Honor Arundel Margery Fisher - Essay

Margery Fisher

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Honor Arundel has an open, simple way of outlining human relationships but she does outline; she leaves space for the reader's imagination to work. In Emma's island the heroine was thrown into delightful confusion by the attentions of Alastair, whom she met on a holiday dig. Alastair only half knew that his kiss was a casual one: Emma was sure it was a declaration. In the sequel [Emma in love] we follow the course of her disillusionment…. There is humour in this study of moods and tenses, a degree of tenderness and a great deal of shrewd knowledge of what the young do say, what they could say if they knew how and what they really want to say. (p. 1668)

Margery Fisher, "Listen to the Silences," in her Growing Point, Vol. 9, No. 7, January, 1971, pp. 166-70.

[Emma in Love is a] sequel to The High House and Emma's Island. Emma experiences the tortures and delights of first love but is honest enough to realise eventually, as one would expect of this consistent character, that she has made a mistake.

[Honor Arundel] has a particular gift for writing sensitive and often amusing character studies of girls growing up, from the point of view of the girls themselves. This means that adolescent girls will identify with Emma in her altering joy and despair in her relations with Alastair.

There is need for more books of this calibre in which the importance of young people's emotions to themselves is respected and yet not sentimentalised.

"For Children from Ten to Fourteen: 'Emma in Love'," in The Junior Bookshelf, Vol. 35, No. 1, February, 1971, p. 48.