battle with her.
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on 30 November 2011
I first read this as a child, then when I saw it I had to buy it again. Stirred up wonderful memories of my childhood, and still a good read, have passed it round so several children can appreciate it
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on 9 December 2012
I am 61 years old and although this is a child's book I enjoyed every word! I will be giving this book to a deserving little girl.A great story for teaching children to respect their toys!
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on 27 June 2013
A very old book with curiously modern morals and issues. Very educational with interesting use of dialogue and description that encourages children to explore..
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on 30 September 2015
it arrived as the descriptors had described in the description, thank you
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on 31 March 2015
My FAVOURITE childhood story-and the same is still true
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