Sinclair wrote a number of adult novels, tracts, travel books and, later, a series of picture letters, but her most famous and enduring tale is Holiday House which as Carpenter and Prichard suggest, flouted the conventions of the moral tale and “is one of the first books that accepts children as they really are” (485).
The story follows the exploits of Laura and Harry Graham, lively and energetic children who are cared for by their Uncle David and Grandmama, during their father’s absence. Their mother dies when they are young and their distressed widower father travels abroad.
The book is very much a tale of two halves; the first ‘half’ focuses on Laura and Harry’s childhood and their adventures, while the second is devoted to more serious matters and to the experiences of Laura and Harry as they near adulthood, including the death of older brother Frank.
|Author:||Sinclair, Catherine (1800-1864)|
|Title:||Holiday House: A Book for the Young (1839)|
|Publisher:||London & Melbourne: Ward, Lock & Co.|
|Front cover||Title and contents pages|
|The Grand Feast||The Terrible Fire|
|The Prodigious Cake||The Last Clean Frock|
|The Long Ladder||The Mad Bull|
|The Broken Key||The Wonderful Story|
|The Illumination||The Poor Boy|
|The Young Midshipman||The Amusing Drive|
|The Unexpected Event||An Unexpected Voyage|
|The Arrival||The Last Birthday|
Read Holiday House by Catherine Sinclair as a single PDF here (25.8MB).
Source: Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard (1984) ‘Catherine Sinclair’ in The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, Oxford: Oxford UP