August Books 18) The Warden’s Niece

18) The Warden’s Niece, by Gillian Avery

The Warden’s Niece is no relation to The Warden, though of course they share a common background in the nineteenth century (this book set in 1875 and written in 1957). Eleven-year-old Maria runs away from school to her great-uncle who is the Warden of an Oxford college. She gets put in with the three sons of the neighbouring house, and their eccentric temporary tutor Mr Copplestone (who would certainly be played by Stephen Fry in the movie version). She also develops her own little research programme, solves a historical mystery, and thus gets her Bildung. It’s a lovely little book. My favourite scene is where she manages to talk her way into the Bodleian Library, in a combination of drive to find the answers to the historical mystery that has been puzzling her, and carrying out the terms of a dare from one of the boys next door. But I am a sucker for the Bodleian anyway.

One thought on “August Books 18) The Warden’s Niece

  1. Yup, and I’d probably put it second for use of 3D. There’s some 3D stuff in Coraline that I thought was weak (the spidery scenes), but it too is generally very good, and of course it’s actually two camera filmed stereo rather than 3D animation so a big thumbs up for that. HTTYD has the edge though because it makes the 3D work in a greater range of environments, including flying. Both are streets ahead of most 3D though, and Coraline is a better film overall.

    Comparing them, though, is a bit like saying ‘would you say that the cinematography is better in Brazil or Gattaca’? I mean, I’m sure it’s possible to make that comparison but I’m not sure it’s terribly useful or helpful. My fault for starting with a superlative, I suppose; I should know better.

Comments are closed.