Daisy Ashford dictated her first short story when she was 4 years old and wrote her last when she was 14. An avid reader of the novels of the period, and a keen observer of the curiosities of adult behaviour, she brings her penetrating child's-eye view to the world of Victorian High Society and Romance with unique comic effect (and eccentric spelling). Her masterpiece, The Young Visiters (1919), was written when she was 9, but first published thirty years later, with a preface by J. M. Barrie. In it she charts the successful attempt of Mr Alfred Salteena—'not quite a gentleman but you would hardly notice it'—to rise in Society, reaching the giddy heights of a position riding beside the Royal Carriage. He is less successful in romance, losing his beloved Ethel to the handsome and well-connected, if a little ‘presumshious’, Bernard Clark.
Sue Townsend KB