THE HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS AND EEPERSIP’S LIFE THERE By Barbara Newhall Follett. 166 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $2.
Reviewed by Henry Longan Stuart. New York Times, February 6, 1927
In a “historical note” appended to “The House Without Windows” the father of the young author lets us into the secret of the happy accident to which we owe what may prove to be the most authentic and unalloyed document of a transient and hitherto unrecorded phase in plastic intelligence. “Almost above all,” says Mr. Wilson Follett (he has been telling of such special circumstances as a home education between child and parents in the great out of doors), “having used a typewriter as a plaything for a time she cannot remember, who was able to rattle off an easy 1,200 words an hour, without any awareness of the physical process, years before penmanship could have developed half the proficiency, even with intense concentration on the physical process alone.” Among all the implications to which this truly remarkable little book will give rise, the hint that a drudgery which invention has outdated may be slowing down mental processes at a critical mental age deserves at least a place.… Read more
THE HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS. By Barbara Newhall Follett. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1927. $2 Reviewed by Lee Wilson Dodd
This strange, delightful, and lovely book was written by a little girl as a present for her mother. When Barbara Follett has a birthday, she always gives her mother a present. Unhappily, one cannot commend this gentle custom to other children, since it loses all charm if not originally thought of by the giver. Barbara thought of it and adopted it; and when she was nine, she decided that on her tenth birthday she would make her mother a special present. [In fact, Barbara finished her story a few days after her ninth birthday, not her tenth.] So she set to work on her own typewriter and wrote down the story of Eepersip’s life in the House Without Windows. Fire destroyed the first manuscript in a jealous house with windows which, as I am convinced, burned itself to the ground out of sheer malice. That, I submit, would have settled the matter for most children–and for most adult authors, too. But Barbara (as Carlyle did, after John Stuart Mill’s famous housemaid incinerated the first draft of “The French Revolution”) set to work again.… Read more
In: The American Girl, June, 1927 Barbara Follett Writes a Book by May Lamberton Becker
I have just been reading a book by a girl: it is called The House Without Windows (Knopf) and is by Barbara Newhall Follett, who is twelve years old now, but was nine when first she put this story upon paper. It was scarcely completed when it was destroyed in a fire from which her family had to run for their lives. One would have thought the story was quite gone, for the hardest thing to do with the memory is to bring back something that you have once written down and lost. But Barbara worked at it for three years; by that time it had grown into a longer and even more lovely story, and the author had come to the edge of her ‘teens.
It is the tale of a little girl named Eepersip, who lived with her parents in a house with a garden, pretty enough but set in a countryside far more interesting. So one day Eepersip packed a little lunch basket and started out.
“… She went east from her home on a shady path through beautiful woodlands, with her and there a grove of great massive pines.… Read more