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10 thoughts on “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

  1. says:

    When Bonnie’s parents leave for a voyage across the sea she’s left in the care of a strident governess Miss Slighcarp Soon joined by her cousin Sylvia the girls suffer cruel treatment at the hands of their governess and watch as every joyful element of their lives is dismantled Meanwhile menacing wolves circle and a strange man joins in Miss Slighcarp’s machinations If Bonnie Sylvia are to be free and happy once they must turn to an odd boy and his flock of geese for help Aiken evokes a marvelous sense of atmosphere a sensation that’s heightened by the contrast between the outside world and the inside of Bonnie’s home Willoughby Chase A cold and haunting mood pervades the outside with its “ somber sighing of the wind and the hideous howling of the wolves” The hills are pleated with snow icicles hang from the trees and “ snow lay piled on the dark roads” Willoughby Chase is “ an inviting home – a warm and welcoming stronghold” Bonnie sleeps in a soft warm bed and she and Sylvia spend their afternoons in the nursery which is “ gay with the sunshine that sparkled on crystal and silver and found golden light in the honey and uince preserves” Despite its alluring opening pages The Wolves of Willoughby Chase unravels once its cookie cutter characters step into the limelight Intrigue vanishes as each character assumes a stereotypical role in the narrative The only exception is perhaps Mr Grimshaw who unexpectedly fires a “ long heavy glinting blue gun” out of the train carriage he shares with young Sylvia shooting at rabbits and ravens with a reckless air of perverse enjoyment Mr Grimshaw takes snuff and has no ualms about seizing a shard of glass and stabbing a wolf to death Strangely after a strong presence early in the narrative the wolves fade into the background eventually becoming a distant threat However The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is the first in a series of thirteen books so perhaps their presence grows prevalent over time With such standard characters the story inevitably arrives at a predictable conclusion The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a uick enjoyable little read but it’s nothing to write home about


  2. says:

    Those of us who grew up with an affinity for Victorian books it might have started here in Joan Aiken's 1962 classic Gothic Dickensian love note with its pitch perfect wicked governesses and wretched orphanages and aptronyms and moors and girls who are described as hoydens and secret passages and real dungeons and all these wolves When we hit our teens and started reading stuff like Dickens and Wuthering Heights it felt familiar to us; we'd already been indoctrinated into the rules of Victoria It's set in an alternate history of England where wolves are rampant and something about a King James III who cares how am I supposed to know whether a given King James is fictional or not you can tell it's not the real world because this is a place where geese can be trusted Geese cannot be trusted irl They are wicked and they mean you harmHere's a great piece on Wolves from the School Library Journal's Top 100 Children's Book List which is a terrific resource Its popularity spawned a series but I don't remember how good the rest areI read this a ton of times as a kid and re reading it now scenes absolutely exploded in my memory as I got to them Aunt Julia's pathetic poverty Simon's hidden cave Mrs Brisket's nasty daughter finding and breaking an egg in Bonnie's pocketThis is one of the first books in which I felt real danger When Bonnie and Sylvia are in jeopardy they're really in jeopardy I wasn't wrong when I was young; this is legitimately wonderful Now that I fully recognize all the tropes Aiken is playing with it might be even better It has brave heroines and narrow escapes and it's about as perfect as children's literature has ever been


  3. says:

