By Maurice Francis Egan
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Extra resources for Confessions of a book-lover
Dumas was on the list of the "improper," and to this day I have never finished the episodes in which I was so deeply interested. Now the wagon of the circulating library ceased to come as in the old days. The children of the neighbours offered me Sunday-school books, taken from the precious store of the Methodist Sunday School opposite our house. They seemed to me to be stupid beyond all words. There was not one really good fight in them all, and after an honest villain like Brian de Bois Guilbert, the bad people in these volumes were very lacking in stamina.
Most of the children of my acquaintance were taught their Scriptures through the International Sunday-school lessons, and seemed to me to be submerged in the geography of Palestine and other tiresome details. For me, reading as I did, the whole of the New Testament was radiant with interest, a frankly human interest. There were many passages that I did not pretend to understand, sometimes because the English was obscure or archaic, and sometimes because my mind was not equal to it or my knowledge too small.
V. " After this I was wafted into a series of novels by Julia Kavanagh; "Natalie," and "Bessie," and "Seven Years," I think were the principals. My father declined to read them; he thought they were too sentimental, but as the author had an Irish name he was inclined to regard them with tolerance. He thought I would be better employed in absorbing "Tom and Jerry; or The Adventures of Corinthian Bob," by Pierce Egan. My mother objected to this, and substituted "Lady Violet; or the Wonder of Kingswood Chace," by the younger Pierce Egan, which she considered more moral.