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Penelope's Irish Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

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"Ballyragget, Ballysadare, Ballybrophy, Ballinasloe, Ballyhooley, Ballycumber, Ballyduff, Ballynashee, Ballywhack. Don't they all sound jolly and grotesque?" These places in Ireland may sound that way to Francesca. But not to Penelope! You remember, Penelope, don't you? She's the delightful Kate Douglas Wiggin heroine of Penelope English Experiences and Penelope's Experi "Ballyragget, Ballysadare, Ballybrophy, Ballinasloe, Ballyhooley, Ballycumber, Ballyduff, Ballynashee, Ballywhack. Don't they all sound jolly and grotesque?" These places in Ireland may sound that way to Francesca. But not to Penelope! You remember, Penelope, don't you? She's the delightful Kate Douglas Wiggin heroine of Penelope English Experiences and Penelope's Experiences in Scotland. But where or not you've read those books, (and really, you should!) you simply must read Penelope's Irish Experiences. After plenty of wistful tea and scones in Scotland, Penelope and her friends Francesca and Salemina boat over to Ireland, faintly fearful it won't be Irish enough! No worries. From thoughts on the differences in Fairies in Ireland and Scotland to a the lack of poetry in the Irish diet, Penelope's observations make a true feast, with flashes of verbal jigs and reels. Oh yes . . . and then in comes the remarkable Miss Benella Dusenberry from New England, to join the fun and frolic!


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"Ballyragget, Ballysadare, Ballybrophy, Ballinasloe, Ballyhooley, Ballycumber, Ballyduff, Ballynashee, Ballywhack. Don't they all sound jolly and grotesque?" These places in Ireland may sound that way to Francesca. But not to Penelope! You remember, Penelope, don't you? She's the delightful Kate Douglas Wiggin heroine of Penelope English Experiences and Penelope's Experi "Ballyragget, Ballysadare, Ballybrophy, Ballinasloe, Ballyhooley, Ballycumber, Ballyduff, Ballynashee, Ballywhack. Don't they all sound jolly and grotesque?" These places in Ireland may sound that way to Francesca. But not to Penelope! You remember, Penelope, don't you? She's the delightful Kate Douglas Wiggin heroine of Penelope English Experiences and Penelope's Experiences in Scotland. But where or not you've read those books, (and really, you should!) you simply must read Penelope's Irish Experiences. After plenty of wistful tea and scones in Scotland, Penelope and her friends Francesca and Salemina boat over to Ireland, faintly fearful it won't be Irish enough! No worries. From thoughts on the differences in Fairies in Ireland and Scotland to a the lack of poetry in the Irish diet, Penelope's observations make a true feast, with flashes of verbal jigs and reels. Oh yes . . . and then in comes the remarkable Miss Benella Dusenberry from New England, to join the fun and frolic!

48 review for Penelope's Irish Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Fiction, Historical, United States, People & Places, Readers - Chapter Books

  1. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    3.5 stars Penelope, now a matron; Francesca, happily engaged and Salemina, still single; ate traveling together once again. "Himself" (Penelope's husband) is busy with business matters back home and Ronald Macdonald can't leave his parish. The trio of friends travel through each of Ireland's 4 provinces and encounter a noted scholar, his children, a tragic romance and several notable locals. Traveling with them is Brenella, a young woman from Salem traveling to Ireland in search of her relatives. 3.5 stars Penelope, now a matron; Francesca, happily engaged and Salemina, still single; ate traveling together once again. "Himself" (Penelope's husband) is busy with business matters back home and Ronald Macdonald can't leave his parish. The trio of friends travel through each of Ireland's 4 provinces and encounter a noted scholar, his children, a tragic romance and several notable locals. Traveling with them is Brenella, a young woman from Salem traveling to Ireland in search of her relatives. After collapsing on Salemina's trunk, the older lady took the younger one under her wing and employed her as a maid. Brenella will do anything for her beloved employers, but where will she go once the summer ends? This book starts off great, with a tongue-in-cheek scene where Penelope realizes that she and her friends are like characters in a three volume novel! Salemina refuses to have anything to do with such stuff and nonsense but Penelope knows better. Past events coupled with the charm of Ireland may work their magic on her. As with the previous books, there's tons of local color which is very charming and funny. However, this time the author footnotes her literary references, explains things in the text and sometimes focuses too much on Irish poetry and not enough on the plot. There's also a fair amount of social commentary. During this time the Irish question was foremost on every Briton's mind and the author has Penelope wonder philosophically on why the Irish are so poor and ragged and an entire section is devoted to Irish grievances against the English. All that was a bit too much for me. The plot came to a very slow conclusion. I would have liked more in the romance department, including more of an ending. It was very abrupt. I would recommend this series to armchair travelers and those who love late Victorian era literature. If you L.M. Montgomery's novels I think you will like these. They're very charming and fun for the most part. I'm sad to leave my traveling companions behind but thanks to several universities and Google, we can read digital versions of these forgotten stories. Do try to find the versions with illustrations by C.E. Brock. They really add to the story and are very charming.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Penelope, Salamina, and Francesca travel Ireland and leak Irish stereotypes and offensiveness all over it. Despite their acquisition of a maid, Benella, who faints on Salamina's luggage (she being also of Salem, Mass.) this is my least favorite of all these books because of the portrayal of dirty, poor, unmotivated, superstitious because Catholic Irish people who are themselves to blame for their condition, no responsibility given to England or Famine or any social wrongs. (Or rather - these thi Penelope, Salamina, and Francesca travel Ireland and leak Irish stereotypes and offensiveness all over it. Despite their acquisition of a maid, Benella, who faints on Salamina's luggage (she being also of Salem, Mass.) this is my least favorite of all these books because of the portrayal of dirty, poor, unmotivated, superstitious because Catholic Irish people who are themselves to blame for their condition, no responsibility given to England or Famine or any social wrongs. (Or rather - these things are mentioned but I felt rather blown off). I can't speak to the backwardness (loathsome term) of any country at the turn of the 20th century but surely they should cut Ireland some slack. The dirt etc are intended for comic effect but comes off as mean-spirited. Worth skipping this one. Edited to add- there is quite a bit of sexism here too, and I can't tell if Penelope is being sarcastic or not with it. So another strike against it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    This book is part of a series I have not read. Three ladies go traveling together off the beaten tourist path, and observe their fellow man. The copy I have was published in 1901. The bits that are good are very good and funny. There are a lot of cultural put downs on the Irish people - They do not clean, they do not cook, they do not think, etc. So that needs to be put into the "it was 1900" file, but the observations about individuals reminds me of Elizabeth Gaskell. I liked this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elyssa Schwendy

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trine

  7. 4 out of 5

    Louise Culmer

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Andrus

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Kay

  11. 4 out of 5

    Grouchogal

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eryn

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caddy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Umlauf

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fowler

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gaylynn

  17. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Roberts Brooks

  18. 4 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl Proc

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne Boesiger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori Hamilton

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria Theophanous

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jody

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lois Warner

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daveandkathy747gmail.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christie

  26. 5 out of 5

    bill r. fowler

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Thompson

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  31. 5 out of 5

    Igraine

  32. 5 out of 5

    Yinzadi

  33. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  34. 5 out of 5

    Amy Murphy

  35. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  36. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Pfeifer

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Bryant

  38. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  39. 4 out of 5

    Alysa

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  41. 4 out of 5

    Clara Ellen

  42. 4 out of 5

    Cecelia

  43. 4 out of 5

    Ann Frechette

  44. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  45. 5 out of 5

    Patience

  46. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Knauer

  47. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  48. 5 out of 5

    Amy

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