    The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is best read when young or by those with the ability to tap into their inner girlI enjoyed the evil impostors who gleefully inflict child abuse 'Wolves' is best read by kids who love to feel a bit of self pity and delicious horrorBonnie is a bit of a simpering thing and there are lots of mentions of dresses and lace I didn't care about that My eyes tend to glaze over fripperies in real life too It feels like I'm the only person alive who doesn't notice if someone mismatches their socks Sylvia had spunk if she was spoiled I liked her a lot when she was knocked down some pegsWait I don't know what my inner girl is I liked the baddies I rooted for the baddies as a kid I wanted Ursula to win don't get me started on my hatred of being called Ariel or even worse The Little Mermaid The 'm' is not silent little me would rage I liked pretty much all the Disney baddies up until the creepy bearded dude from Aladdin The baddies in 'Wolves' are great They eat all of the good food for themselves They send the girls off to an evil boarding schoolslave house Mr Brocklehurst would die of envy They sleep in and are bad in a way that Lemony Snickett wouldn't dream of Phillip Pullman too ripped off Aiken's seriesThere are also cool wolves Aiken writes atmospheric creepy wolf stuff very well It's like a dark side of girly books like Avonlea or something I'm weird or something because I actually found this cozy than thatThe Dido Twite books in the series are pure awesomeness and way way better than 'Wolves' I did not know about those until my adulthood though I skipped college classes to blow through all of them Maybe I would have done that anyway Anyway they are super Simon the boy who lives in a cave is the hero of Blackhearts in Battersea and Dido Twite appears The rest of the books are hers because she owns If you dig long range cannons plots to overthrow kings grinding bones to make your bread kidnapping and pink whales read those booksThere was a film version made that has very little to do with this book I saw it on tv when I was in middle school and remember that I was much confused by the shared title Where did they get the turning kids into soap stuff from? SighPs Edward Gorey did the usa covers Suck on that England


  4. says:

    Set in 1832 in an imaginary period of history where wolves roamed during the snow covered days of winter Sir Willoughby is preparing to take his wife on a cruise as she is delicate and in need of a rest raise eyebrows and their daughter Bonnie is awaiting the arrival of her cousin Sylvia who is to come and live with them Bonnie's life couldn't be happier with rooms full of toys a dolls house you can walk inside and devoted servantsuntil Miss Slighcarp arrivesMiss Slighcarp is a real boo hiss villain and instantly shows that she is not someone you would leave your child with for one second but Lady Willoughby does need that cruise so they leave and will not be available for contact until they reach port in several months time handyMiss Slighcarp wastes no time in view spoiler dismissing servants selling the contents of the house including horror of horrors toys and dolls burning wills and arranging an accident with the cruise ship hide spoiler


  5. says:

    ★★★★✰ 4 stars The best childhood stories have wolves in them Often they are evil and dangerous creaturesand yet there is something beguiling about them Perhaps there is a freedom to their unrestrained roamingthe ones in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase are undoubtedly wild and ferocious creatures but they are not the story's villainsThe fairy tale elements and imagery contribute to the novel's simultaneously cozy and spine tingling atmosphere Set in an alternative history of early 19th century England The Wolves of Willoughby Chase follows the adventurous of two cousins as they try to escape from the evil clutches of their new governess and her cronies We have bold Bonnie daughter of Sir Willoughby and her timid cousin Sylvia who is an orphan and was raised by her frail aunt When Sir Willoughby takes his wife onto a voyage for her health he leaves Bonnie and Sylvia at Willoughby Chase The two girls soon realise that their new governess Miss Slighcarp is up to no good What follows is an engrossing adventure starring two brave children train rides across dark forests wicked governesses and teachers a horrid boarding 'school' and many dangerous treks across forests teeming with wolves Aiken's deceptively simple language ingeniously conjures Bonnie and Sylvia's adventures in a way that reflects their 'young' point of view The adults have a certain Dickensian uality to them that is apparent through their names and appearances There is so much to love in these pages We have snow sumptuous meals hidden passageways shipwrecks and daring escapes In spite of the many injustices Bonnie and Sylvia are made to experience there is always an undercurrent of hope in this narrative Perhaps I love this novel so much becauseit speaks of my childhood perhaps I simply recognise for what it isRead reviews on my blog   View all my reviews on GoodreadsPS The Folio edition of this novel is gorgeous


  6. says:

    This post is part of the 2015 Classics ChallengeWHEN I Discovered This ClassicI actually don't think I had heard of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase until I discovered the Vintage Children's Classics my favourite series of children's classics – I just love the design and the selection of well known and lesser known classics I bought I Capture the Castle in 2012 followed by The Wolves of Willoughby Chase The Dark is Rising Fly Away Home and Charlotte Sometimes in 2013WHY I Chose to Read It It was freezing in February and I was looking for a wintry classic to read as part of the challenge It had been sitting on my TBR for a while and I hadn't picked up a Vintage Children's Classic for a while even though I own uite a few now It's also meant to be adapted as a BBC drama this Christmas but I have not heard any about it since it was first announced in 2013 I really hope it goes aheadWHAT Makes It A ClassicIt's a classic children's adventure story full of beautiful descriptions of the landscape treacherous characters and a thrilling mystery to solve It has a bunch of characters – from Bonnie and Sylvia themselves to the adult servants that aid their mission – that you'll be rooting for all the way A debate arises now and again about how dark children's and young adult literature has become but you only have to meet Miss Slighcarp and her allies to realise it has always been that way – they're truly ghastly Although The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is over 50 years old its themes of friendship class gender and the tendency of adults to underestimate children still resonate todayWHAT I Thought of This ClassicI adored it instantly I was fascinated by the idea of an alternative Britain where wolves may attack at any time I expected the story to be about the wolves but it's actually about how the wolves aren't the real enemy here It's wonderfully written and I loved the vivid descriptions of Willoughby Chase from the stark white landscape to Bonnie's delightful toy room It has secret passages charming characters like Simon the gooseboy and a story that doesn't patronise children It has everything you could want I'm looking forward to reading Black Hearts at Battersea the next bookWILL It Stay A ClassicI think so It still feels fresh and exciting I hope the forthcoming BBC drama does the book justice and encourages people to read this wonderful story And once you've done that there's 11 books in the series for you to readWHO I’d Recommend It ToPeople who love children's books and want to delve into the world of classics People who love children's adventure and mystery stories like the Laura Marlin mysteries People who love how atmospheric Gothic literature can be like Jane Eyre I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books


  7. says:

    The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a lovely little children’s book with secret passages an evil governess and a goose boy I definitely recommend it to little girls who have a mind for adventure I myself had a little trouble at first getting into it simply because I’m just not the audience for this But eventually the adventure took over and I wanted to find out what happens There’s a weird wackiness in the beginning which made me chuckle Wolves jump up and attack the windows on a train Bonnie’s parents have no problem leaving their home and their bank accounts to a distant relative who has a very unpleasant disposition A boy lives in a cave with his geese even in the winter And the evil plot I won’t even go into it Let’s just say I seriously have my doubts It was fun though This is an old story from 1962 so it has kind of has an old world charm There’s not a patronizing message which most children's stories have today just a melodrama and the villains are so obvious I almost felt like I should boo and hiss when they popped up in the story Aiken has a lovely way with words and description that made me feel like I had slipped into a fairytale I give four stars Thank you Jeanette and Diane Lynn for the fun uick buddy read D


  8. says:

    It was dusk winter dusk Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills and icicles hung from the forest trees Snow lay piled on the dark road across Willoughby Wold but from dawn men had been clearing it with brooms and shovels There were hundreds of them at work wrapped in sacking because of the bitter cold and keeping together in groups for fear of the wolves made savage and reckless from hunger I dare you not to go on reading after that I read this book over and over as a kid but it's eually entertaining for adults it's the book Dickens might have written if he wrote for young people an atmospheric semi Gothic that follows the adventures of two young girls spunky intrepid Bonnie and her fragile cousin Sylvia when Bonnie's parents go abroad and leave them with the malign governess Miss Slighcarp who is definitely up to no good Joan Aiken is the daughter of poet Conrad Aiken and her heritage shows in her vivid use of language but it's really the great characters that make this one so memorable dauntless heroines some truly repugnant villains and in Simon the clever goose boy and Pattern the faithful housemaid the kind of loyal and fearless friends we all hope to find and sometimes are lucky enough to


  9. says:

