Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Adventures of Harry Rochester by Herbert Strang (1944) OUP

Tinted engraving of Queen Anne from an atlas c...

'Herbert Strang' is the one name for two men who from 1903 for forty years wrote books for boys.

Each page of this book has a title referring to the content below it on the page. I didn't even notice this until I had nearly finished the book. You don't look at the space at the top of each page, do you, when you read? It is usually an empty space. But not in this book. Once I found this page title I realised its usefulness. It is a summary that guides you to skip a page here and there without missing much. Writers are only human. Not all of their tens of  thousands of words are needed to understand and enjoy the story. And, of course, readers are also only human. An episode in a story may be interesting to one reader but not to another. You don't have to read every word to enjoy a book.

Early on in the book,