(Ann) Philippa Pearce

Start Free Trial

John Rowe Townsend

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182

Miss Pearce has … the storyteller's gift,… the novelist's power to create memorable people and the almost-architectural ability to complete a properly balanced and proportioned work. Tom's Midnight Garden (1958) is as near as any book I know to being perfect in its construction and writing, while satisfying also as fantasy and as a story about people. Only Philippa Pearce could have written it. (p. 246)

The book has a profound, mysterious sense of time; it has the beauty of a theorem but it is not abstract; it is sensuously as well as intellectually satisfying. The garden is so real that you have the scent of it in your nostrils….

If I were asked to name a single masterpiece of English children's literature since the last war—and one masterpiece in thirty years is a fair ration—it would be this outstandingly beautiful and absorbing book. (p. 247)

John Rowe Townsend, "Not So Flimsy," in his Written for Children: An Outline of English-Language Children's Literature (copyright © 1965, 1974 by John Rowe Townsend; courtesy of J. B. Lippincott, Publishers; in Canada by Kestrel Books), revised edition, Lippincott, 1974, pp. 235-47.∗

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Penelope Farmer


Margery Fisher