    This is terrible but wonderfulIt's really a book that was published for young adults or kids but published in 1962 so the idea of what constitutes entertaining literature for youngsters is really rather datedI think the author was influenced by Edward Gorey and his odd brilliant little books than she was by some of the other palpable influences like Dickens and other masters of waif literatureIt's the story of a rich little waif so not a true waif but she fits the archetypal mold who is left under the guardianship of a uestionable governess Miss Slighcarp who arrives at the familial estate Willoughby Chaseunder uestionable circumstances to begin her reign of terror over childrenSo very GoreyEven the cover art and many of the illustrations throughout are a total Gorey rip offI researched it to make sure it wasn't one of Gorey's many pseudonyms but this seems to just be a case of an epigonusMost likely the author or someone responsible for the book design urged the illustrator in that directionThe book is ridiculous but fun The author has such a strange lexicon and writes in purple prose which is actually what makes the book fun It's a bon bon Nothing But bon bons can be fun Let your mind get fat


  10. says:

    Great exciting adventure story written in a uaint old fashioned way I reckon it'd suit ages 10 due to locking naughty kids in dungeons parents going missing etc Gripping and fun no wonder it's a classic


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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

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Ess hours of drudgery will never ceaseWith the help of Simon the gooseboy and his flock they escape But how will they ever get Willoughby Chase free from the clutches of the evil Miss Slighcarp. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a lovely little children’s book with secret passages an evil governess and a goose boy I definitely recommend it to little girls who have a mind for adventure I myself had a little trouble at first getting into it simply because I’m just not the audience for this But eventually the adventure took over and I wanted to find out what happens There’s a weird wackiness in the beginning which made me chuckle Wolves jump up and attack the windows on a train Bonnie’s parents have no problem leaving their home and their bank accounts to a distant relative who has a very unpleasant disposition A boy lives in a cave with his geese even in the winter And the evil plot I won’t even go into it Let’s just say I seriously have my doubts It was fun though This is an old story from 1962 so it has kind of has an old world charm There’s not a patronizing message which most children's stories have today just a melodrama and the villains are so obvious I almost felt like I should boo and hiss when they popped up in the story Aiken has a lovely way with words and description that made me feel like I had slipped into a fairytale I give four stars Thank you Jeanette and Diane Lynn for the fun uick buddy read D Rituals of Pleasure you Jeanette and Diane Lynn for the fun uick buddy read D

Read Ù PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free È Joan Aiken

Wicked wolves and a grim governess threaten Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia when Bonnie's parents leave Willoughby Chase for a sea voyage Left in the care of the cruel Miss Slighcarp the girls can. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is best read when young or by those with the ability to tap into their inner girlI enjoyed the evil impostors who gleefully inflict child abuse 'Wolves' is best read by kids who love to feel a bit of self pity and delicious horrorBonnie is a bit of a simpering thing and there are lots of mentions of dresses and lace I didn't care about that My eyes tend to glaze over fripperies in real life too It feels like I'm the only person alive who doesn't notice if someone mismatches their socks Sylvia had spunk if she was spoiled I liked her a lot when she was knocked down some pegsWait I don't know what my inner girl is I liked the baddies I rooted for the baddies as a kid I wanted Ursula to win don't get me started on my hatred of being called Ariel or even worse The Little Mermaid The 'm' is not silent little me would rage I liked pretty much all the Disney baddies up until the creepy bearded dude from Aladdin The baddies in 'Wolves' are great They eat all of the good food for themselves They send the girls off to an evil boarding schoolslave house Mr Brocklehurst would die of envy They sleep in and are bad in a way that Lemony Snickett wouldn't dream of Phillip Pullman too ripped off Aiken's seriesThere are also cool wolves Aiken writes atmospheric creepy wolf stuff very well It's like a dark side of girly books like Avonlea or something I'm weird or something because I actually found this cozy than thatThe Dido Twite books in the series are pure awesomeness and way way better than 'Wolves' I did not know about those until my adulthood though I skipped college classes to blow through all of them Maybe I would have done that anyway Anyway they are super Simon the boy who lives in a cave is the hero of Blackhearts in Battersea and Dido Twite appears The rest of the books are hers because she owns If you dig long range cannons plots to overthrow kings grinding bones to make your bread kidnapping and pink whales read those booksThere was a film version made that has very little to do with this book I saw it on tv when I was in middle school and remember that I was much confused by the shared title Where did they get the turning kids into soap stuff from SighPs Edward Gorey did the usa covers Suck on that England Dom na Zanzibarze young or by those with the ability to tap into their inner girlI enjoyed the evil impostors who gleefully inflict child abuse 'Wolves' is best read by kids who love to feel a bit of self pity and delicious horrorBonnie is a bit of a simpering thing and there are lots of mentions of dresses and lace I didn't care about that My eyes tend to glaze over fripperies in real life too It feels like I'm the only person alive who doesn't notice if someone mismatches their socks Sylvia had spunk if she was spoiled I liked her a lot when she was knocked down some pegsWait I don't know what my inner girl is I liked the baddies I rooted for the baddies as a kid I wanted Ursula to win don't get me started on my hatred of being called Ariel or even worse The Little Mermaid The 'm' is not silent little me would rage I liked pretty much all the Disney baddies up until the creepy bearded dude from Aladdin The baddies in 'Wolves' are great They eat all of the good food for themselves They send the girls off to an evil boarding schoolslave house Mr Brocklehurst would die of envy They sleep in and are bad in a way that Lemony Snickett wouldn't dream of Phillip Pullman too ripped off Aiken's seriesThere are also cool wolves Aiken writes atmospheric creepy wolf stuff very well It's like a dark side of girly books like Avonlea or something I'm weird or something because I actually found this cozy than thatThe Dido Twite books in the series are pure awesomeness and way way better than 'Wolves' I did not know about those until my adulthood though I skipped college classes to blow through all of them Maybe I would have done that anyway Anyway they are super Simon the boy who lives in a cave is the hero of Blackhearts in Battersea and Dido Twite appears The rest of the books are hers because she owns If Quantum Physics and the Multiplicity of Mind you dig long range cannons plots to overthrow kings grinding bones to make Deathgame (Hardy Boys: Casefiles, your bread kidnapping and pink whales read those booksThere was a film version made that has very little to do with this book I saw it on tv when I was in middle school and remember that I was much confused by the shared title Where did they get the turning kids into soap stuff from SighPs Edward Gorey did the usa covers Suck on that England

Joan Aiken È 5 review

Hardly believe what is happening to their once happy home The servants are dismissed the furniture is sold and Bonnie and Sylvia are sent to a prison like orphan school It seems as if the endl. ★★★★✰ 4 stars The best childhood stories have wolves in them Often they are evil and dangerous creaturesand yet there is something beguiling about them Perhaps there is a freedom to their unrestrained roamingthe ones in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase are undoubtedly wild and ferocious creatures but they are not the story's villainsThe fairy tale elements and imagery contribute to the novel's simultaneously cozy and spine tingling atmosphere Set in an alternative history of early 19th century England The Wolves of Willoughby Chase follows the adventurous of two cousins as they try to escape from the evil clutches of their new governess and her cronies We have bold Bonnie daughter of Sir Willoughby and her timid cousin Sylvia who is an orphan and was raised by her frail aunt When Sir Willoughby takes his wife onto a voyage for her health he leaves Bonnie and Sylvia at Willoughby Chase The two girls soon realise that their new governess Miss Slighcarp is up to no good What follows is an engrossing adventure starring two brave children train rides across dark forests wicked governesses and teachers a horrid boarding 'school' and many dangerous treks across forests teeming with wolves Aiken's deceptively simple language ingeniously conjures Bonnie and Sylvia's adventures in a way that reflects their 'young' point of view The adults have a certain Dickensian uality to them that is apparent through their names and appearances There is so much to love in these pages We have snow sumptuous meals hidden passageways shipwrecks and daring escapes In spite of the many injustices Bonnie and Sylvia are made to experience there is always an undercurrent of hope in this narrative Perhaps I love this novel so much becauseit speaks of my childhood perhaps I simply recognise for what it isRead reviews on my blog   View all my reviews on GoodreadsPS The Folio edition of this novel is gorgeous