Archive for December 19th, 2009

Mark Hussey sent out an alert on the Woolf list-serv that the children’s book, Anastasia at This Address (1991), by Lois Lowry, has a character in it named Septimus Smith.

I checked it out at the library and read it with pleasure, while engaging in some nostalgia as I thought back on some of the books I read in my “tween” years. I wish I’d had the Anastasia Krupnik series—she’s a bright and adventurous role model for girls.

As for my Woolf quest, there was no clue to any other identity for this Septimus, also known as Tim, a well-to-do New York bachelor who places a singles ad to which Anastasia responds. I contacted Lois Lowry through her Web site, and she responded that there are no other Woolf references in the series, but in one of the earlier books – Anastasia Again! (1981) – there’s a Gertrude Stein. She explained her motivation when writing the books:

“I remember taking a certain amount of private pleasure in inserting references that kids wouldn’t notice—or care about if they did—but which from time to time, adults pick up on. Of course a 12 or 13 year old girl won’t get that. But they read right past it. And maybe sometime years later they will encounter Gertrude Stein, or Septimus Smith … and a little light bulb will illuminate.”

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: