What is "Sheridan girls" in Mansfield's "Her First Ball"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The question isn't so much "what is Sheridan girls" as it is "who are the Sheridan girls." They are first of all, the sisters with whom Leila is going to the ball. They are secondly, the sisters of their brother Laurie (usually short for Laurence). Thirdly, they all are Leila's cousins: "This is my little country cousin Leila. Be nice to her."

The Sheridans and their cousin Leila are on their way to a ball, the first ever for Leila. She had been raised in the country without benefit of society since their "nearest neighbour was fifteen miles," but now we are to infer that she and her mother have moved to the city as she begs her mother "to ring up her cousins and say she couldn't go [to the ball] after all." The Sheridan girls' names are Meg, Jose, and Laura.

But every single thing was so new and exciting [to Leila] ... Meg's tuberoses, Jose's long loop of amber, Laura's little dark head, pushing above her white fur like a flower through snow.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial