Dorothy Canfield The Bent Twig

ISBN 13: 9781466366503

The Bent Twig

 
9781466366503: The Bent Twig

Like most happy childhoods, Sylvia's early years lay back of her in a long, cheerful procession of featureless days, the outlines of which were blurred into one shimmering glow by the very radiance of their sunshine. Here and there she remembered patches, sensations, pictures, scents: Mother holding baby sister up for her to kiss, and the fragrance of the baby powder—the pine-trees near the house chanting loudly in an autumn wind—her father's alert face, intent on the toy water-wheel he was setting for her in the little creek in their field—the beautiful sheen of the pink silk dress Aunt Victoria had sent her—the look of her mother's steady, grave eyes when she was so sick—the leathery smell of the books in the University Library one day when she followed her father there—the sound of the rain pattering on the low, slanting roof of her bedroom—these were the occasional clearly outlined, bright-colored illuminations wrought on the burnished gold of her sunny little life. But from her seventh birthday her memories began to have perspective, continuity. She remembered an occasional whole scene, a whole afternoon, just as it happened. Includes a biography of the Author

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From the Back Cover:

Unlike other young women of her generation, who were "bred up from childhood to sit behind tea-tables and say the right things to tea-drinkers", Sylvia Marshall - the "twig" of this novel - was reared to think for herself and to trust her own instincts and experience. This, coupled with her passionate temperament, makes Sylvia a compelling figure as she resists efforts to mold her with every rebellious fiber of her independent nature. Sylvia's home is a Montessori home, where everyone takes part in household tasks, and the children learn by being included in adult activities. Without making a show of being different, her father, a popular professor at the midwest state university in La Chance, lives the life of the mind in a rambling farmhouse instead of on faculty row among his upwardly mobile colleagues; her mother's wardrobe is more suited to canning tomatoes than to impressing the sophisticated "town set". Although Sylvia adapts outwardly to her parents' values, inwardly she suffers because of her family's difference from both town and university standards. A dazzling occasional presence in her life is the flamboyant Aunt Victoria, who keeps a mansion in Lydford, Vermont, and an apartment in Paris. Sylvia responds to such luxury, and her attempts to evade moral questions concerning the distribution of wealth lend a human aspect to a social dilemma. First published in 1915, The Bent Twig is the first of Dorothy Canfield's novels to give fictional form to the Montessori method and to reflect the insights into education and human development that she gained in Rome while visiting Maria Montessori. The novel's concerns with gender roles, race relations, substance abuse, the environment, and the welfare of children remain contemporary and still speak to us across the years.

About the Author:

Dorothy Canfield (1879-1958) was a popular writer in the first half of the century. The daughter of the president of the Ohio State University, she wrote works of fiction and nonfiction that brought widespread attention to the Montessori method of child development. Her nonfiction books, written under her married name of Dorothy Canfield Fisher, include A Montessori Mother (1912), A Montessori Manual (1913), Mothers and Children (1914), and Self-Reliance (1916).

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Dorothy Canfield
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ISBN 10: 1466366508 ISBN 13: 9781466366503
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